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ROMAN ANTIQUITIES SECTION


Gazetteer of ROMAN  Yorkshire
Military Settlements Roads Miscellaneous Villas Roads
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East Park, Sedgefield, Co. Durham

NZ349290

Visible Remains: none

Despite being in Co. Durham, we have included this site because of its importance. It was first identified from the air in 1996, however its importance only really began to become apparent in 2002 with a geophysics survey for Channel 4’s Time Team, as part of an attempt to establish the position of the so called Cades Road (RR80a) and examine some of the features visible from the air. Further geophysics studies by Durham University from 2005 to 2009 have given a much clearer picture.

Located at what appears to be a small change of alignment on a Roman road, probably RR80a, in the grounds of Hardwick Hall Country Park west of Sedgefield, this was clearly a substantial settlement, large enough to be described as a small town.  The majority of the settlement is to the east of the road, although the road is flanked by a continuous row of enclosures for about 800m to the west. The regular size and form of the enclosures (roughly 40m - 50m square), the road, and the central open area certainly suggests that the settlement was planned. Evidence for buildings suggest relatively low status or agricultural use, and it is speculated that higher status buildings might have been located on higher ground to the the east, now beneath modern Sedgefield. Excavations have found evidence for timber buildings, metal working, pottery manufacture, and most significantly for this region, no Roman military involvement whatsoever. It appears to have been occupied during the 2nd century, although possibly based upon an earlier settlement, and remains the most northerly known purely civilian Roman settlement in the Empire .

Related Roman Sites
External Webpages & Links
Durham University Geophysics East Park, Sedgefield
Settlement
Co. Durham, NZ 349290