Kirkham - Roman Fort
In a front garden of Myrtle Drive (shown as A on the map), just below the original Roman fort, was the site of our most successful dig so far in terms of finds. The place was riddled with Roman pottery (amphora, mortaria, Samian ware) and bricks. Most of this was in the topsoil or spoil from the building of the house but some intriguing holes (possibly post holes) were also uncovered. This is an area we would like to revisit so if any householders on Myrtle Drive are thinking about re-landscaping their gardens, Wyre Archaeology would be happy to assist.
As background to the dig, Oxford Archaeology North completed a dig several years ago (marked B on the map.) In their report they summarized the following casual finds in the area.
Shield boss found near Dow Brook Circa 1800
Tombstone of "cavalryman and barbarian type" similar to one found at Ribchester.
A coin hoard found in a small Samian jar found during construction of Kirkgate in 1853.
Much pottery, leather and other material found in the Pennine View/Myrtle Drive area in the late 1950's/early 1960's.
Indications of a rampart seen when the RAF quarters were being built - again in the 1960's.
A complete jar in orange fabric recovered from the Dow Brook in 1971.
The photographs below are from the 2011 dig. The circle in the photograph highlights a sample of Roman brick.
Unbeknown to us at the time, another dig had taken place the year before in St. Michael's road. Oxford Archaeology North uncovered a portion of a Roman bath house. There had been a spring in that area which might have been used as the water supply for the bath house; an alternative would have been to divert the Dow. The full report can be read here.