We are finding that Calverton has a surprisingly rich archaeological heritage starting from the Bronze Age and then running chronologically through towards the present day. Remains from each of the eras – Iron, Roman, Saxon, medieval and post Medieval have been unearthed somewhere in our Parish. Use the main tabbed menus or click on the thumbnails below to learn more.
Archaeological Beginings – How it all started
A number of people within the village were interested in the early history of Calverton in particular local GP Dr Oliver Brown and his wife Barbara (who then lived in Templars in Upper Weald). Their approach was mostly restricted to field walking and desk research and, although Oliver was a leading member of one of the longest established local history groups, the Wolverton and District Archaeological and Historical Society (WADAHS), there does not appear to be any evidence of any specific local archaeological excavations within the Calverton area during this early period. In 1967 Calverton put up a tremendous fight to be excluded from the new city of Milton Keynes which it won and the Parish was duly withdrawn from the City’s Designated Area. This meant that the Milton Keynes Development Corporation’s newly formed Archaeology Unit had no time to look at Calverton or any other sites outside the Designated Area even if they appeared promising. This was of some concern to Oliver Brown as his colleague on the WADAHS, Denis Mynard, had become head of the newly formed Milton Keynes Archaeology Unit (MKAU) and had previously shown much interest in Calverton. However, Oliver’s wife Barbara was to join Denis at the MKAU which was based in the farmhouse at Bradwell Abbey and managed to collect various historical references to Calverton when they cropped up amongst other work.
After Oliver Brown died in 1987, Barbara Brown passed many of his research papers and photographs on to her neighbour Keith Hope-Lang (who’s family lived opposite at Dairy farm). He set up ‘The Calverton Historical Bulletin’ to record and publish the results of his own research concentrating on oral histories and illustrated with images he had photographically copied from loaned documents and other early photographs.
We used some of this information and early aerial photos (see: Aerial Archaeology ) to plot and confirm the positions of a number of sites for further investigation the first of which formed the basis of our own local ‘village dig’ as described in Village Archaeology.
This relative lack of actual developmental pressure on Calverton changed in 2003 when planning permission was sought to extract sand and gravel from the Great Ouse river valley in the extreme west of the Parish (bordering on Northamptonshire). Under modern planing laws, developers are obliged to carry out archaeological surveys/assessments and to follow up with the necessary archaeological investigation of findings in liaison with the local authority, in our case Milton Keynes Council’s Conservation and Archaeology Section. This process, in association with the various authorities and archaeological contractors has provided the information for the subsequent sections of the site under the Archaeology heading.
The following categorisation is used for describing historical periods.
Palaeolithic c. 500,000-10,000 BC
Mesolithic c. 10,000-3,500 BC
Neolithic c. 3500-2000 BC
Bronze Age c. 2000-800 BC
Iron Age c. 800 BC – AD 43
Romano-British AD 43-410
Medieval c. 1066-1500
Post-Medieval c. 1500-present