Wigan Pupils' dig for ancient road

Pupils' dig for ancient road

By Natalie Walker from Wigan Today

Budding archaeologists are determined to find a historic road that could prove Wigan was an important Roman settlement.

Volunteers from Wigan Archaeological Society performed a dig at St William's Catholic Primary School's playing field, in Ince Green Lane, to find evidence of a Roman road that linked Wigan and Manchester.
They believe Wigan is on the site of a Roman settlement called Coccium and discovering the road would provide further proof.

An ordnance survey map from 1849 shows two dotted lines running across Amberswood Common to Common Nook.
The map was drawn up by Edmund Sibson, who
had also traced routes from Wigan to Warrington and Preston.
The Wigan Archaeological Society also found evidence of the road during a dig in 2003 at Walmsley Park, Ince.

Brian Parr, a member of the Wigan Archaeological Society, said: “If we can find this road at certain points and prove it exists beyond reasonable doubt, it can prove Wigan was an important Roman settlement.
“If we can show there was a confluence of three Roman roads, Wigan to Preston, Warrington to Wigan and Wigan to Manchester, we can say Wigan was strategically important to the Romans.”

He said there had been a lot of Roman remains found in Wigan which could lead to proving Coccium was on the site where Wigan is now.

Pupils from surrounding schools, including Ince C of E Primary School, PEMBEC at Kingsdown High School, and St Patrick's Roman Catholic Primary School, have also been invited to dig on the site.