Archaeologists from MOLA's Northampton team working on the 15-M1 Link Road

Archaeological investigations for the A5-M1

Costain-Carillion Joint Venture (CCJV) and AECOM for Highways England

We were initially appointed by CCJV to carry out trial trenching between the A5/505 roundabout and the M1 south-east of Chalton and Bedfordshire ahead of the construction of the A5-M1 Link Road. These small, targeted excavations allowed for an estimate of the density of archaeological material over the 4.5km of the site. In collaboration with design archaeologists AECOM, who used the results of the evaluation to create individual strategies for each of the 17 areas of the construction, we:

  • Carried out general and targeted watching briefs along the length of the road, with our specialists observing the initial ground breaking to look for archaeological materials
  • Conducted topographic surveys, using GPS and Total Stations to digitally map the surface of the ground and accurately locate archaeological features
  • Carried out historic building recording on the M1 overbridge before its demolition, allowing for works to continue unrestricted
  • Performed detailed hand excavation of selected areas of dense archaeology where necessary.

The archaeological requirements of the site were complex, spanning multiple areas and covering several periods. To meet the unique needs of this project, we applied a flexible, multidisciplinary approach, using our wide range of expertise to adapt affectively to the expectations of our client and their designers. We worked closely with CCJV and AECOM, attending regular strategy meetings to ensure Highways England were informed of the latest updates and to identify necessary upcoming work

We are currently collaborating with CCJV and AECOM to ensure the project contributes to ongoing heritage education in the area. This includes holding displays, presentations and talks from our archaeologists at the site visitor centre. We are also releasing a popular book for the contractors and local residents ahead of a more in depth academic publication.

  • Urban archaeological excavation for a development project

    Archaeological Excavation

    We develop practical fieldwork strategies that ensure the best outcome in terms of safety, budget and programme.
  • Geophysical Survey

    We provide advanced ground-based sensing services that assess the potential for archaeological remains.