month's resistivity survey of the playing fields behind St William's RC
School on Ince Green Lane has produced a very positive result. Despite
intense industrial activity in the area, it looks like we could well have
detected the line of the Roman Road. This particular area was chosen
because of the projected line from the well defined section on the 1849
map at Amberswood Common. Initially we thought the site had escaped the
ravages of industrialisation but on further investigation we found two
railway lines crossing the area at various times in the nineteenth
century. However, the detected feature does not correspond with either of
them but tends to follow the line of our projection. (Eagle-eyed readers
may have noticed that the red projection lines which indicate the line of
the Road, cross the old school at a lower point than on my previous maps (newsletter
No.99). I'm not cheating - the first projection I did was wrong and I
did corrected it before we carried out the survey - honest.)
The next step would obviously be to excavate but there is a problem, -
this is a school playing field maintained by the Local Education
Authority. As expected they are not keen on us disrupting the school's
term-time activities. However, in order not to miss this great opportunity
to get all the local schools involved in their local heritage, Tom has
been in contact with the LEA and has so far received a positive response
from them. The school headmaster is very keen, as are the school
governors, so hopefully in the next few weeks we should be able to
Roman Fort in Wigan?
More exciting news is coming from the post-excavation
work being carried out by Oxford Archaeology North on the 2005 bathhouse
excavations. This includes the strongest evidence yet for the presence of
a Roman fort in the heart of the town centre. Military style wooden tent
pegs have turned up in the environmental samples taken from the vee-shaped
ditch found in the Ship Yard excavations.
on the shallow side, this ditch (see newsletter
No.81), has alone been enough to convinced Ian Miller, of Oxford
Archaeology North, that there was more than just a civilian settlement at
Wigan. These latest finds may well prove him right.
Another remarkable find is a quantity of cube shaped tiles. Ian is
reluctant to call them tesseri as they are too big - 6.5cm (2.5") cubed -
but they are made of the same material as the other tiles. My theory is
that that they were used as filling-in pieces between the floor tiles in
the hypocaust rooms. Hypocaust floors were generally made of two layers of
large tiles (0.5m square) to bridge the gaps between the columns (pilae).
As the cubes are the same thickness they could be decorative pieces in the
gaps between the floor tiles (just a thought).
It is with great sadness we have to report the death of one of our
long-term members. Charles Smith died suddenly at work last month; he was
57. Charles worked as a joiner and it was while he was working away in
Crew that he collapsed and died of heart failure. He was Mandy Singleton's
brother-in-law and had been a member of the society for over 10 years. He
was very supportive of all our activities, hardly missing any of our
meetings and trips and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with
his wife, Sheila (Mandy's sister) and all his family.
At our next meeting Tom wants to discuss our current spending
allowance. i.e. The amount that the committee can spend without having to
present it at a full meeting. This is currently at £50, but with the
prospect of a high-profile project on the horizon, this figure may need to
Next WAS Meeting
Wednesday 4th April at the District Scout HQ (Baden Powell Centre) in
Greenough Street, starting at 7.30 pm as usual.. This month's speaker is
Dot Brun who is the Finds Liaison officer for Lancashire and Cumbria.
Based in Preston's Military Museum, she is the person to contact if you
need to report any artefact that you may think is of antiquity. She will
be bringing us all the recent news on the work of the Portable Antiques
Hope to see you there. B.A.