Bronze Age treasure unearthed on Bedfordshire building site

Fragments of jewellery and cremated remains dating back to the Bronze Age have been dug up on a Bedfordshire building site where one of the UK’s leading housebuilders is putting up homes.

Small glass beads, a tiny piece of gold and the cremated remains have been unearthed at the site in Stotfold where Persimmon Homes Thames Valley is building the latest phase of the Trinity Manor development.

The historical items, which could date back as far as 1500 BC, were uncovered by archaeologists scouring the site before building work started and have been hailed as significant by experts.

Archaeology and historic buildings consultant Duncan Hawkins said: “The finds from the archaeological investigations at Stotfold have provided a valuable insight into past communities from the Bronze Age to the early medieval period.

“They have radically altered our understanding of the origins of the town and its development over time.”

The discovery included 17 peacock blue ring-shaped beads, a dark blue oblong bead with a pale blue chevron pattern on, a small copper alloy tubular ring and a tiny crumpled sheet fragment of gold – perhaps the remains of a pendant.

They were recovered from an environmental sample taken on the site of an outbuilding which also contained buried cremated remains.

The remains have been carbon dated to the middle Bronze Age and the beads are believed to have a late Roman to early Saxon date.

The items fall under the Treasure Act and have been valued at around £500. Once more detailed analysis has been carried out they will be donated to the county museum.

Elaine Stratford, Sales and Marketing Director for Persimmon Homes Thames Valley, said the find was exciting for the area.

“This discovery has provided some interesting information and it will be fascinating for new homebuyers to know they are moving on to a site with such a rich history,” she said.

“We would hope that once these items go to a museum, we may be able to get some photographs and pass them to the local school to enable the children to engage with such an important historical find.”

A new range of homes at Phase III of Trinity Manor is now available offering two, three and four bedroom accommodation.