Evidence for settlement in the Bronze Age is extensive, particularly on the light, well-drained soils in the south and east of Essex. There was also widespread expansion on to the Boulder Clay plateau, as demonstrated by recent excavations at Stansted airport in advance of major developments at the airport. These have revealed the complete plan of a Middle Bronze Age settlement, consisting of several roundhouses set within a roughly rectangular fenced enclosure. Finds from rubbish pits and waterholes/wells include plant remains, animal bones, pottery, flint and bone tools. To the north, in the valley of a small stream lay the well preserved remains of a round barrow and a group of cremation burials contemporary with the settlement. These discoveries represent a substantial fragment of the Bronze Age landscape, which will contribute much to our understanding of this important period.
Systems of ditched rectangular fields have been identified at North Shoebury and at Mucking, and many more are known as cropmarks.
The Late Bronze Age (1,000-750 BC) saw the construction of ditched circular enclosures, and there are many examples in Essex. These enclosures are known as Springfield Type monuments after the type-site at Springfield Lyons near Chelmsford. This site was enclosed by a substantial ditch and internal bank, revetted with posts to form a raised rampart. A substantial gatehouse marked the principal entrance, which led to a central round house.