The Early History of St Neots

The Early History of St Neots in Huntingdonshire including Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement

The earliest beginnings of man being here are probably due to its water course, the River Great Ouse, to early man a source of water, and possibly by hunting beasts while they drank, food as well, and perhaps even the odd fish or eel. There are signs of hunter-gatherers having been in the area, but time does not reveal if this was only seasonal, or if they did erect temporary or permanent shelters. During the winter dry ground would have been sparse in this boggy land.

The first true sign of long term occupation dates from the Bronze Age. Before this there are just a few finds from the St Neots area, with no guarantees of whether it was seasonal or permanent settlements.

 

 Traces of a Neolithic hearth, a few flint tools, could be signs of residency, or of travellers coming into the area during the dry season. There are signs of very early occupation in the area; some of which can be seen in the town museum, but check for opening times as a wasted trip can be very disappointing.

During the 1970s an excavation found remains of what they believed from the postholes, to be a pentagonal wooden structure. Mr G T Rudd leading this work was aware that polygonal temples had been found elsewhere, and conjectured that this may have had a similar use. Iron Age camps have also been found within modern St Neots boundaries, as well as just south at Wyboston Lakes.

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