AN investigation of a village common has unearthed the remains of an ancient past which had been previously unknown.

The Chess Valley Archaeological and Historical Society have been carrying out a survey of Common Wood in Penn with the help of people living around Penn and Tyler's Green.

The group have so far made a number of significant findings including Roman coins, brooches and pottery.

The dig has also found evidence of iron slag used for smelting which has pleased residents who had no idea the common was steeped in so much history.

The original survey began two years ago when the Penn and Tylers Green Residents Society purchased the wood after receiving lottery funding.

As part of the agreement, the society had to arrange an archaeological and ecological survey of the area.

The Chess Valley archaeological society was recruited for the job. Members were so fascinated with their findings last year that they embarked on a second dig which was completed on Monday evening.

Yvonne Edwards, one of the organisers, said: "The whole group found it a very interesting project and a number of locals have taken part in the excavation.

"People have been thrilled to find they have some ancient history on their doorstep."

David Harris, from the Penn and Tylers Green Residents Society, was one of several residents who were eager to help with the dig.

He said: "It was quite interesting and exciting. It has added another dimension to the purchase of the wood because we didn't think there would be anything of interest there."

Mr Harris told the Free Press that the discoveries have also surprised many experts.

He added: "It's changed the view of the history of enclosures in the Chiltern Woods.

"They have always been viewed as medieval so archaeologists from Bucks are quite excited by it."