EYO866 - Derventio – Roman Stamford Bridge update




Location Derventio – Roman Stamford Bridge update
Grid reference
Map sheet
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



Ian G Lawton




No mapped location recorded.


Research on this Roman settlement site has now progressed to the point where the whole of the known settlement, including both the west and east-bank, and the recent excavations on Moor Lane in advance of building operations (Mike Griffiths and Associates), can now be plotted to produce a graphical image of the overall layout and extent of this settlement site of Derventio. The area of the west-bank at North Farm has been plotted using a combination of aerial photographic interpretation and plotting by the author, and the results of a magnetometer survey carried out over half of the site by MA student Julia Robinson of Durham University in 1997. The main area of the site on the sloping ground of the eastern side of the River Derwent, and the area of Reckondales, was photographed by the Royal Commission in 1997. The cropmarks aligning the road to the north`east, running through the present village, were photographed by Peter Addyman during 1976`7 and plotted by the author. All Royal Commission aerial photographic work on this site has now been plotted as part of the Vale Of York Project. The area to the north-east of Reckondales, at Moor Lane, shows an area of the settlement which was revealed as part of housing development in the village and has been plotted by the author. There are indications from aerial photography and pottery recovery, of the settlement extending further to the north-east of Moor Lane, and out along the Roman Road to Malton. To date therefore, the settlement extends along the road system for a distance of 2.50 kilometres, or just over 1.50 miles. Like any other roadside settlement, we can see the buildings utilising the road . Frontages for their own benefit, whilst the rear of the linear properties are subdivided for differing uses. Some of these property divisions are detected extending backwards, away from the road, between 60 and 150 metres, producing property widths which vary greatly between 12 metres and 50 metres, but the average seems to be about 20 metres. Some of the sub-divisions within the properties produce squared enclosures others produce long rectangles. Most detected boundary ditches are straight linear features, but rarely, curves are noticed within some properties, perhaps associated with buildings or wells, one of which has been physically located, and others which may have been detected from the magnetometer survey of the west-bank settlement. This survey has also produced evidence, yet to be tested on the ground, of a possible defensive ditch cutting across earlier property divisions, crossing the road and continuing into the properties on the other side. This ditch constricts the roadway width from both sides, leaving a gap through which controlled traffic could pass. If this feature is proven, then we may see its construction as part of the general defensive strategies developed in the late second century as part of the reaction to the death of Marcus Aurelius and the recovery of Britain by Severus. Many of the individual properties aze separated from their neighbours by a passageway which runs back from the road, giving access either to the rear of their properties or on to other areas of the settlement. In some instances defined azeas aze covered with pits, perhaps for disposal in relation to either industrial waste or public refuse. There is a clear difference between the azeas of settlement close-by the arterial road system and that of Moor Lane, where the main route through the azea is some 250 metres to the north-west. Excavation suggests that the whole site had a agricultural bias with a number of phases, the pottery giving a date range from the second to the fourth century. Analysis of coinage recovered from fields neazby confirm the pottery date range but give an hiatus of 50 yeazs between 193 and 253 when there was no loss of coinage. This may reflect the changing fortunes of the settlement when peripheral areas were abandoned in favour of the core. The ditches located defined enclosures of vazious dimensions, some 20m squaze and others larger, some smaller. The inference is that they were possibly used for keeping stock. A central trackway led through the site, forming a junction with another from the west, and heading north, continuing possibly ~ towards to a junction with the main road to Malton. This whole site is well away from the core azea of the east-bank settlement and is one indication of the vaziety of trades that settlements needed to pursue in order to survive.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Unpublished document: Ian G Lawton. 1999. Derventio – Roman Stamford Bridge update.

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

  • Roman Road (Monument)
  • Roman Settlement Kexby (Monument)

Parent/preceding Site Events/Activities (1)

  • Derventio: A Roman settlement at North farm and Reckondales, Stamford bridge (Ref: CBA Forum 1999)

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (1)

  • Geophysical Survey land to west of River Derwent

Record last edited

Jul 23 2020 11:21AM


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