Roman remains found at Bathwick

Roman remains have been discovered in an archaeological excavation in Bathwick. A specialist firm is carrying out an excavation ahead of building work by Ashford Homes, at the corner of Bathwick Street and Henrietta Road in Bathwick. 

Excavations in Bathwick [Credit: This is Bath]
They have uncovered the remains of several Roman structures, as well as a Roman road surface. 

Experts believe it is an early Roman site, with at least one dwelling divided into both domestic and industrial areas. 

Context One Archaeological Services fieldwork manager Stuart Milby said: "The walls and hearths to the west of the surfaces form a small complex of buildings and may offer a glimpse into the transition of Bathwick between the Roman and medieval periods. 

"Further evidence of occupation can be seen to the east, where the walls of a larger building are currently being investigated." 

The land disappeared under housing in the 1920s but was previously parkland. 

Mr Milby said: "The site presents very good levels of preservation, in terms of both features and finds." 

The excavation is likely to continue for at least the next month. 

Excavations in Bathwick [Credit: This is Bath]
Meanwhile, managers at the Roman Baths are stepping up their efforts to bring home a hoard of around 30,000 coins found in the city. 

The hoard, which dates back to 270AD, was discovered in 2008 at the site of work on the Gainsborough Hotel in Beau Street. 

Experts at the British Museum are sifting through the coins, known as the Beau Street Hoard, to discover their value. 

As reported in last week's Chronicle, the Roman Baths wants to raise the £150,000 it expects will be needed to acquire, conserve and display the third-century coins. 

It is thought the coins may have been hidden by their owner during a period of turmoil when the Roman Empire was brought close to collapse. 

Museum manager Stephen Clews said: "This is one of the biggest hoards of Roman coins ever found and is very exciting. 

"We are hoping to display them here at the museum, as they were found in Bath. 

"To do that we need to raise a significant amount of money, which we are working on." 

Excavations in Bathwick [Credit: This is Bath]
The coins, making up one of the five largest hoards ever found, have been declared treasure trove at an inquest. 

Under this rule the finder and the landowner are entitled to half each of the value. 

The exact value of the coins is unknown, as most of them have been fused together in a block, making identification and counting difficult. 

Around 50 are currently at the Roman Baths, while the rest are at the British Museum in London, where they are being analysed. 

Once the exact value has been determined, the Roman Baths can buy them back, with the money going to the landowner and the archaeologist who found them. 

The valuation and analysis is expected to take a year. 

Anyone wanting to help with a donation is asked to phone the Roman Baths administrator on 01225 477773. 

Source: This is Bath [March 29, 2012]

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