Romano-British Settlement, Billesley
A large area of pottery dating to the Roman period was discovered whilst field walking. It probably indicates the site of a Roman settlement, possibly a rural farmstead. The pottery was found 500m west of Scotland Wood, Billesley. The agricultural settlement was subsequently evaluated and excavated, revealing a series of stone buildings, associated with at least two corndriers.
1 Fieldwalking revealed a dense scatter of pottery and three coins covering an area of c.1.5ha, extending north of the Roman road. The pottery would seem to indicate occupation throughout the 1Roman period, perhaps from the late 1st century and with the peak of activity in the 2nd century. It is suggested that there is evidence for continued occupation in the late 3rd and 4th centuries and that the settlement was that of a rural farmstead.
2 Further evaluation of the S part of the site, involving a magnetometer survey and 3 trial trenches, tended to confirm the extent of the settlement suggested by the fieldwalking. The trial trenches revealed a high density of pits, ditches, postholes and gullies, some belonging to timber buildings, at least one of which had a tiled roof. The southernmost trench revealed the Roman road, which consisted of a limestone rubble surface 8m wide with Roman pottery and animal bone trampled into it.
3 Excavations revealed a Romano-British Settlement whose occupation ended in the mid-late 4th century. Two main phases of activity were recognised, 2nd century activity comprised some stone walls and a sequence of pits whilst in the late 3rd/early4th century two substantial stone buildings were erected. The function of the settlement is likely to have been agricultural although its position on the road midway between Alcester and Tiddington means that it it may also have provided services to travellers.
4 Environmental samples taken from the corn driers were analysed by English Heritage. The most abundant cereal found was glume wheat, probably mainly spelt. Cereal waste was identified in samples taken from the two flues of the corn driers.
5Portable Antiquities Scheme find provenance information:
Date found: 2001-09-30T23:00:00Z
Methods of discovery: Metal detector