Under PPG16, (http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1144057) prior to the widening of the motorway, Oxford Archaeology undertook archaeological digs in close proximity to Junction 8. The findings were of considerable interest, and full details of the finds will be posted at a later date once the full reports have been published, probably in the spring of 2008. However, it would now seem certain that there is plenty of evidence to show settlement and possible industrial activity across a wide period of time, with remains from the Iron Age, Roman (early 1st - 3rd centuries), Saxon, Norman and late Medieval times. (See basic list of finds below.)
Of most interest was the Roman farmstead, which appears at this stage (but still to be fully assessed) that it may have been abandoned during a time of unrest at St Albans and then re-inhabited and expanded afterwards.
The Hemel Hempstead Gazette carried a large article on 25th October 2006, which covered the dig and the finds, and included some excellent photographs. The article highlighted the importance of the finds with the following headlines: RELICS DESCRIBED AS MOST IMPORTANT DISCOVERY FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTURY – ROMAN REMAINS UNEARTHED BESIDE MOTORWAY WORKS.