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Monument record MDR7771 - Romano-British building east of Barn Farm, Great Wilne

Type and Period (4)

  • (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

In 1968 the excavation of post-holes by East Midlands Electricity Board for an overhead line termination uncovered Roman tiles, pottery and fragments of sandstone. A trench 6ft north of the eastern leg of the terminal pole structure was subsequently excavated by Harry Lane, acting on information from Alan Palfreyman. The trench was 6ft wide and was excavated 18ft westwards. Topsoil was removed to a depth of 1ft 4ins when a slight gravel scatter, thought to be a feature, was uncovered. Above the gravel, pottery was sparse, ranging from modern to 16th/17th century yellow glazed wares, one 15th century mid-purple glazed jug rim, and a purple splashed base fragment. Green glazed pottery was found at the base of the topsoil and the surface of the gravel. Below this, fragments of Charnwood slate, stone and tiles became more apparent. Roman pottery was observed until at a depth of 1ft 9ins below ground a second, more substantial gravel spread was encountered. This went from the eastern edge of the trench to about 4ft west where it abutted a layer of stone rubble mixed with gravel. The rubble extended a further 9ft, rising in the centre and sinking to its western edge where it became a thin gravel spread. Pottery from the surfaces of this level included hammer headed mortaria, colour coated ware, Samian, black and grey wares and Derbyshire Ware. The rubble covered level was composed of undressed sandstone blocks, roofing tiles, slates and gravel. The rubble layer was spread over a loamy level containing much humic material, charcoal, bones, coal, iron slag, fragments of corroded iron, black burnished ware, grey ware and Derbyshire Ware along with some colour coated ware. A cow jawbone was also recovered. This loamy layer overlay a ditch and a pit. A second trench was excavated parallel to trench 1, with a 1ft baulk in between, and was 5ft wide. A similar sequence to that found in trench 1 was found. The ditch became evident at 1ft 9ins depth: here it was c.4ft 9ins wide. It was filled with humic material, a large amount of pottery, roofing tiles, slates, blocks of sandstone (including one that had been shaped), coal, bones, charcoal, 3 nails, wrought iron, and a corroded copper/brass coin, as well as glass. The pottery was mainly Derbyshire Ware, Black burnished ware, hammer headed mortaria, Samian, amphorae and grey wares. The ditch was 'U' shaped in section. To the east of the ditch was a gravel covered area. This was partially excavated: finds included a 3rd century radiate coin (Gallienus), another coin (undated), 3 fragments of bone pin, pieces of lead (including droplets) and pottery (including decorated Castor Ware). Together these finds have been interpreted as indicating that substantial building stood in the vicinity - probably of the 3rd and 4th century. This building was probably half timbered. It may have been associated with a series of buildings, and the ditch may have enclosed them. (1) The presence of the Roman remains at Great Wilne has been used to suggest the possibility that the Roman name Lutudarum could describe the area around the junction of the Derwent and the Trent. In addition to the Roman material, a Saxon coin was found, suggesting that Romano-British settlement at Great Wilne continued into the post-Roman period: 'a clay floor was related to the footings of a wall which had been built from the destruction debris of Roman structures … This post-Roman, Saxon, structure was probably not erected long after the destruction of the Roman buildings, whilst the actual date is not known we would suggest sometime during the 5th century…'. (2) A trial trench excavated in this area in 2006 in advance of new floodbanks produced some abraded Romano-British material, mainly roofing tiles. It was suggested that they came from a nearby Roman occupation site and had been redeposited by water action. (3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Excavation archive: Palfreyman, A. 1968. Excavation east of Barn Farm, Great Wilne.
  • <2> Article in monograph: Lane, H C. 1986. The Romans in Derbyshire. p 52.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Kinsley, G (TPAT). 2006. An Archaeological Evaluation of Proposed Flood Bank Construction, Great Wilne, Derbyshire.



Grid reference Centred SK 44969 30820 (220m by 215m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2378

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Feb 27 2020 8:42PM

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