A Bronze Age palstave, or early bronze axe, was found at Rectory Farm, Little Shelford. The axe dates from 2500 BC to 701 BC. It was presented to a museum.
Iron Age settlement
Settlement north west of Little Shelford Early Iron Age to 5th century Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD.
A series of settlement sites of Iron age and Roman British. By railway line on Hauxton road. (use map pic)
This extensive enclosure complex lies on level arable fields that show no surface evidence of its existence.
Scheduled ancient monument north west of Little Shelford (off hauxton Road)
“the aeriel photpgraph shows an iron age and roman british settlement site with square and circular enclosures.”
there is still evidence of Iron Age and Roman occupation close to both sides of the
river Cam and which is visible from aerial photographs.
The most significant Iron Age and Roman archaeological remains are
the settlements situated to the north-east and south west of the
present-day rail line. The sites now remain as a crop mark and a
palimpsest of Iron Age round huts and rectangular enclosures, with
evidence of continuing settlement into the Roman period.
Environmental evidence shows an agriculture based on wheat, barley
and peas, and cattle grazed on water meadows; Crop marks and palimpsests are
something of a rarity due to coprolite mining around Cambridgeshire,
and the preservation of the Little Shelford sites is nationally important.
D-shaped enclosure, 6 circular enclosures (? possibly barrow circles), linear ditch and pits. b) Complex of enclosures, ditches and pits. The site lies north of the railway
Roman coin hoard
A hoard of 44 coins "from Shelford" contains 4 of Claudius II, 1 of Gallienus, 18 of Victorinus, 6 of Tetricus I, and 1 of Tetricus II, along with others not identified. The latest coins belong to the y ears 270 - 273 AD. Now in the CAAM.
1990 M11 survey. “south of the Shelford Road lies an area of Roman kilns discovered during construction of the M11.”
Saxon cemetery 410 to 700 AD
Burials of the pagan Anglo Saxon period were discovered in a sand-pit close to the River Cam and opposite the mill at Little Shelford. An associated find of saucer-brooches, a 'Kentish' shape buckle, and beads are in CAAM.
Vikings in Shelford
The transition of Anglo-Saxon rule to the Viking Danelaw had a big effect
on the village. As an outpost at the edge of the Danelaw, lying within a
region of great conflict, Little Shelford became an important strategic
location. The Vikings who sacked Cambridge are known to have
wintered at Shelford. At the time, only a single village (Shelford) existed,
and debate remains as to whether the ‘wintering’ site refers to the
present-day Little Shelford or Great Shelford. However there is a strong
argument for Little Shelford as the site, as a settlement here would
control the river ford, the topmost navigation point, and the Minster.
The half-mile island in the river near present-day Little Shelford, now
referred as the Hermitage, would have also provided a good site for
keeping boats and securing an army. We know that Vikings used a similar
location for this purpose on the River Trent.
There are also indications of a working coinage mint at Shelford. Coinage
from this mint is extremely rare, but coins have been found in the
Cuerdale horde excavated in 1905 next to the River Ribble at Cuerdale
in Lancashire, issued in the name of Earl Sihtric by somebody called
Gundibert working at a mint in ‘Sceldfor’ (in modern English, ‘Shelford’).
This horde is thought to have been deposited between 903 and 910
AD. The addition of a Danish mint and encampment to our picture of
Little Shelford, along with the Anglo-Saxon Minster, demonstrates the
village’s centrality to Viking trade and economy.
Sam 73 (m11 document)
Sam 58 Roman settlement north of Hauxton (Map 6 execprt)