Prehistoric & Roman Finds at Little Ilford School

Little Ilford siteAOC was commissioned by CgMs Consulting to carry out an excavation in advance of the construction of a new school building at Little Ilford School, London Borough of Newham. This led to the discovery of evidence of prehistoric settlement going back 5000 years, including what may have been a prehistoric boundary ditch and pits containing pottery dating to the Neolithic period. Some of the pottery was of a type known as Mortlake ware, a sub-group of Peterborough ware. It is decorated with rope impressions and indentations made by pressing fingertips into the wet clay (below, centre).

Of great interest was the finding of an Iron Age roundhouse (below, right). The remains were largely pits and postholes, with one sherd of Iron Age pottery. The house had four internal postholes arranged in a square. The doorway faced east and consisted of two posts forming a porch. These postholes were a little larger than the postholes of the walls and it is in one of the porch postholes that the pottery sherd was found.

Little Ilford pit Mortlake wareLittle Ilford postholes 

Ditches, pits and postholes indicating activity during the Roman period were also found during the excavation.  Again, only a small amount of pottery was found, including a small sherd dating to c. AD180-410.

The fact that the site was in use from the earliest prehistoric periods through Roman times to the present day indicates that Little Ilford has been a favourable place to live and work for several millennia.