Archaeologists find soldiers' kitchen and prehistoric remains at Hampshire farmstead

By Ben Miller | 16 January 2015

2,000 years of history could be revealed at site where German soldiers who fought for British once cooked

A photo of a man in a high-visibility jacket and hard had holding rocks on a historic site
Excavations at Barton Farm, in Hampshire, are expected to last up to 16 weeks© Courtesy CALA
Months of excavations have begun at a former military base in Winchester where a farmstead, prehistoric trackway and burial grounds were discovered by archaeologists during an initial investigation which revealed a kitchen used by soldiers.

Early evidence suggests that Barton Farm was a late-Prehistoric farm from between 500 BC and 250 AD. Trial digs found facilities used by hungry members of the Hessians – a group of German mercenaries who were employed by the British government and travelled to fight in North America during the Revolutionary War of the late 18th century.

“We already know about some of the site’s former uses, but it will be exciting to see this history revealed,” says Rob Westwood, of CALA Homes Thames.

“We have invested a lot in Barton Farm’s future but it is incredibly important to investigate the site’s history, too.

“We have been working with consultants and archaeologists for many years to study the site and we have a great opportunity, before construction work begins later this year, to uncover Barton Farm’s past.

“All of the evidence will stay in Winchester and will be available for study and to showcase Barton Farm’s past to its new residents.”

Planners expect to begin building 2,000 homes, a school and community facilities at the Farm in the spring, once top layers of soil have been removed and the buried features of the site have been excavated. Any remains will be donated to the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

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"`As many fireplaces as you have tents ...': Earthen Camp Kitchens”:
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