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Romano-British aisled building and associated features, Kirkby la Thorpe



Reference Name MLI82564

Name:
Romano-British aisled building and associated features, Kirkby la Thorpe

Summary:
Remains of an aisled building, dating to the second to third centuries AD, were located close to the A1121 Boston Road. A number of pits were found in the eastern and southern parts of the site as well as a series of gullies.

Location:
KIRKBY LA THORPE, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
PRN 62064
During field walking approximately 24 sherds of pottery were recovered, including a sherd of Samian ware. As well as positively identified Roman ceramic building material there were a number of unidentified fragments which could be either Roman or post medieval date. However, there was insufficient ceramic building material to suggest the presence of buildings utilising these materials. Several oyster and mussel shells were also noted, suggestive of food waste.{1}{2}
Geophysical survey found distinct linear anomalies which could have indicated traces of a former field system.{3}
Supervision of topsoil stripping revealed no archaeological features.{4}{5}{6}
It is probable that the majority of the Roman artefacts collected during fieldwalking were the by-products of activities associated with a second to third century aisled building and field system immediately south of Boston Road.{5}{6}
An area immediately south of Boston Road was stripped of topsoil and revealed the remains of an aisled building. Two parallel rows of post-pits were oriented on north to south. The individual post-pits were mostly circular, with fills largely made up of coarse lumps of limestone with central post-pipes clearly marking where the wooden posts would have been. The dimensions of the post-pipes would indicate that the posts were quite substantial timbers, up to 30cm in diameter. The eastern row of post-pits were regularly spaced approximately 3.5m apart. Pottery retrieved from these features dated to the second to early third centuries AD. The eight posts would have carried a roof which extended 2m or so beyond the posts on either side giving a total width of 9m. Small gullies immediately north of the structure may indicate that there was an extension to that end, or could have delimited an adjacent yard area, assuming that they are contemporary with the building. There was little evidence for domestic activity on the site and that it may be that the building was a barn rather than a house. It has been suggested of similar structures that they may have had a dual function both as barns and as farm workers dwellings associated with larger residences. The lack of ceramic material suggests it was a predominantly wooden structure. Only a few pieces of tile were recovered; either the structure had a thatched roof, or a tiled roof was removed for re-use elsewhere when the building went out of use. The main axis of the building is perpendicular to the modern Boston Road. This is not recorded as a Roman road, but this alignment and juxtaposition hints that the modern thoroughfare may have ancient antecedents. Three linear features were found to the east and south of the site, marking the boundaries of an enclosure around the aisled building. Two post holes found within the enclosure may have formed part of a small structure. A number of pits were found in the eastern and southern parts of the site, lying immediately outside the enclosure. The more northerly ones contained significant quantities of animal bone and pottery and they may have been used for refuse disposal. The larger pits to the south could have been quarry pits for gravel. However they appear to have been re-cut at a later date for some other function. Cattle were the predominant species within the small assemblage of animal bone from the site and sheep or goat, pig, horse, dog and goose bones were also present. A pit cut into a ditch contained burnt human bone, along with other burnt material, and was initially thought to be a cremation burial. The lack of cremation vessel and the presence of burnt clay, burnt stone and charcoal, however, suggested that the human remains were burnt in situ (within a pyre). Part of a neck of a Roman glass bottle was also retrieved from this context.{5}{6}

Sources:
1 Intervention Report: Network Archaeology Ltd. 2000. Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline. HWP98
2 Excavation archive: Network Archaeology Ltd. 2000. Hatton to Silk Willoughby Pipeline. LCNCC;269.98
3 Intervention Report: Bartlett-Clark Consultancy. 2000. Geophysical survey of the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline.
4 Verbal communication: Lewis, E.. Jan 2007. Personal communications regarding the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline, 2000. -
5 Intervention Report: Network Archaeology Ltd. Apr 2003. Archaeological Evaluation, Excavation and Watching Brief on the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline 2001. HWP98
6 Excavation archive: Network Archaeology Ltd. Apr 2003. Archaeological Evaluation, Excavation and Watching Brief on the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline 2001. LCNCC 2000.102

Links:
Lincolnshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external weblinks.
The following reports are available from the ADS digital library.
1 Intervention Report: Network Archaeology Ltd. 2000. Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline. HWP98
1 Intervention Report: Network Archaeology Ltd. 2000. Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline. HWP98
3 Intervention Report: Bartlett-Clark Consultancy. 2000. Geophysical survey of the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline.
5 Intervention Report: Network Archaeology Ltd. Apr 2003. Archaeological Evaluation, Excavation and Watching Brief on the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline 2001. HWP98

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Last updated: 02-December-2015 13:23:52

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