Orbit Homes unearths over 18,800 artefacts in significant archaeological discovery

Affordable housebuilder, Orbit Homes, recently unearthed over 18,800 historical artefacts after excavations at its Calthorpe Gardens development discovered archaeological evidence dating from the Prehistoric Mesolithic, Late bronze Age-Middle to Late Iron Age, and through to early Anglo-Saxon times. 

A gold pendant from the Anglo-Saxon period found at Orbit Homes’ Calthorpe Gardens.

The site is now considered one of significant regional importance after Border Archaeology, Orbit Homes’ archaeology partner for the site, discovered the remains of what is thought to be a small sized settlement from the Late Bronze Age to Middle/Late Iron Age along with a later Anglo-Saxon cemetery containing the remains of at least 52 individuals.

Amongst the artefacts recovered were finds from the prehistoric settlement (handmade pottery and textile tools) and rich grave goods from the Anglo-Saxon burials (bead necklaces, pendants, personal objects and weapons) in addition to the 9,310 litres of paleoenvironmental samples also taken to help shed light on the human activity of the past.

A selection of the artefacts were also recently put on display to the public for the first time during an exclusive event hosted by Orbit Homes and Border Archaeology. Those who came along were able to view a range of the finds as well as hear from Border Archaeology about why the site is now considered one of significant regional importance and what they tell us about daily life at the time and most importantly, the role this landscape played to prehistoric and early Medieval communities of the area, as well as its possible links to the continent.

Colin Dean, Sales and Marketing Director for Orbit Homes in the Midlands, commented: “The finds at Calthorpe Gardens are fascinating. It’s been an incredible experience for the whole Orbit Homes team to watch the archaeologists undertake excavation at the site and see the sheer number and quality of the artefacts that were discovered. We’re delighted that the location has been declared as ‘significant’ and after all the work to excavate and study the finds it was wonderful to finally share some of these discoveries with the local community as well as be able to help piece together the history of the people living in the area over centuries. We look forward to finding out more about what life was like in the area as Border Archaeology continue their investigations.”

Janice McLeish, Director of Post Excavation Services at Border Archaeology added: “The excavation at Calthorpe Gardens has been a career-significant experience for the team from our MK Facility and we’re amazed to have recovered such a vast number of artefacts that date back to several key periods in history. Given the quality of these finds we’ve been able to build a magnificent picture of what life was like for the communities that inhabited Bretch Hill in the past and we’ve loved the opportunity to share these stories with the people who live in the area today.”

To learn more about how the discovery was made, what was unearthed, and what it means, watch the video below.

Calthorpe Gardens, which is located on Balmoral Avenue, offers a selection of two and three bedroom homes exclusively available with Shared Ownership. Situated on the outskirts of the charming historic market town of Banbury, Calthorpe Gardens benefits from excellent transport connections, a wide range of schools, retail outlets, and health & leisure amenities close by.

To find out more about the properties on offer at Calthorpe Gardens, please visit https://www.orbithomes.org.uk/calthorpe-gardens/.