Roman artefacts at village homes site

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered around 100 Roman and Iron Age artefacts in a Hertfordshire village.

The find, which uncovered the remains of historic second century buildings, wells and a small kiln, was made on a Welwyn road – believed to sit next to a major Roman route going from St Albans to Colchester.

Experts from Hertford-based Archaeological Solutions (AS) were sent in as part of the planning application for Netherdown to build seven homes – Trevena Gardens – which were opened just off School Lane last week.

Andrew Newton, assistant projects manager at AS, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he believed the find could be an outbuilding of a nearby villa used by workmen.

“Late Iron Age and Roman remains from Welwyn form one of the densest concentrations in Hertfordshire.

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“The so-called ‘Welwyn Complex’ of remains lies scattered around the modern village and includes Iron Age chieftain’s burials, Roman villas and industrial remains.

“Archaeological remains were expected at the School Lane site due to the wealth of Roman archaeology previously discovered nearby and because a Roman road is thought to have passed close-by.

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“The archaeological remains discovered at the site add to what is known about the area in the Roman period and are thought to be associated with one of the two nearby Roman villas at Lockleys and Dicket Mead.”

Finds from the site also included several “interesting” examples of personal items including a silver brooch and a pair of tweezers, as well as pottery and a beam slot for a timber wall.

Mr Newton added: “The pottery included a variety of finewares. Among these were several examples of the ubiquitous Samian ware, which was imported to Britain from Roman Gaul in large quantities.

“It has been possible to identify several of the pieces as the work of individual potters.

“The base of a plate or dish is stamped with the words ‘CETTAS.F’, which indicates that it is the work of Cettus of Les Martre-des-Veyre in central Gaul.

“A piece of black Samian ware which shows a reclining figure of Apollo was probably the work of the potter Butrio, who operated between AD120 and 145 in Lezoux, another settlement in central Gaul.”

It is believed what is now Trevena Gardens lay on the south-west periphery of the village until the Medieval era.

It had since remained undeveloped farmland before homes were constructed on School Lane during the mid 20th century.

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