Monday, 1 September 2008

Roman remains found in a farmers field near Loftus

Redcar and Cleveland Council is inviting the public to step back in time a staggering 1,600 years to see how the Romans laid the foundations for a settlement with fantastic views over the North Riding countryside.

Freelance archaeologist Steve Sherlock, whose painstaking work in a farmer's fields near Loftus uncovered evidence of Anglo-Saxon royalty last year, has returned to the site - and been able to go even further back in time in the latest dig.

Aerial photographs first guided Steve's Iron Age research project to the location in 2004, showing evidence of an Iron Age enclosure, then last year, the site revealed 109 Anglo Saxon graves, dating back to the seventh century.

A hoard of brooches, pendants and beads was also uncovered in superb condition and a gold brooch - a bracteate - will go on show in a special display at Redcar's Kirkleatham Museum this week.

Steve, who has been helped by volunteers from Teesside Archaeological Society, is thrilled and surprised by the look-out station, discovered just inches below the surface.

An open day on Sunday, September 7, from 10.30am-4pm, including guided tours at the site will clearly show visitors the entrance to the building, a cobbled road leading to the entrance and the stone foundations.

Sunday's open day will also feature a craft session for people to paint a clay replica of the brooch, then have it glazed while they tour the site on a visit, expected to last 20-30 minutes.

To reach the site, drive to Loftus Town Hall, turn on to North road, then right on to Micklow Lane, following the narrow road and then veer right on to Street House. Parking on the grass verge, opposite a row of terraced cottages, is limited.

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