Monument record BSE 050 - Westley Road, Bury St. Edmunds, (Palaeolithic).

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Hand-axes, Acheulean, etc, and mammoth tooth found in brickearth (Gipping? glaciation) pockets extracted in the 1880s by Henry Prigg on North side of Westley Road.


Grid reference Centred TL 834 642 (66m by 32m) (Approximate)
Map sheet TL86SW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

1880s: Hand-axes, Acheulean, etc, and mammoth tooth found in brickearth (? Gipping (Wolstonian, MIS 6-10) glaciation) pockets extracted on north side of Westley Road (S4), (Prigg's No 2 pit). Human skull fragment (BSEMS 1978.282) supposedly from one of these deposits but fluorine tested and showed more recent after re-investigation of site (no finds) in 1949 (S2).

Only smallish pits shown on the 1904 OS map are the former brickworks and its pit (BSE 099, which includes a record of an undated, nearly complete, skeleton) at TL 8382 6436, and at TL 8474 6466 and TL 8349 6482 (both on the south edge of Newmarket Road!) but the 1886 map also shows a small pit just on the north side of Westley Road at TL 8341 6429 which seems the likely candidate for Prigg's No 2 pit. Note (S2) states that handaxes came from the same brickearth deposit in adjacent pits but not actually this particular pit. As the extenst no doubt changed and is unknown, the location can be considered as accurate, albeit with slight uncertainty over excat extents of workings, (S7)

See also Undated record (S1). For more details see (S2-S3).

Further info in the Suffolk Geodiversity Audit and ERPP [?] 1996 (S5),

Note that in 2018 a sizeable Roman Villa? Complex has been excavated in the vicinity, (BSE 523). This could be the source of the skeleton at BSE 099.

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <S1> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TL86SW15.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: copy (S2).
  • <S2> Article in serial: Baden Powell D F W & Oakley K P. 1952. Report on the Re-investigation of the Westley (Bury St. Edmunds) Skull Site. Baden Powell D F W & Oakley K P, Proc Prehist Soc, 18, 1952, 1-20, ill.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Wymer, J.J.. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. 138, 139.
  • <S4> Article in serial: Prigg, H.. 1885. On a Portion of a Human Skull of Supposed Palaeolithic Age from near Bury St Edmunds.. Prigg H, J Royal Anthrop Inst, 14, 1885, 51-55.
  • <S5> Personal Correspondence: Holt-Wilson. 2011. Tim Holt Wilson.
  • <S6> Digital archive: Wymer, J.J.. 1999. The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain (TERPs) The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain (TERPS). 22595.
  • <S7> Personal Correspondence: Cutler, Hannah. 2019. Personal Observations as part of the Enhancement of the Suffolk HER for the Palaeolithic & Mesolithic Periods project.
  • <S8> Digital archive: Historic England. National Record Of the Historic Environment.

Finds (9)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Mar 12 2021 2:45PM

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