Roman settlement unearthed in field

Archaeologist Steve Sherlock holds a gold Saxon bracteate, unearthed in fields on the coast, near Loftus.

Archaeologist Steve Sherlock holds a gold Saxon bracteate, unearthed in fields on the coast, near Loftus.

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

AN archaeologist has uncovered the foundations for a Roman settlement on the picturesque east Cleveland coast.

Steve Sherlock, whose painstaking work in a farmer's fields near Loftus uncovered evidence of Anglo-Saxon royalty last year, has returned to the site - and been able to go even further back in time in the latest dig.

Mr Sherlock, who has been helped by volunteers from Teesside Archaeological Society, was thrilled and surprised by the look-out station, discovered just inches below the surface.

And his painstaking work has resulted in him discovering a 1,600 year-old site for creating jet jewellery.

He said: "It's another completely exciting find - even though I didn't expect to find it. I came here to find a Saxon settlement and I'm discovering a very significant Roman site, too.

"To find a significant Roman site at Street House that is contemporary with the Roman signal station at Huntcliff is fantastic. Here at Street House we have found a Roman jet working site that would have made jet jewellery."

Aerial photographs first guided Mr Sherlock's Iron Age research project to the location in 2004, showing evidence of an Iron Age enclosure, then last year, the site revealed 109 Anglo Saxon graves, dating back to the seventh century.

A hoard of brooches, pendants and beads was also uncovered in superb condition and a gold brooch - a bracteate - will go on show in a special display at Redcar's Kirkleatham Museum this week.

Coun Sheelagh Clarke, Redcar and Cleveland Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism: "This is another magnificent find that shows what a rich and varied cultural heritage we have in east Cleveland."

An open day on Sunday, September 7, from 10.30am-4pm, including guided tours at the site will clearly show visitors the entrance to the building, a cobbled road leading to the entrance and the stone foundations.

The event will also feature a craft session for people to paint a clay replica of the brooch, then have it glazed while they tour the site on a visit, expected to last 20-30 minutes.

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