Poulton's Roman past discovered

From the Blackpool Gazette

WORKMEN digging new sewers have unearthed part of Poulton's Roman past.

The remains of a Roman roundhouse, thought to date back to the second century, were discovered as United Utilities were working on a new pipeline project, on grazing land near Garstang Road East.

The amazing find was unearthed five weeks ago as work on a £10m sewer improvement scheme began. As is the case with any large scheme, an archaeologist was present on-site in case anything of historic interest appeared. Within hours of the workmen moving in, it became clear that a significant discovery had been made.

Alison Plummer, from the Lancaster office of Oxford Archaeology, which works with United Utilities, said: “As the topsoil was stripped away, we realised we were looking at something very exciting and rare.

“Finds like this are very rare in Lancashire, and especially rare in this area, there are only two other Roman roundhouses that we know of in the county – one outside Lancaster and one near Lathom.

“Our team of 10 archaeologists are now working at the football pitch-sized site, painstakingly uncovering and documenting what remains of the Romano-British roundhouse which is around 10m diameter.”

A small amount of black burnished ware pottery, thought to date from around the second century, has been found which has helped experts date the roundhouse.

The remains of the house, which the team believe would have been a dwelling house, include an outside drainage gulley, holes for the timber support posts, some cobbles and a storage pit.

The archaeological team believe they have also discovered signs of a further roundhouse a few metres away, suggesting this could have been the site of an early settlement.

Local people are invited to see the site for themselves tomorrow as part of an open day before the site is covered over once more.

Poulton-based archaeologist Pascal Eloy said: “This is such an important find and it really re-writes Poulton's history.

“Previously there was a big gap in history in this area, so it is really exciting to have this link with the Romans here.”

The site will be open between 11am and 3pm for members of the public to see the discoveries.

The team is appealing to people to keep away at other times in case the site is disturbed.

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Archaeologists will be on-site for the next two weeks documenting every detail of their finds and taking photographs which will eventually form the basis of an information archive.

Castleford Roman Festival

From Pontefract and Castleford Express

Roman festival

By Staff Copy

TOWNSFOLK can celebrate the changing of the seasons at Castleford's first-ever Roman spring festival.

On Saturday April 12, Roman legionnaires, costumed craftworkers and a themed market will take over the town’s Carlton Street for the historical spectacular.

The festival takes place from 10am to 4pm and is part of the Time Travellers project, organised by Wakefield Council and sponsored by Yorkshire Renaissance.

Gloucester reenactments

From the Birmingham Mail.

DR Who may be materialising in Gloucester this summer, but visitors won't need a Tardis to travel back in time during April.

Over one weekend more than 90 displays and activities a day will see Romans back on the historic streets of Gloucester along with medieval knights, Vikings, Victorian sailors and World War II military vehicles.

While Gloucester hosts a Dr Who convention in June celebrating the hit BBC TV time traveller series, hundreds of re-enactors will transform the city for the Through The Ages Live festival on April 19-20.

History and heritage are second nature to one of England's top cathedral cities, but the festival will bring Gloucester's past to life.

Saturday will see a grand parade from the Cathedral to the historic docks featuring St George on horseback while other special guests include Henry VIII and his wives. Roman encampments will appear once again on the streets along with medieval knights while English civil war scenes will be re-created and Victorian classrooms set-up.

At the Historic docks, replica Roman, Viking and 18th Century boats will also be on display, complete with Nelsonian and Victorian sailors.

Main events will be centred around the cathedral and the docks although the action takes place throughout the city centre. But the weekend will not be just about watching: there will also be have-a-go sessions including medieval circus skills and archery.

For full details visit www. gloucester.gov.uk

From Anne Dicks on this year's CICERO Latin competition

I thought you would like to know that preparations for the second European 6th Form CICERO competition (to be held at Malvern St James on April 18th) are well under way. We are delighted with the number of entrants, some of whom will be travelling quite a distance to get to us. You can see details on the multi-lingual website I have created for the competition .

This year we have France, Italy, Spain and Andorra joining us and I have been liaising with my European colleagues to finalise the questions : a translation from Latin and questions on the myth of Hercules. Anyone who doubts the value of learning Latin should take note that it actually provides a valid reason for young people across Europe to interact with each other as well as exercising their brains!

The one sad thing about this year's competition is that it proved absolutely impossible for all countries to agree on the same date, so it is taking place at two different times : Saturday 29th March for France and Italy and Friday 18th April for Spain, Andorra and the UK (this will be the main video-conferencing date). The good news is that I am travelling out to Lodi, just outside Milan, for the Italian competition which will be taking place in a prestigious building – the public Library. It will be great to meet Alessandra and Annalisa who are the Italian organisers, and I will send you some photos as soon as I can. I will ask Patrick to send photos of the competition in Paris and Jean-Luc to send some from Strasbourg.

We are really grateful for support from Boris Johnson, Lindsey Davis, Tony Robinson, Ashley Carter, Barbara Bell, Guy de la Bedoyere and Sir Anthony Cleaver as well as many Classical organisations (and it is still not too late to enter the competition: students might be interested to know that there are substantial cash prizes to be won as well as a beautiful silver trophy).

I will be in touch!
from Anne

Anne Dicks

classics@malvernstjames.co.uk

anne@pyrrha.me.uk

Pyrrha's Roman Pages http://www.pyrrha.me.uk

CICERO Latin competition http://www.ciceroeuropa.eu