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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Survey shows up Roman remains near Cockermouth and Papcastle

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL survey has revealed new evidence of a Romano-British settlement in Papcastle and Cockermouth.

A six-week survey of land alongside the River Derwent was carried out by Grampus Heritage after the floods revealed bits of Roman pottery. The survey started in June and was funded by Bassenthwaite Reflections.

Project manager Mark Graham said the geophysical survey had revealed that the settlement was much larger than previously thought and had unveiled one on the south side of the river which includes buildings, a road, ditched enclosure and an iron working site.

A large Roman building was also discovered on the north side of the river which is believed to be a bath house.

A community excavation will take place from Monday until Friday, September 3 and local volunteers will be invited along to help investigate some of the features revealed during the survey.

Mr Graham said: “We have many questions to answer and I think that the dig will be really exciting.

“We will be investigating a range of very interesting features during the dig and hope to learn more about the relationship between the settlement and the river.

“The find has really transformed what we thought we knew about Roman Cockermouth and how they lived in that period and that Cockermouth had a flourishing Romano culture.

“People always say that the Romans wouldn’t have built by a river but our finds have all been by the river. We will not know whether a prior flood event has sealed in these finds until we start the community excavation.”

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