Pre-Roman and Roman

There is very little evidence on the ground for any occupation prior to the Abbey’s founding. There has been very few finds in the immediate area.

A Palaeolithic axe was reportedly found some time before 1992, but this is thought to be a chance glacial find. Some Mesolithic and Neolithic finds, mainly flints and some axes, were made west of Ramsey in the Ramsey Heights area and some to the east towards Ramsey Hollow. A shard of possibly prehistoric pottery was uncovered in 2018 in Area 2, although this is thought to be residual.

There is no evidence of Bronze Age people within the island. However with the number of Bronze Age settlements in the area (FenGate, Flag Fen, Must Farm to name but a few), it would seem likely that there would have been some activity, possibly settlement close by. Barrows were found on a spur stretching into the fen towards Ramsey FortyFoot. A Beaker burial (cremation) was discovered between Ramsey St Marys and Pondersbridge. Any evidence may have been destroyed by later activity, again it may just be waiting to be found.

The site seems to be have been worked in the Iron Age. There is what could be a field system dating from that era in the area 8B. But again there is very little evidence of Iron Age settlement. No other Iron Age finds have been made in the immediate area

There have been reports of Roman finds within the area. A coin hoard reputedly dating from the 4th Century was found in 1890. A Roman pavement was found in the town in 1774. Roman Pottery was found at the abbey and Booths Hill as reported in “The Fenland in Roman Times” , published in 1970.

Some Roman pottery, tesserae and some amphora pot end pieces have been found in a collection of finds gathered over many years by staff and pupils at the school. There was also some possible Roman pottery found in the 2018 excavation in Area 2.

There is a possibility that there is a Roman feature in the area 8A, certainly the geophysics results suggest this. An excavation found a possible foundation consisting of what appeared to be gravel, sand and possibly lime mortar mix. In places this feature was solid enough to be foundational and elsewhere less so breaking apart easily. There were very few finds, unfortunately none were dateable