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ROMAN ANTIQUITIES SECTION


Gazetteer of ROMAN  Yorkshire
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When construction of the Faverdale East Business Centre near Darlington was about to begin, a major archaeologicical investigation began because of the suspected presence of a deserted medieval village. However, it was not medieval activity that was discovered, but a Roman settlement which had begun life as an open farmstead, which had remained occupied until the early 2nd century AD. Remains of roundhouses, enclosures and associated droveways were discovered, with finds showing that the occupants had increasing access to Roman culture.

In the mid-2nd century AD a substantial ditched enclosure was built on a spur of higher land in the north-western part of the site with a network of smaller, interconnected enclosures to the south and east, where small-scale industrial activity such as metalworking, crop processing and butchery were undertaken. Huge quantities of dumped domestic refuse indicate that buildings once occupied the larger enclosure, but these had been destroyed by later ploughing. One building survived: a small two-roomed stone structure with hypocaust system and painted wall plaster. Although similar to a Roman bathhouse, this was much smaller, and was perhaps used as a sweat room or steam bath. Material recovered from the 2nd-century settlement shows that Faverdale was a successful community with extensive trade links, presumably stimulated by the large numbers of Roman troops stationed within the northern frontier zone. Items such as bone pins and brooches demonstrate that the inhabitants adopted aspects of a Roman lifestyle, yet they continued to use items traditionally found on Iron Age and indigenous Roman period settlements, such as a bone weaving comb and handmade Iron Age tradition pottery.

At the end of the 2nd-century AD the main rectilinear enclosure was backfilled, the heated building demolished, and the site largely abandoned until the construction of a late 4th-century AD stone building, possibly of agricultural function.

The site is now largely beneath the Argos Distribution Depot

Copies of a monograph published earlier this year (2012), Faverdale, Darlington:  Excavations at a major settlement in the northern frontier zone of Roman Britain’ by Jennifer Proctor, can be ordered by following this link.

Visible Remains: none

Quarry Farm Page (Tees Archaeology) link

Related Roman Sites
External Webpages & Links
Faverdale Pastscape Page Faverdale
Settlement
Co. Durham, NZ 435150