HISTORIC artefacts have been found on the site of a controversial housing development on the outskirts of a village.

Ancient foundations, brickwork and fragments of pottery were among the pieces found while construction was under way at a Bellway housing development in Roundhill Road, Hurworth.

The remains are thought to date back to Roman or Anglo-Saxon times and have been taken to Durham University, where they are being examined by archaeologists.

The discovery revealed circular foundations of ancient buildings thought to be the remnants of roundhouses.

These small buildings were usually occupied by the extended family members of those who farmed the surrounding fields.

Alongside this, workers and experts discovered preserved pottery thought to have been produced in Huntingdonshire and Crambeck, near Malton, North Yorkshire.

Paul Walters, chairman of Hurworth Parish Council, said the find was an important moment for the village’s ancestry.

He said: “What Hurworth Parish Council is keen to do is to take hold of those remains off Durham university, once they have finished analysing them, and hopefully have them displayed at Hurworth Grange or on the village green.”

Similar discoveries were previously made at the site where, two years ago, evidence of a Roman settlement was found.

Experts said the discovery dated between the Second and Fourth Centuries AD as they uncovered outlines of roundhouses and a selection of preserved items.

The most eye-catching of the finds in 2016 was a 2,000-year-old “trumpet type” brooch which, along with other discoveries at the time, led to the belief that the area was densely populated in Roman times.

The site where all the remains were found is one of two housing developments to be built at the village.

The first 100-home site, where the discoveries have been made, was strongly objected to by residents when proposals were submitted two years ago.

More than 220 formal objections were voiced ahead of the meeting, which decided whether the plans were to gain permission, and followed a series of protests including a human chain formed by members of the group Hurworth Against Detrimental Development (HADD).

A proposal for a second 100-home development at the Roundhill Road site was passed in November 2017 meaning around 200 homes will be built on the outskirts of Hurworth village.