On Wednesday, 5 February, Argent Related and Historic England invited the local community down for an interactive experience at the former Welbourne Centre site, which was hosting an open day as part of the current archaeological excavation by Pre-Construct Archaeology.
The day started with visits from local schools, including Welbourne Primary School, Ferry Lane Primary School and Holy Trinity CofE Primary School in the morning, followed by an open day for the general public. Visitors were able to watch the dig in action, and ask the archaeologists on hand about their work and finds so far.
As part of the excavation, archaeologists have uncovered tools made by our Stone Age ancestors some 10,000 years ago, as well as evidence of the area’s Saxon past. Tottenham Hale is a Saxon place-name but there had been no firm finds from this era, until now. Planned archaeological investigation at the site by Down Lane Park revealed 11th-century features including a large enclosure, a double ditched boundary, postholes, pits and enough pottery from the period to indicate a settlement. This is the furthest back in the area’s history experts had ever been able to trace through archaeological evidence, and further supports the case for Tottenham’s Saxon origins.
However, archaeologists were able to go even further back in time when they discovered tools from the early Mesolithic period (around 10,000 years old), including two axes and multiple sharpened flints, and littered flint fragments – the result of striking the surface of a flint stone to sharpen it to a point. The team continue to investigate to further understand the significance of the site and whether this may have been part of a permanent or at least long-term ‘home-base’. The finds have been made during investigation by Pre-Construct Archaeology and assisted by consultants RPS, as a planning requirement of Haringey Council, on the recommendation of Historic England’s Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service (GLAAS). The archaeological work is being funded by Argent Related and agreed with and closely monitored by Historic England to ensure the site is carefully excavated, fully recorded and best understood.
Tom Goodall, Director, Argent Related Head of Residential:
“We are delighted to host this open day, allowing local schools and residents to get a first-hand look at the integral works taking place as we commence works on delivering the new centre of Tottenham Hale. These archaeological finds demonstrate the rich history of the area and we look forward to delivering a key part of Tottenham Hale’s bright future, starting with the Welbourne site, set to deliver 131 council homes and a new health centre to serve up to 30,000 local people.”