Roman expectations at new Lancaster archaeological dig

Some of the team at the dig
Some of the team at the dig

Evidence of Lancaster’s Roman past is expected to be uncovered as a new archaeological dig gets under way.

The two-week dig taking place on Lancaster’s Castle Hill seeks to test the theories on the city’s Roman past.

A number of forts could be discovered at the new excavation which is part of the Beyond the Castle project and finishes on June 3.

Trenches dug in the late 1920s and early 1970s have been re-opened to seek out geothermal data relating to Lancaster’s Late Roman Shore Fort.

The Shore Fort was one of a succession of Roman Forts, dating from the first to fourth centuries, which occupied Lancaster’s Castle Hill. The site near Lancaster Castle and the Priory has not been dug on for 41 years.

Jason Wood, excavation director and heritage consultant to the Beyond the Castle project, said the team of 20 volunteers are finding evidence of a Roman fort 
traditionally built upon the coastline.

He said: “It is extraordinary to have such survival close to the city centre. Lancaster undersells itself on its heritage and it seems that this is a moment we should be shouting from the rooftops.

“We’ve had a number of visitors coming to have a go themselves, including some American students from Iceland and Syrian refugees yesterday.” The dig is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, led by Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council.