Edward Thurlow Leeds forebears came to Eye in 1810 and were tenants of Eyebury Farm. The last of the family to leave the farm was Leeds' mother Mary, when she came to Oxford to live with him in 1917. Having a very keen interest in archaeology, Leeds became involved in the excavation of Bronze Age barrows near Tanholt House, Eyebury. In 1911 he excavated one of these barrows known locally as 'Oliver Cromwell's Hill'. He found a skeleton and pottery vessel dating to the Bronze Age. He also collected the flint and stone tools seen in the photographs, all of which he donated to the Ashmolean Museum. Other objects from the area can be found at Peterborough Museum.
The area around Eye is rich in archaeological and historical features. Crowland Abbey is nearby, as are the Roman sites at Caster and Wansford. Mesolithic sites were discovered during the 1988 South West Dykes Survey. Gravel extraction is still being carried out at Tanholt Farm, where Leeds found flint tools.
The parish of Eye contains several archaeological features. Dating from the Bronze Age is a cremation, drove road, field system, pits and post holes and round houses. Iron Age features are a settlement and field system. A field system and inhumation date to the Roman period.
Click to enlarge
Southwest Dykes Survey, 1988, Fenland Archaeological Trust
D. Garrow, 2000, An Archaeological Evaluation at Tanholt Farm, Eyebury Quarry, Cambridgeshire Archaeology Unit, Report No. 401
Find out more about: