Upton dig could find remains of a Roman suburb

Archaeologists hope to uncover up to 1,000 years of Northampton’s history when they investigate a building site on the west of the town. 

Roman body found by Northampton archaeologists [Credit: Northamptom Chronicle]
A dig on the latest phase of the Upton development is planned to take place next month. 

Early examinations of the nine- acre site have suggested there could be both Iron Age and Roman finds beneath the ground. 

Steve Parry, from Northamptonshire Archaeology, said: “The exciting thing about this project is that it gives us the opportunity to look at quite an extensive area. 

“And we believe occupation on the site runs from the early Iron Age through to the end of the Roman period. So it’s getting on for 1,000 years of settlement and farming on the site.” 

Initial tests on the site, which were carried out more than a decade ago, suggest there could be a road buried beneath the ground with a number of buildings facing onto it. 

It is believed the buildings could have been a suburb of the Roman settlement of Duston. 

Mr Parry said: “We carried out extensive work on the site about 12 years ago and we identified a road with a series of properties coming off it. 

“In the Roman period it would have perhaps been a suburb of the Roman town of Duston. 

“There are certainly a number of plots leading off the road and it looks as though some of them had structures in them. 

“So we’re fairly confident of what we’re likely to find, but there’s really no way of telling what might actually be down there.” 

Work on the site is expected to start in May. 

It is thought the archaeologists will work on the land for about a month. 

After they have completed their work, it is planned to build a complex of new houses and shops on the site. 

Doncaster-based developer, Keepmoat, was given planning permission to build on the site last year. 

The development will include a pub, nursery, shops, restaurant and an old people’s home, as well as 324 new homes. 

Source: Northamptom Chronicle [April 28, 2012]

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