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Roman Lancaster

Roman Lancaster continues to be a fascinating place that has intrigued scholars and members of the public for many years

Although it is likely that people were already living on or near the site, the Roman fort is where the present city of Lancaster really began and over the years many excavations have taken place. Indeed, the area continued to be significant with first an early medieval minster and then the medieval castle and priory as well as more recent allotments.

These two reports illustrate very well the process of archaeological investigation and discovery that has taken place over the last 100 years:

The report by Jason Wood of Heritage Consultancy Services draws together the archaeological work that has taken place, providing a comprehensive overview of work to date with a focus on the Roman heritage of the site. This analysis ends with the exciting news that geophysics has brought to light what is very likely to be a Romano-Celtic temple. If true, this will be only the second to be discovered in the North of England – the other being at Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall.

The report by the Lancaster and District Heritage Group details the excavation that was undertaken in 2015 on part of what is now proposed to be a Romano-Celtic temple, before the geophysics revealed the rest of the building. It demonstrates the process of discovery and understanding that takes place as further pieces are added to the puzzle and the importance of recording as much detail as possible and of undertaking post-excavation analysis. In the light of the geophysics it can now be returned to with fresh eyes.

Lancaster City Council commissioned the report from Heritage Consultancy Services to gain a full understanding of the work that had already taken place on site. The council has set up an expert advisory group that is helping to develop a research framework for the fort site and related adjacent areas so that priorities for future investigation can be decided based on what we know so far and following consultation with archaeological professionals, academics, heritage groups and members of the public.

Last updated: 06 December 2022

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