Plans to build nine new homes on the site of the old Wallingford police station could get the go-ahead as the archaeological investigation into the 1,000-year-old site comes to an end.

In February 2019 three entire buildings, cooking pots, iron knives and sets of keys were discovered under the old police station.

Oxford Archaeology were digging the land up ahead of a new housing development by Winslade Investments of Streatley when they unearthed the remains of a Saxon town.

The area around the Reading Road site was occupied between 1000 and 1200AD, towards the end of the Saxon period and the first 125 years after the Norman conquest in 1066.

Buildings and other traces of activity of the period have been found in the centre of Wallingford before, but these were the first large-scale results to be found south of the Saxon town, according to Winslade Homes.

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A full report of the archaeologist’s findings has been attached to the new planning application.

As well as domestic items including cooking pots with traces of burning from cooking, shallow bowls or pans used for dairy products and iron knives and keys, traces of animals were also found.

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Some of the animal remains derived from food-waste including chicken carcases and pig head and a woodcock partial skeleton from a medieval pit.

The investigation also exposed the foundations from The Cottage Hospital, also known as Morrell Memorial Hospital, built in 1881, which pre-dated the station.

In 2019, Managing director Tim Coleman said: “I am delighted that we have been able to reveal this extensive archaeology and help increase the town’s understanding of everyday life so long ago.”

In April 2019, a planning application to build nine dwellings with parking and gardens was approved: however, with conditions.

One of the conditions was to enable an appropriate level of archaeological investigation of the area including excavation and recording, post excavation analysis and the publication of results.

Other conditions included amendments to vehicle access and sufficient drainage to prevent pollution and flooding.

It was also stated that facilities to park bikes should be provided prior to occupation of the development.

The original plans outlined that Winslade’s architects at Carroll would build homes which would fit in well with the historic surroundings of Wallingford and ‘provide much needed housing in a sustainable location within easy walking distance of the town centre’.

A decision for the development to forge ahead with housing plans is set to be made by April 20 after a public consultation is held.

County Archaeological Services has responded to the new planning application for the next stages of the development and said that the archaeological investigations have now been undertaken and the final report has been submitted.

The archaeologists are therefore satisfied that ‘condition 3’ of the planning application can be discharged suggesting the new development could be given permission to forge ahead and start building.

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