Puckleweb - history and archaeology

Pucklechurch village is situated on the edge of the Cotswolds. The parish of Pucklechurch lies in the hundred (a county division) of Pucklechurch, about seven miles east of the city of Bristol. It comprises about 2258 acres. The hundred once formed part of the ancient Forest of Kingswood and is traceable back to AD 950 when King Eadred granted by charter 25 hides of land at Pucelancyrcan to the abbey at Glastonbury. The Manor of Pucklechurch then passed to the Abbey of Bath in the 13th century.
The earliest archaeological evidence in the parish of Pucklechurch are flint stones found during excavation for a gas pipeline through the parish 3 years ago and which date to the Stone Age period, probably the Mesolithic era (c.10,000BC). The next period represented is the Bronze Age. There is a tumulus (a burial mound) situated in a field off the Shortwood Road out of Pucklechurch. This tumulus will have no definite dating until it is excavated, but more than likely it belongs to the period of c. 2000 - 800BC. There is a possibility that the centre of Pucklechurch village could have been an ancient settlement place but only further surveying will confirm this. The Iron Age follows on from the Bronze Age and although not as yet represented by archaeological evidence in Pucklechurch itself, there are Iron Age hillforts in the hills above the parish. The Roman evidence in the parish is overwhelming. Lying close to the tumulus is the Roman Road to Bitton running north-south. Also there is substantial evidence of a Romano-British settlement in the Parkfield Road area and there were Roman coins found in the Feltham Road area. On the edge of the parish a lead Roman coffin was found several years ago on the road to Hinton.

Pucklechurch is the only 'hundred' centre in the whole of South Gloucestershire to be a settlement both today and over a thousand years ago.

The substantial amount of archaeological information collected in and around Pucklechurch from different prehistoric periods tells us that it has been an important centre of activity for several thousand years. In Pucklechurch we have a special example of 'history through time' because of its unique position high above the surrounding areas placing it in a very prominent position. Carrying on from the prehistoric evidence, Pucklechurch developed into a thriving village in early Saxon times and was the setting for the murder of Edmund, a young Saxon King of Wessex, whose own son united all the Saxon kingdoms some years later and became the first King of England. Today it still remains an exciting debate as to whether Edmund sited his palace or estate hunting lodge in Pucklechurch, which he frequently visited for relaxation and sporting pursuits during this warring period of history.

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