REMAINS of a Roman settlement have been found during work to improve the A66.

Highways England’s £5 million Eden Valley project made the discovery at Kirkby Thore in Cumbria.

As well as foundations of the original Roman road, traces of Roman life, and death, have been identified.

Pottery, post-holes for timber housing and a Roman grave have all been discovered near the village in the past few weeks.

The grave was found as workers laid a new water pipe near houses with archaeologists marking and photographing features before it was re-covered.

Highways England project manager Steve Mason said: “As we’re essentially replacing the ancient foundations of the A66 between Low Moor and Kirkby Thore we realised before starting the work that we might come across Roman remains.

“We’ve worked very closely with archaeologists for several months and it’s been very interesting to see what kind of things are turning up.

“It has added a bit more complexity to planning and delivering the improvements but we’ve been determined from the outset to ensure that what we find on site is treated seriously and sensitively.”

The route of the modern A66 roughly follows an important Roman road which linked the Roman forts and settlements of Cumbria with the Roman forts and settlements of North Yorkshire.