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Site of new police station has “significant potential’ for historic remains

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Archaeologists have begun work at the site of the new police station for Cambridge at Milton that will replace the outdated Parkside police station.

Ahead of planning approval by South Cambridgeshire District Council two years ago, it was revealed that the site has “a high and significant potential for archaeological remains, particularly those dating to the prehistoric and Romano-British periods”.

Artist’s impression of the new police station that will be built at Milton once archaeologists have finished their studies.

Artist’s impression of the new police station that will be built at Milton once archaeologists have finished their studies.

A report to councillors said that site “also has a moderate to high potential for medieval remains, but only a low potential for Anglo-Saxon and post-medieval archaeology”.

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The site lies to the immediate east and north of the former Milton landfill site, and to the immediate south of Milton Park and Ride. In the past these have produced important evidence for settlement and land-use within this part of the Cam Valley during the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Romano-British periods.

“The site is judged to have a significant archaeological potential, with the potential for prehistoric, Roman and medieval pottery to be found within the site,” said the report.

“There is also the significant potential for further evidence for Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman settlement within the site.”

Artist’s impression of the new police station that will be built at Milton once archaeologists have finished their studies.

Artist’s impression of the new police station that will be built at Milton once archaeologists have finished their studies.

The site is also said to have the potential for medieval remains associated with the former windmill, and ridge and furrow recorded to its immediate north.

It is currently arable land, but the report said that “from examination of the records held on the Historic England website it is clear that there may be items of significant interest which may be exposed during works on the site.

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“Works carried out on both the Park-and-Ride and Landfill sites have exposed finds of interest”.

The dig site at Milton for a replacement police station for Cambridge. PHOTO: Archaeological Research Services Ltd


The dig site at Milton for a replacement police station for Cambridge. PHOTO: Archaeological Research Services Ltd

Archaeological Research Services’ head of field archaeology, Jim Brown, said the excavations were a source of great excitement for those working on the project.

He said: “We know there’s a great deal of past activity here from previous investigations in neighbouring developments. Evidence has revealed occupation stretching back through the Roman, Iron and Bronze Ages, with some rare finds coming to light.

“It’s a landscape that’s inspired many archaeological investigations to date and we’re eager to start uncovering what lies beneath the soil over the coming weeks and months.”

Jackie Goldby, strategic estates director for Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said: “Ensuring this site is thoroughly examined is an important part of the development process, making the most of the opportunity to find out more about the history and heritage of this area before we embark on a new chapter for policing in the south of Cambridgeshire.”

The dig site at Milton for a replacement police station for Cambridge. PHOTO: Archaeological Research Services Ltd


The dig site at Milton for a replacement police station for Cambridge. PHOTO: Archaeological Research Services Ltd

Cambridgeshire Constabulary submitted an application to Greater Cambridge Shared Planning in September 2020 for the new police station to replace the outdated facilities at Parkside Police Station.

The new building will be situated next to the Park & Ride facility in Milton and will include:

  • Enhanced facilities enabling the Constabulary to respond to, and investigate, complex crimes such as fraud and online investigations more effectively
  • Increase in cell provision from 12 to 24 to help meet future demand
  • The facilities and ability to better meet demand as population growth continues
  • Better road access, subject to less traffic, enabling officers to respond to calls for service more efficiently

 

 

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