Archaeology Excavations

swinton map header

 Early Medieval Weight

A possible lead weight of possible Early Medieval date, about AD 800 – 1000.

This weight was found during a recent metal detecting survey conducted by Andrew Allen as part of the Swinton Archaeology group.

The possible weight is sub-spherical and poorly cast, the two hemispheres being clearly badly aligned when moulded. There are also concavities in the line of the casting seam, suggesting the lead was over heated when used. Two opposing faces of the weight are flattened and slightly recessed. The patina is also abraded on these facets. One facet has a stright line moulded across it, and possible other markings, but it is not certain that these are intentional. The object is 12.6mm diameter, 10.2mm thick and has a mass of 8.84g.

Viking and Anglo-Saxon weighing systems are complex and debated, with many weight standards having been suggested over the years. Viking ounces (ore) of 24.59g seem to have been sub-divided into three units (ertogs) (Brogger 1921 cited in Haldenby and Kershaw, 2014). A different unit of 26.6g is observed in weights from Dublin (Wallace, 1987, ibid). 8.84g, the mass of this possible weight, can be seen as a third (ertog) of the Dublin standard (8.84g x 3 = 26.52g). The existance of spherical and sub-spherical weights is also noted at Coppergate and elsewhere (Haldenby and Kershaw, 2014). Because this object fits into one suggested weighing system, and because spherical weights are known, this interpretation is offered here.

Lead Spindle Whorl

 

 

swinton map photo

This undecorated spindle whorl was recently found during a recent metal detecting survey of the vicarage field at St Margaret’s Church, Swinton.

Undecorated spindle whorls such as this can date from the Roman, Early Medieval or Medieval periods. Evidence suggests that the weight of a spindle whorl is suggestive of the thickness of yarn produced, with lighter spindle whorls (3 – 5 grams) being used for spinning cotton and the heavier ones (30 – 35 grams) for spinning wool. The size of this Whorl suggests that it was used for the spinning of wool.

Several other finds of Saxon origin have been found on the same site, suggesting that this whorl may be of a similar date, however this is only theoretical and no definitive proof exists to place this object within this time period.

Spindle whorls were used for the spinning of wool and other types of fibre material into a thread, the practice was extremely common and almost every woman would have been the proud owner of a whorl and hand held distaff or spinning stick.

 

swinton map photo 2

The whorl itself would sit at the bottom of the spinning shaft (spindle) providing two important functions of stability and an aid to the spinning process. Once the whorl was put into a spinning motion, the weight of the whorl would continue the spin and act in a similar fashion to a flywheel hence the term spinning a yarn. This process would allow the individual fibres to be spun into a thread.

The basic design of the whorl had little change throughout history with perhaps the only discernible changes being the material of the whorl and its decoration. Originally whorls would have been made from stone, however as technology progressed it became possible to cast the whorls from base metals such as lead.

 

 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVALUATION REPORT:

63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, South Yorkshire

photo 1

Report prepared by Elmet Archaeology Services Ltd

Report Number: TB14

OASIS Reference Number: elmetarc1-199040

JUNE 2015

 

Document Monitoring
Document Profile
Client Report for public dissemination
Title Archaeological Evaluation Report: 63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Written By Philip Roberts and Alex Sotheran
Illustrations By Kate Brown
Additional Research By Kate Brown, David G. Griffiths, Birgitta Hoffmann and Palaeoecology Research Services Limited (PRS)
Site work carried out October 2014 and May 2015
Approved By Christine Rawson
Document ID Elmet TB14
Site Location (NGR) SK 44698 98976
Date   Version     Status    Description/Changes
11.06.15 2 Final  

Enquiries regarding this report can be made to: Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd, Office 3, Wath Trinity Community Hall, Chapel Street, Wath-Upon-Dearne, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S63 7RF

01709873053          mob. 07840729014

www.elmetarchaeology.co.uk            email: enquiries@elmetarchaeology.co.uk

Registered Business No:   07165714

© Ordnance Survey maps reproduced with the sanction of the controller of HM Stationery Office.

Licence No: 1000052331

Contains British Geological Survey materials

©NERC 2014


 

 

CONTENTS

Summary                                                                                                                                iii

Acknowledgements                                                                                                               iv

  • INTRODUCTION                                                                                              1
    • Project Background                                                                                         1

1.2            Site Location, Description and Geology                                                         1

  • ARCHAEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND                                                       3
    • Introduction                                                                                                     3
    • Neolithic and Bronze Age (c. 6000 – 800BC)                                          3
    • Iron Age (800BC – 43AD)                                                                            3
    • Roman Period (43AD – 410AD)                                                                   3
    • Anglo Saxon Period (410AD – 1066AD)                                                    4
    • Medieval Period (1066AD – 1530AD)                                                        4

2.7            Post Medieval Period (1530AD – 1900AD)                                                  5

3          AIMS AND OBJECTIVES                                                                            6

4          METHODOLOGY                                                                                           6

4.1       General                                                                                                                       6

4.2       Hand Excavation                                                                                                     6

4.3       Recording                                                                                                                  6

5          ARCHAELOGICAL RESULTS                                                                    7

5.1       Introduction                                                                                                               7

5.2       Trench 1                                                                                                                      7

5.3       Trench 2                                                                                                                      9

6          DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION                                                           10

6.1       Introduction                                                                                                               10

6.2       Ditch 1022                                                                                                                  10

6.3       Post holes 1028 and 1029                                                                                        11

6.4       Ditch 2004                                                                                                                  11

6.5       Conclusion                                                                                                                  11

REFERENCES                                                                                                              12

            FIGURES AND PLATES                                                                                13

APPENDIX 1: LIST OF CONTEXTS                                                                       26

APPENDIX 2: POTTERY REPORT                                                                         29

APPENDIX 3: GLASS REPORT                                                                               33

APPENDIX 4: ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT                                                      34

 

List of Figures

Figure 1:          Site location.

Figure 2:          Post excavation plan of Trench 1.

Figure 3:          North west facing section of Roman field boundary ditch 1022.

Figure 4:          North east facing section of recut post hole 1015/1020.

Figure 5:          Post excavation plan of Trench 2.

Figure 6:          Overlay of northern end of Trench 2 after excavation of modern pit 2016.

Figure 7:          North east facing section of possible Roman ditch 2004.

Figure 8:          South west facing section of modern gardening features

Figure 9:          South west facing section of a modern pit 2016 associated with gardening activity.

List of Plates

Plate 1:           West facing section of ditch 1022 with postholes 1028 and 1029.

Plate 2:           West facing section of ditch 1022.

Plate 3:           Post holes 1028 and 1029, facing north.

Plate 4:           Original pre 1950’s topsoil layer 1003, facing west.

Plate 5:           Post hole 1010, facing west.

Plate 6:           Recut post hole 1015/1020.

Plate 7:           Pre excavation shot of Trench 2 facing south west.

Plate 8:           North east facing section of possible Roman field boundary ditch 2004.

Plate 9:           South east facing section of Trench 2 showing excavated modern features.

Plate 10:         South west facing section of modern gardening feature 2016.

 

 

Summary

Two phases of an archaeological evaluation were carried out during October 2014 and May 2015 to assess the extent and survival of any underlying archaeological remains on land to the rear of 63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham (hereafter ‘the Site’) by Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd (hereafter ‘Elmet’). The Site was identified during gardening work carried out by the tenant, Mr Andrew Allen, who recovered around eighty pieces of Roman pottery dating to between the first and third centuries AD. A crowd funded project was designed by Elmet with the aim of investigating any underlying archaeological remains and place the assemblage in context of the wider landscape.

The first phase, involving the excavation of Trench 1, was carried out with financial support raised via the crowd funding website Sponsume and with the assistance of paying members of the public. The second phase, excavating Trench 2, was undertaken solely by Elmet and their trained archaeologists.

Both phases of excavation uncovered underlying archaeological remains, potentially dating to the Roman period. Trench 1, excavated in October 2014, measured 5m x 3m and uncovered a Roman field boundary ditch and two possible postholes. A number of modern intrusive pits, relating to gardening activity, were also found. Trench 2 was excavated in May 2015, measured 2.3m x 3.1m and was located directly adjacent to the original trench to the south west. A potential Roman ditch was discovered along with a number of intrusive modern features, again associated with recent gardening activity.

The archive from the fieldwork will be deposited with Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham in due course and an OASIS form will also be submitted at time of deposition.

Acknowledgements

Elmet would like to extend our thanks to the current tenants of 63 Toll Bar Road, Mr Andrew Allen and Miss Lindsay Gordon, whose cooperation during the project was greatly appreciated. The Site was initially excavated as a crowd funded project through Sponsume and had over ninety individual sponsors who donated the money necessary to begin investigations. The following is a list of those sponsors, along with people and organisations who have given their time, expertise and support to the project.

Richard Alexander, Jeanette Allam, Russell Almond, Eileen Ashcroft, Sue Ashton, John Ashtone, Paul Bain, Rob Barnett, Elspeth Barraclough, The Barnsley Chronicle, Natalie Baxter, BBC Look North, BBC Radio Sheffield Midmorning Crew, Naomi Beaumont, Katie Bell, Jennie Bentham, Dr. Mike Bishop, Helen Bowen, The British Archaeological Jobs Resource, Giles and Ruth Brierley (Swinton Heritage), Joanne Brown, Kate Brown, Clare Burke, Kylie Buxton, Chris at Subliblanks.com, Thomas Chubb, Lucy Creighton (Sheffield Museums), Peter Day, The Dearne Valley Weekender, Janet Dickinson, Helen Donnelly, Kathryn Dunn, Samuel Dunn, Elizabeth Evenden, Chris Fowler, Alison Gaskell, Darren Gaskell, John Geldard, Paul Gething, Mabel Gilliver, Laura Gildea, Lindsey Gordon, Monica Grant, Ralph Green, Dave Griffiths, Philip Hand, Rebecca Hankinson, Jackie Harmon, Linzi Harvey, Angela Hayes, Claire Haskett, Helen Holderness, Emma Houghton, Chris Hoyle, Lawrence Jell, Karen Johnston, John Kirk, Sarah and Mark Lee, Glynis Lindsay, Lee Martin, Karen McIntyre, Ruth McTighe, Raoul Meadows, Tina Meadows, David Mennear, Craig Mollekin, Michael and Rebecca Monarchi, Pauline Morton, Alexis Mosley, Michelle and Kevin Mulheir, Cath Neal, Katherine Newton, Karl Noble (Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham), Tracy O’Donnell, Beverley Oliver, Past Horizons, Ged Poland (The University of Sheffield), Julieanne Porter, Jonathan Prew, Jonathan Price, David Pritchard, Joan Rawson, Adam Reaney, Matthew Reeves, Philip Roberts, Jonathan Robinson, Peter Robinson (Doncaster Museum), The Rotherham Advertiser, Rotherham Archaeological Society, Dr. Hannah Russ (Oxford Brookes Archaeology and Heritage, Oxford Brookes University), Bex Sables, Leah Saddington, The Sheffield Star, Carole and David Sotheran, Michaela Stafford, Carl and Kerrie Staines, Martin Stiles, Dr. Carrie L. Sulosky Weaver (University of Pittsburgh), Melanie Swanwick, Jean Thornton, Nicola Turton, Dr. Simon Underdown (Oxford Brookes University), Burcu Urundul, Christopher John Walker, Helen Wallder (Doncaster and District Heritage Association), Andrew Ward, Diane Watson, Sarah Whitley, Emma Wilkinson, Alan Williams, Trevor Wilson (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council), James Wright, Bethany Wyatt, Ken Wyatt, Chris Wylie and Carly Youren.

The two phases of excavations were undertaken between 6th – 13th October 2014 and 22nd – 29th May 2015. The first phase of excavation was managed by Alex Sotheran and supervised by Lauren McIntyre. The excavation work was carried out by Jeanette Allam, John Ashton, Sue Ashton, Ruth Brierely, Helen Donnelly, Ruth McTighe, Bev Oliver and Adam Reaney.  The second phase of the excavation was managed by Christine Rawson and supervised by Philip Roberts. Excavation work was carried out by Philip Roberts, Dane Alexander Wright and Kate Brown. The pottery report was prepared by David G. Griffiths of DG Archaeology. The glass report was prepared by Birgitta Hoffmann. Environmental samples were analysed and prepared by John Carrot and Angela Walker of Palaeoecology Research Services Ltd.This report was written by Philip Roberts and Alex Sotheran with illustrations prepared by Kate Brown. The project was monitored by Jim McNeil of South Yorkshire Archaeological Services (SYAS).

1          INTRODUCTION

1.1      Project Background

1.1.1    The Site was identified during gardening work carried out by the tenant, Mr Andrew Allen, who recovered around eighty pieces of Roman pottery dating to between the first and third centuries AD (Peter Robinson, pers comm). Based on this discovery Mr Allen contacted Colin Merrony of the University of Sheffield who carried out an unpublished resistivity survey, which identified a number of potential archaeological features. As a result of this investigation a crowd funded project, using the platform Sponsume, was designed to identify any underlying archaeological remains and place the pottery assemblage in context of the wider local landscape. Over ninety donors provided the funding to allow the first phase of the project to commence and the site work was carried out by several paying members of the public, closely supervised by Elmet staff and following CIfA guidelines (2014a).

1.1.2    The first phase carried out in October 2014 involved the excavation Trench 1 which measured 5m by 3m and revealed several underlying archaeological remains of Roman date, including a possible boundary ditch. Other archaeological features were excavated including two possible post holes and several modern intrusive pits. A large deposit that was probably original topsoil dating to the pre-1950’s was also identified. Several pieces of Roman pottery were also recovered.

1.1.3    A second phase was carried out in May 2015 and consisted of an extension, Trench 2, excavated directly adjacent to Trench 1 to the south west. This measured 2.3m x 3.1m and was excavated in order to locate features uncovered in the first phase. While the earlier features were not uncovered a ditch was discovered, along with a number of modern pits associated with recent gardening activity.  

1.2       Site Location, Description and Geology

1.2.1    The Site is located at NGR 44698 98976 and comprises of a garden located at the rear of 63 Toll Bar Road covered with grass turf (Figure 1). Swinton is an area some 7 kilometres to the north east of Rotherham at a height of approximately 84m above mean sea level. The town of Mexborough lies to east, with Wath-upon-Dearne to the west.  Rawmarsh lies to the south, while Bolton-upon-Dearne is to the north.

1.2.1    The area is densely populated with small pockets of open land, predominantly to the north west and south west as the area opens up to countryside. 63 Toll Bar Road is sited within a housing estate developed in the second half of the 20th Century with regularly laid out buildings which feature small gardens to the front and larger gardens to the rear. The property is semi-detached, adjoined on the north east and bound by further residential properties to the front and both sides with a school field belonging to Swinton Fiztwilliam Primary School at the rear.

1.2.3    The geology of the site is formed of Oaks Rock sandstone; a sedimentary bedrock formed approximately 310 – 312 million years ago during the Carboniferous Period in an environment dominated by rivers. No superficial deposits in the area have been recorded (British Geological Survey 2015).

Figure 1: Site location

figure 1
ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 1

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.1
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

2          HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND

2.1       Introduction

2.1.1    The following is an overview of the archaeological remains and heritage assets that have been identified within the immediate area of the Site as summarised from the Desk Based Assessment (DBA) by Elmet (2014a).

2.2       Neolithic and Bronze Age (c. 6000 – 800BC)

2.2.1    No sites from this period were found near the Site and any evidence for prehistoric activity is demonstrated by a number of findspots of tools and arrowheads. A Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowhead (HER 0082/01) was found in 1962 at 16 St Michaels Avenue located approximately 2km to the north east. Further evidence for prehistoric activity comes from a dozen waste flint flakes (HER 01780/01) discovered at Three Corner Plantation, in 1979 at 64 Valley Road approximately 1km to the north west. The date of this assemblage is difficult to pinpoint with any accuracy and ranges from the early Mesolithic to the late Iron age (10000 BC – 42 AD). An undated flint implement (HER 04141/01) has also been recovered from the Roman Rig site at Wood Farm in 1964, on an eroded bank of the earthwork. An undated but possible prehistoric arrow head (HER 4437/01) was also located at 45 Cresswell Road in 1962 approximately 1.4km north east of the Site.

2.3       Iron Age (800BC – 43AD)

2.3.1    The only Iron Age activity attested to in the area is demonstrated by a Bee-hive quern stone (HER 01095/01) of possible Iron Age/Roman date discovered at 83 Rockingham Road in 1970 approximately 0.3km west of the Site. Although this indicates possible occupation in the area, without a secure context and accurate dating this is uncertain.

2.4       Roman (43 – 410AD)

2.4.1    The Site lies between the Roman forts at Templeborough (approximately 8km to the east) and Danum (approximately 13km to the west) and it is possible that these sites were active during any Roman activity at Swinton. The relative immediacy of two large Roman sites to the Site infers that it may have been part of a larger Roman landscape and it is believed that Swinton (along with Abdy and Wath) was developed as a settlement to service the garrisons at both of these forts (Travis 2001). The proximity of the two military forts would have afforded some deal of security to the settlement and a Roman road is known to exist as the modern day Warren Vale, which passes very close to the Site and which would have joined Rotherham and Doncaster (Travis 2001).

2.4.2    The evidence for Roman activity in the area comes largely from find spots of Roman coins which have been retrieved in Swinton and the surrounding area. In the garden of 29 St Michaels Avenue a single Roman coin (HER 04468/01) of Antoninianus of Victorius, Pax Aug was uncovered. Another find spot consisted of a single silver denarius coin (HER 01093/01) of Emperor Nero, dating from 63 – 68 AD, located at 14 Romwood Avenue in 1964.

2.4.3    A large assemblage of Roman coinage was recovered in the 19th century when a hoard of around 300 – 400 silver roman denari (HER 00832/01) was found in 1853, during excavations to build a cellar at Rockingham Road, Swinton. The assemblage was described as having been found in a ‘vase’ and examples include coins of Nero, Galba, Vespasian, Domitian, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Sabina, Antonius Pius, Faustine I, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, Severus, Julia Domna, Geta, Caracalla and Plautilla. The coins all date between 54 and 217 AD. It has been suggested that the horde may indicate the presence of a nearby farm/farmstead or even villa, a claim also supported by the existence of several platforms in Wath Wood, which lies approximately 1.14km to the east of the Site (Travis 2001). A second coin hoard from Rawmarsh (HER 04268/01) was discovered in 1908 during work on the tramway and contained coins dating to between 43 and 409 AD.

2.4.4    Finds securely dated to the Roman period are sparse and do not give a clear definition of occupation in the area of Swinton, but indications from the large coin hoard and possible platforms in Wath Wood may point to the area being utilised by farmsteads/farms, a conclusion that may be strengthened by the proximity of the Site to a Roman road between two major military sites.

2.4.5    The Roman Ridge (or Rig) (HER 00111/01) lies close to the Site, approximately 0.77km to the west. Built of clay and sandstone, the ridge is an earthwork of possible Roman or Iron Age date, although this has not been confirmed by archaeological investigation. The earthwork also acts as a modern parish boundary between Swinton and the neighbouring village of Wath-Upon-Dearne.

2.5       Anglo-Saxon Period (410-1066AD)

2.5.1    No archaeological remains or artefacts dating to the Anglo-Saxon period have been located or identified in the area surrounding the Site and there are no entries in the HER for this period. However, Swinton is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 with a value of £2 under the lordship of a man named Rethar within the manor of Wath-upon-Dearne (Open Domesday 2015). It is also probable that the field systems laid out in the Romano-British period were still being farmed and this practise probably continued into the Anglo-Saxon period during which time the settlement at Swinton developed as a pig-based economy (Travis 2001) from whence it took its name.

2.6       Medieval Period (1066-1530AD)

2.6.1    There are only two remains dated to the medieval period noted in the HER within the locality of the Site. The grade II listed Swinton town cross (HER 00183/01) is a medieval cross, and is currently located 1.6km to the South of the tower of the church of St Margaret. Swinton Old Hall (HER 00187/01) was a medieval hall house subsequently incorporated into a 16th century or earlier structure and was demolished in 1963, when the site was then redeveloped.

2.7       Post-Medieval period (1530-1900AD)

2.7.1    The post-medieval period saw a rise in the industrial nature of the area around Swinton, with the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, river Don and railway all running to the east of Swinton. The Dearne and Dove Canal also joins the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation at Swinton Bridge (Barnsley, Dearne and Dove Canal Trust 2015). Support from this infrastructure allowed for the development of various heavy industries including glass works, steel works and chemical factories.

2.7.2    This increase in industrial activity in Swinton and the surrounding area is reflected in the large number of associated HER entries. A grade II listed bottle kiln, referred to as the ‘Waterloo Kiln’, and various pottery works buildings, including a gatehouse and Strawberry Cottage, remain from the Rockingham Pottery Works (HER 02218/01). The Rockingham Works first recorded owner was Joseph Flint, who paid rent to the 1st Marquis of Rockingham in the 1740s for ‘digging clay and renting a brick works’. The site continued to expand under subsequent owners, which included William Malpass and the Works principle output was a chocolate brown tea or coffee service. In 1785, owners Bingley Wood and Co. went into a partnership with Leeds Pottery, which was subsequently dissolved in 1806 and the pottery was acquired by the Brameld family in 1807. Following bankruptcy in 1825, the pottery was purchased by William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, 2nd Earl Fitzwilliam and renamed The Rockingham Works in 1826 after his uncle, Charles Watson Wentworth and closed in 1842 (Hey 2011).

2.7.3    One kiln, of an original 8 belonging to The Don Pottery Works (HER 03523/01), currently survives. The works were established in 1801 by John and William Green and lay on the bank of the Don canal on the boundary between Swinton and Mexbrough. Don pottery was exported across the world, including the Middle East, Russia and South America. Business fell into decline in the 1830s and by 1834 the Greens declared bankruptcy. In 1839, the owner of Mexborough Pottery bought the Don Works and both were run by Samuel Barker until 1848, when all production was moved to the Don site. It was rented out to partners in 1882, but remained trading under the name of Samuel Barker and Sons. The Don Works were closed in 1893, when all stock was sold off in order to pay overdue rent (Hey 2011).

2.7.4    Non-industrial aspects of Swinton during this period include a post-medieval sundial (HER 02811/01) which was ploughed up on Swinton Common. A Norman Chapel was demolished in 1815, and replaced by a Victorian church dedicated to St Margaret at a cost of £6000. Two Norman arches were also preserved and moved to the new churchyard. This new church, however, burned down in 1897 and was rebuilt and consecrated by the Archbishop of York. The cost came to £5956, which was paid for by the Fire Insurance Company, Earl Fitzwilliam, Diocesan Church Extension Society local fund raising (Quarrell 1954).

 

3          AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

3.1       The aims of the archaeological evaluation were to:

·       Assess the form and function of any underlying archaeological remains that were indicated by the recovery of a dated pottery assemblage and subsequent geophysical survey.

·       Record, as far as reasonably possible, the location, extent, date, form, character and significance of any archaeological remains uncovered.

·       To engage with the local community via regional media outlets (radio, TV, newspapers), group site visits and the dissemination of the written report to appropriate sponsors and the local museum.

·       To teach basic archaeological skills to members of the public who donated to work on the excavation and engage them with the past using the Site as a vehicle.

 

4          METHODOLOGY

4.1      General

4.1.1    The location of the excavation was informed by the recovery of the pottery assemblage, the Project Design created by Elmet (2014b) and the results of the as yet unpublished geophysical survey and was positioned to give good coverage of the survey area and to test perceived ‘blank’ areas. Two evaluation trenches were excavated and the work was carried out in two phases. The first phase consisted of Trench 1, a 5m x 2m trench with a 2m x 1m extension to the east. The second phase, Trench 2, consisted of a 3.1m x 2.3m trench located directly adjacent to Trench 1 to the south west.

4.2       Hand Excavation

4.2.1    Topsoil and overburden was removed by hand using spades and shovels in a series of level spits to the beginning of the upper archaeological horizon and/or natural geology.  Features and associated deposits were excavated with mattocks, shovels and trowels under the supervision of experienced Elmet archaeologists.

4.3  Recording

4.3.1    The features were planned at a scale of 1:20, with any individual feature requiring greater detail recorded at 1:10, by measured drawing and photography and the deposits encountered described fully on pro-forma individual context recording sheets as necessary. The sections of excavated archaeological features were also recorded by measured drawing at an appropriate scale (normally 1:10). Spot heights and those of individual features were recorded relative to Ordnance Datum using a levelling instrument (commonly known as a ‘dumpy level’). All work was carried out in accordance with industry and Elmet Archaeology guidelines (CIfA 2014b and 2014c).

4.3.2       A photographic record (SLR colour digital, 12 megapixel resolution) was maintained during the course of the fieldwork and included the following:

  • the site prior to commencement of fieldwork.
  • the site during work, showing specific stages of fieldwork.
  • the layout of archaeological features within each trench.
  • individual features and, where appropriate, their sections.
  • groups of features where their relationship is important

5          ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESULTS

5.1       Introduction

5.1.1    The following is a summary of the results of the two phases of excavation. Detailed descriptions of all the contexts can be found in Appendix 1 and are referred to in the text in bold.

5.2       Trench 1

5.2.1    The initial evaluation began with the excavation of a single trench measuring 5m x 2m, which was subsequently extended by an additional 2m x 1m area when it became apparent that there were features beyond the south west edge of excavation. The trench was orientated north east to south west and excavated to a maximum depth of 1.47m

5.2.2    Trench 1 (Figure 2) consisted of a topsoil/turf layer, 1001, which was a dark greyish brown silty sand and excavated to a depth of between 0.14-0.3m. 1001 contained occasional 20th century finds such as ceramic and glass as well as red brick fragments, indicating that the deposit has been highly disturbed fairly recently.  Beneath this laid subsoil 1002, a very mixed reddish brown silty sand deposit which was excavated to a depth of 0.26-0.64m and was cut by several modern features associated with gardening activity. The above deposits were most likely formed by the intentional raising of the ground level during the construction of the housing estate in the 1950’s and 60’s. Below 1002 lay what has been interpreted as a potential earlier topsoil deposit 1003 which had a thickness of 0.28m. It consisted of a mixed mid yellow brown sandy silt suggesting an earlier topsoil with a diffuse horizon with natural deposit 1013 which developed over time. It contained a mix of Roman and post medieval/modern pottery sherds supporting this. Beneath this lay the natural bedrock 1013, found at a depth of 0.74m and consisting of compacted light brownish yellow sandstone.

5.2.3    The bedrock 1013 was cut by the earliest feature uncovered on site, a linear ditch 1022, (Figures 2 and 3, Plates 1 and 2) which had a depth of 0.73m and width at the top of 1.20m. The ditch was aligned north east to south west and measured 2.7m, extending beyond the edge of excavation. The ditch had a sharp break of slope at the top with steep sides before turning near vertical and forming a flat bottomed base. The north western side of the ditch 1022 had a flat ‘shelved’ area which measured 1.60m x 0.73m wide and had potential postholes 1028 and 1029 cut into it.

5.2.4    The primary fill of 1022 consisted of a friable mid brown orange sand, 1023, with angular sandstone inclusions and had a thickness of 0.61m and width of 0.87m. A total of 8 sherds of black-burnished ware and one sherd of courseware pottery were recovered, which dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD (Appendix 2). A small fragment of fire damaged Roman glass dating to between the 1st and 4th century AD was also found (Appendix 3). Overlaying 1023 was secondary fill 1021, consisting of a friable light yellow brown coarse sand with frequent small angular stone inclusions which extended to a thickness of 0.28m. 1021 also contained a total of eight Black-burnished ware and five courseware pottery sherds dating from the late 2nd to early 3rd century AD (Appendix 2). Sealing ditch 1022 was 1025, a mid reddish brown compact silty sand horizon below 1003. It varied in thickness from between 0.04m – 0.15m and extended beyond the limits of excavation. It appears that 1025 was an interface between the upper ditch fill 1021 and probable previous topsoil layer 1003 as it had elements of both these contexts in its matrix.

5.2.5    The two postholes 1028 and 1029 (Figure 2, Plates 1 and 3) were cut into the north western shoulder of 1022 through 1013. 1028 was 0.20m deep and a diameter of 0.31m, whilst the possible post hole 1029 had a depth of 0.10m a diameter of 0.20m and was located 0.2m to the south west. Both appeared to have been cut when the ditch was originally open as they were filled with the primary ditch fill 1023 and are of unknown date and function.

5.2.6    A number of modern features, 1004, 1006, 1008, 1017 and 1027 (Figure 2), were uncovered, associated with modern gardening activity, and consisted of a tree bole and a number of circular pits used as dumps for garden waste. The tree bole 1004 was sub circular in shape and 0.6m in depth. The other features were circular pits varying in diameter from 0.4m (1006) to 0.7m (1008) and in depth from 0.16m (1008) to 1m (1017 and 1027).  All the features were backfilled with a similar rubble fill of brick and concrete fragments suggesting a series of waste dumps. The discovery of 1017 led to the small 2m x 1m extension in the east in order to ascertain any truncation it may have caused to the underlying archaeology.

5.2.7    Two features were identified at the south-west end of the trench, both of which were cut through the original topsoil deposit 1003. The small oval, possible post hole 1010 (Figure 2, Plate 6) had a depth of 0.20m, vertical sides and a flat base. This was filled with 1009, a loose greyish brown sandy silt. This was initially thought to be a tree bole or similar, but the regular nature of the cut and proximity to the post hole 1015/1020 suggests that it could have been a man made post hole of unknown purpose. The fact that it is sealed by the subsoil 1002 indicates that while not strictly modern it post dates the Roman ditch.

5.2.8    A probable post hole 1020 (Figure 4, Plate 7) had been cut through the layer 1003 down to the natural bedrock 1013 to a depth of 0.57m. It had straight flat sides and was circular in plan. A stepped base was uncovered suggesting that 1020 had been recut later by 1015 possibly for the purpose of removing the post. 1015 was roughly circular with a length of 0.66m, a width of 0.56m and a depth of 0.46m. Both 1015 and 1020 were filled with 1012, a friable orange brown sandy silt with a lot of root disturbance. The deposit contained a mix of Roman pottery, including Black-burnished ware and modern industrial waste such as slag along with slate, brick and modern ceramic (Appendix 2). A bulk sample of 10 litres was taken from 1012, which revealed further modern material, including a clay pipe stem fragment, glass fragments and a polystyrene bead (Appendix 4), along with coal and cinder. This indicates that the feature is of a modern date with intrusive Roman material.

5.3       Trench 2

5.3.1    The general stratigraphy (consisting of topsoil, subsoil and natural deposits) within Trench 2 (Figures 5 and 6, Plate 8) was identical to that found in Trench 1 which is explained by the fact that they are adjacent to one another. The topsoil of this area, 2001, was dark grey brown silty sand, excavated to a depth of 0.3m.  Beneath this lay thin subsoil deposit 2002 measuring 0.04m – 0.12m in thickness, comprising of light reddish orange brown silty sand.  As in Trench 1, the natural 2003 was light yellow brown sandstone bedrock, which was discovered at a depth of 0.42m.

5.3.2    Only one feature of potential Roman date was uncovered during the excavation of Trench 2. This was a south west – north east aligned ditch 2004 (Figure 7, Plate 9) which was truncated by modern pits associated with gardening activity such as 2014 and 2016. 2004 had steep convex sides and a relatively shallow concave base at an excavated depth of 0.34m and a maximum width of 0.7m. It was particularly different in form and dimensions to ditch 1022 uncovered to the north and is likely to be a separate feature.  It was filled with deposit 2005, a mid orange brown sandy fill very similar to 2003, which suggests it is a redeposited natural placed during the process of backfilling the ditch when it fell out of use. No finds were recovered from this deposit making dating of this feature difficult; however, its form suggests a possible Roman field boundary.

5.3.3    A series of modern truncations were also uncovered, in the form of pits associated with modern gardening activity dating to the 20th and 21st centuries, these include 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. A brief summary of the features will be offered with particular focus on pits 2014 and 2016 as they truncate ditch 2004 especially to the north east of the trench where is becomes difficult to identify and locate it.

5.3.4    Pits 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 (Figure 8, Plate 10) are the product of recent gardening activity which has resulted in a series of sub-oval/sub-circular/sub-rectangular pits used for the dumping of rubbish or tree/plant boles. They vary in diameter from 0.17m (2012), to 0.4m (2010, as excavated) and in depth from 0.23m (2012) to 0.57m (2010).  The function of these pits has been inferred from both their form and shape and the fills associated with them. For example, pit 2006 has a highly irregular base with a great deal of undulation indicating rooting which suggests a plant bole. In contrast, pit 2008 is filled with 2009 which contains building material such as brick and paving slab fragments indicating it was utilised as a waste dump. Further consultation with the current tenant of the property has confirmed many of the initial conclusions regarding these features.

5.3.5    Of particular note are pits 2014 and 2016 (Figure 9, Plate 11) which heavily truncate the ditch 2004, especially at the north east end where the ditch becomes difficult to locate. 2014 is a relatively shallow sub oval rubbish pit, excavated to a depth of 0.21m, and filled with a rubble deposit, 2015, containing brick fragments, concrete slab and breeze blocks. 2016 is located directly to the north east and is sub angular in shape with a depth of 0.42m. It has been filled with 2017, 2018 and 2019 and visible tiplines within the deposits suggest a process of deliberate backfilling of the feature after it went out of use. Both these features truncate 2004 further obscuring any continuation of the ditch with only inferences being able to be made about its location on Site.

6          DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

6.1      Introduction

6.1.1    The remains identified during the evaluation on land at 63 Toll Bar Road indicated that there was activity on the Site during the Roman period. Three sets of features can be examined to expand upon this conclusion, the ditches 1022 and 2004 and post holes 1028 and 1029.

6.2      Ditch 1022

6.2.1    The ditch 1022 was aligned north-east to south-west within Trench 1 and extended beyond the edge of excavation. The lack of any evidence of nearby Roman buildings, such as roof tiles, plaster, tesserae and so on indicates that the ditch was situated in a rural environment, most likely a farming landscape. Several pieces of Black-burnished ware and one piece of courseware pottery dated to the Roman period were recovered from the primary deposit 1023 which dates the ditch the late 2nd century – early 3rd century AD. The pottery also suggests the relatively low status of rural population of the area (Appendix 2). Further to this was the recovery of a small fragment of broken Roman glass, dating to between the 1st and 4th centuries AD (Appendix 3), which had been malformed in fire, most likely by accident, before deposition.

6.2.2    The lack of any high status wares, such as decorated Samian ceramics, further supports the idea of a rural farming landscape and it is possible a farmstead is located nearby.  As such it is likely that 1022 acted as a boundary, either for a field system or livestock. The lack of any visible tipping lines with the backfill 1023 indicates it was abandoned and silted up over time due to natural erosion.

6.3       Post Holes 1028 and 1029

6.3.1    Two small post holes were cut into the ‘shoulder’ of ditch 1022 and filled with 1023, which was also the primary fill of the ditch. No finds were recovered from either post hole but as they were filled with 1023 is seems reasonable to surmise that they are contemporary in terms of date with the ditch. The function of the post holes is somewhat more difficult to discern, however.  Their proximity to each other suggests they are related and possibly performed the same function.  The nearby ditch 1022 may suggest the post holes formed part of a fence line associated with land division. Unfortunately the scarcity of other postholes nearby means that this is only conjecture at this time and would require further excavation to confirm.

6.4       Ditch 2004

6.4.1    A second ditch 2004 was uncovered in Trench 2 and located to the south west of 1022. The difference in dimensions and form between the two ditches and the truncation of 2004 by modern gardening activity means that identifying any physical or stratigraphic relationship between 1022 and 2004 is impossible. However, the form of 2004 and the fact that it shares the same alignment as 1022 indicates that it performed a similar function and acted as a field boundary or enclosure for livestock.

6.4.2    No finds were recovered so dating the ditch securely is somewhat problematic but there is enough evidence to suppose the above interpretation is acceptable based on the current amount of information available. As with deposit 1023, the backfill 2005 has no visible tipping lines suggesting a long period of erosion over time after the ditch fell out of use.

6.5       Conclusion

6.5.1    The discovery of ditches 1022 and 2004 suggest that the evaluation of land at 63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton has uncovered a small fragment of a wider Roman agricultural landscape dating to the 1st – 4th centuries AD. The relatively small area of excavation means that only limited conclusions can be made but evidence has been uncovered to indicate the presence of a Roman field system with the potential of nearby rural settlements in the form of small dispersed farmsteads. Whether this landscape is part of wider arable or pastoral agricultural practices is unknown at the current time and would require further investigation.

 REFERNCES

Barnsley, Dearne and Dove Canal Trust, 2015. History of the Canals – Dearne and Dove

Canal. Available online: http://www.bddct.org.uk/home.html (accessed 11/06/2015).

British Geological Survey, 2015. Geology of Britain Viewer Website.

Available online: http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html (accessed 02/06/2015).

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, 2014a. Codes of Conduct.

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, 2014b. Standards and Guidance for the Collection, Documentation, Conservation and Research of Archaeological Materials.

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, 2014c. Standard Guidance for Archaeological Field Evaluation.

Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd, 2014a. Unlocking Swinton, unpublished Desk Based Assessment report.

Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd, 2014b. Roman Swinton Project Design, unpublished Project Design.

English Heritage, 2006. Management of Research Projects in the Historic Environment: The MoRPHE Project Manager’s Guide.

Griffiths, D, 2014. Swinton Pottery Report Database, unpublished specialist report.

Hey, D, 2011. A History of Yorkshire. Lancaster. Carnegie Publishing Ltd.

Museums and Galleries Commission, 1992. Standards in the museum care of archaeological collections.

Open Domesday, 2015. Place: Swinton. Available online at http://opendomesday.org/place/SK4599/swinton/ (accessed 02/06/2015).

Quarrell, H. W Rev, 1954. A History of Swinton. Mexborough. Times Printing Company.

Travis, J. R., 2001. Wath Wood and Boyd Royd Wood: An Archaeological Survey. Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society, Volume 21, 1 – 42.

United Kingdom Institute for Conservation, 1990, Guidelines for the Preparation of Excavation Archives for Long Term Storage.

Figure 2: Post excavation plan of Trench 1.

 figure 2
ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 2

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.2
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

Figure 3: South west facing section of Roman field boundary ditch 1022.

figure 3

 

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 3

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.3
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

Figure 4: South east facing section of recut posthole 1015/1020.

figure 4

 

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 4

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.4
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

Figure 5: Post excavation plan of Trench 2.

figure 5

 

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 5

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.5
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

 

Figure 6: Overlay of northern end of Trench 2 after excavation of modern pit 2016.

 figure 6
ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 6

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.6
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

 

Figure 7: North east facing section of possible Roman ditch 2004.

 Figure 7
ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 7

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.7
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

Figure 8: South west facing section of modern gardening features.

 

figure 8

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 8

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.8
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

Figure 9: South west facing section of modern pit 2016 associated with gardening activity.

 figure 9
ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Figure 9

Project Ref: Toll Bar Road Drawn By: KB Checked by: CR Drawing No: TB15.12/06.9
Report Ref: TB14 Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

Plate 1: South west facing section of ditch 1022 with post holes 1028 and 1029.

plate 1

Plate 2: South west facing section of ditch 1022.

plate 2

Plate 3: Post holes 1028 and 1029, facing north.

plate 3

Plate 4: Original pre 1950’s topsoil layer 1003, facing west.

plate 4

 

Plate 5: Post hole 1010, facing west.

plate 5

Plate 6: Recut post hole 1015/1020.

plate 6

 Plate 7: Pre excavation shot of Trench 2 facing south west.

plate 7

Plate 8: North east facing section of possible Roman field boundary ditch 2004.

 plate 8

 Plate 9: South east facing section of Trench 2 with excavated modern features.

plate 9

Plate 10: South west facing section of modern gardening feature 2016.

plate 10

 

APPENDIX 1: List of Contexts

Area Context Description Depth
 Trench 1 1001 Topsoil: Loose mixed dark greyish brown silty sand with frequent small stone/brick/rubble inclusions 0.20m
Trench 1 1002 Subsoil: Compact mid reddish brown silty sand with frequent sandstone fragment/plastic/brick/glass/mudstone inclusions 0.35m
Trench 1 1003 Possible Occupation Layer: Compact mid brownish yellow silty sand with frequent sandstone/charcoal inclusions 0.33m
Trench 1 1004 Tree Bole: Sub-circular cut filled with loose dark greyish brown silty sand 0.60m
Trench 1 1005 Fill: Loose orangey brown silty sand with frequent rubble, fill of 1006 0.43m
Trench 1 1006 Cut: Circular cut with sharp break of slope, vertical sides and flat base, modern rubble dump, filled by 1005 0.43m
Trench 1 1007 Fill: Loose greyish brown silty sand with frequent rubble, fill of 1008 0.16m
Trench 1 1008 Cut: Circular cut with sharp break of slope, irregular shaped sides, irregular shaped base, modern rubble dump, filled by 1007 0.16m
Trench 1 1009 Fill: Loose mid brownish grey sandy silt, fill of 1010 0.20m
Trench 1 1010 Cut: Oval cut with sharp break of slope, vertical sides, flat base, filled by 1009 0.20m
Trench 1 1011 Voided Context
Trench 1 1012 Fill: Friable orangey brown sandy silt, fill of 1015/1020 0.57m
Trench 1 1013 Natural Bedrock: Compact light brownish yellow sandstone, natural geology
Trench 1 1014 Voided Context
Trench 1 1015 Cut: Circular cut with sharp break of slope, vertical sides, slightly undercut on east edge, flat base, filled by 1012 0.46m
Trench 1 1016 Fill: Loose modern rubble fill of 1017 1.00m
Trench 1 1017 Cut: Circular modern cut with sharp break of slope, irregular sides and base, filled by 1016 1.00m
Trench 1 1018 Voided Context
Trench 1 1019 Voided Context
Trench 1 1020 Cut: Circular cut with sharp break of slope, vertical sides and flat base, filled by 1012, truncated by 1015 0.57m
Trench 1 1021 Fill: Loose light yellowish brown coarse sand with frequent sandstone inclusions, upper fill of 1022 0.31m
Trench 1 1022 Cut: Linear cut running NE-SW, with sharp break of slope, irregular sides and flat base, filled by 1021 & 1023 0.70m
Trench 1 1023 Fill: Loose mid brownish orange sand with frequent sandstone inclusions, lower fill of 1022 0.60m
Trench 1 1024 Cut: Sharp cut in 1003, possible modern levelling truncation 0.14m
Trench 1 1025 Fill: Compact mid reddish brown silty sand, underlying 1003 and sealing 1021 0.20m
Trench 1 1026 Fill: Loose modern rubble fill of 1027 1.00m
Trench 1 1027 Cut: Circular modern cut with sharp break of slope, irregular sides and base, filled by 1026 1.00m
Trench 1 1028 Cut: Sub-circular cut in NW side of 1022, sharp break of slope, vertical sides, flat base, filled by 1023 0.20m
Trench 1 1029 Cut: Sub-circular cut in NW side of 1022, sharp break of slope, vertical sides, flat base, filled by 1023 0.10m
Trench 2 2001 Topsoil: A loose/friable dark grey brown silty sand with small stone inclusions and bioturbation. 0.30m
Trench 2 2002 Subsoil: A friable light grey/orange brown silty sand with small stone inclusions and bioturbation. 0.04 -0.10m
Trench 2 2003 Natural: A firm orange yellow sand and sandstone natural and bedrock deposit. (0.56m)
Trench 2 2004 Cut: A probable linear Roman field boundary ditch aligned ne-sw. Filled with 2005. 0.19-0.33m
Trench 2 2005 Fill: A firm mid orange brown sand with occasional sub angular stone inclusions, probably formed by erosion of side edges. 0.19-0.33m
Trench 2 2006 Cut: A small sub oval pit, probably a tree/plant bole. Filled with 2007. 0.51m
Trench 2 2007 Fill: A loose friable mid orange brown silty sand with occasional sub rounded stone inclusions and bioturbation. 0.51m
Trench 2 2008 Cut: A sub oval pit related to modern gardening activity. Filled with 2009. 0.48m
Trench 2 2009 Fill: A loose/friable mid grey brown with a lens of redeposited natural and fragments of CBM. 0.48
Trench 2 2010 Cut: A sub rectangular cut aligned se – nw associated with modern gardening activity. Filled with 2011. 0.56m
Trench 2 2011 Fill: A loose/friable mid grey brown sand with red brick fragment inclusions. 0.56m
Trench 2 2012 Cut: A circular pit with concave base. Probably a tree/plant bole filled with 2013. 0.23m
Trench 2 2013 Fill: A loose/friable mid grey brown silty sand with ‘streaks’ of probable redposited natural and bioturbation. 0.23m
Trench 2 2014 Cut: A sub oval pit with a flat base excavated as a rubbish dump. Filled with 2015. 0.22m
Trench 2 2015 Fill: A mid grey brown silty sand waste deposited with CBM fragment inclusions. 0.22m
Trench 2 2016 Cut: A sub-circular/oval pit possibly cut by 2014. Probably a modern garden feature that may also truncate 2004. Filled with 2017, 2018 and 2019. 0.56m
Trench 2 2017 Fill: Primary light orange yellow sand fill of 2014. 0.05 – 0.56m
Trench 2 2018 Fill: Secondary dark red brown silty sand fill of 2014. Probable deliberate backfill. 0.20m
Trench 2 2019 Fill: Secondary mid orange brown silty sand fill of 2014. 0.20m

 

Appendix 2: Pottery Report

Swinton, South Yorkshire: Report prepared by David G. Griffiths (January 2015) for Elmet Archaeological Services on Roman pottery recovered from excavations conducted in 2014.

Introduction

This report presents the Roman pottery recovered from excavations at Swinton, South Yorkshire, conducted by Elmet Archaeological Services during August 2014. A total of 36 Roman pottery sherds (244 grams) were recovered from stratified deposits, of which 11 were diagnostic and represented at least 4 vessels. Numerous sherds of Post-Medieval and ‘modern’ ceramics (up to the 20th century AD) were present in 1001, 1002, 1003, 1012, and 1018; these items are not included in this report.

All Roman ceramic material recovered was classified and quantified by ware class (Black-burnished ware and coarsewares), and Table 1 presents the bulk pottery data (sherd count and weight) by context. Full fabric descriptions for each ware class are presented, along with a detailed written description and illustration for all diagnostic sherds.

Table 1. Roman bulk pottery by context, sherd count, and weight (in grams).

Context Black-burnished count Black-burnished weight Coarseware count Coarseware weight Total count Total weight
1001 5 16 5 16
1002 1 3 1 3
1003 2 1 2 1
1012 3 30 1 8 4 38
1016
1018 2 6 2 6
1021 8 50 5 44 13 94
1023 8 75 1 11 9 86
Total 23 162 13 82 36 244

 

Discussion

It must be first noted that 1021 and 1023 were the only archaeological deposits which did not contain ‘modern’ material (e.g. pottery, glass, brick etc. dating to approximately the 18th to 20th centuries AD). These two contexts may be considered as undisturbed deposits dating to the Roman period (based on the material culture recovered). The Roman pottery assemblage was relatively small, and, subsequently, its analysis did not allow for information to be gained regarding site function.  However, these few pots do provide tentative evidence regarding social status and a broad date range for occupation. No fine tablewares (e.g. Samian or colour-coated wares) were recovered from these investigations, indicating a relatively low social status for the inhabitants of the site.

Information regarding site chronology was gained from three Featured Vessels, no’s 1, 2/4, and 5. Two of these were Rossington Bridge Black-burnished ware jars (no’s 1 (1012) and 2/4 (1021 and 1023), which were produced locally in South Yorkshire (Tomber and Dore 1998, 202) during the third century AD, similar examples have been found in third century AD deposits at Brougham, Cumbria (Cool 2004, 218), and Dalton Parlours, near Tadcaster (Sumpter 1990, 139). A cross-hatched Black-burnished ware decorated body sherd (no. 6) was recovered, and was possibly part of either vessel no. 1, or no. 2/4. Vessel no. 5 (1023) was also likely to have been produced in the Yorkshire region, possibly in the late second century or third century AD.

Given the relatively few diagnostic vessel sherds recovered from Swinton, occupation of the site may be tentatively suggested (based on the pottery) from as early as the late second century AD, and continued throughout the third century AD. Black-burnished ware pottery (at least two vessels were present at Swinton) features heavily on Romano-British sites throughout the north of England during this period. Further investigations may provide evidence to refine the chronology for occupation, and offer information regarding the range of activities taking place at Swinton during the Roman period.

Catalogue      

This catalogue only includes those vessel sherds where form may be firmly identified; quantification was by sherd count and weight.

 

Abbreviations:                                                Fabric inclusions:       A – abundant

RE – rim equivalent (percentage)                                                      C – common

BE – base equivalent (percentage)                                        S – sparse

VS – very sparse

Fabric descriptions

B01                  Rossington Bridge Black-burnished ware 1. Grey to dark grey fabric and grey to black burnished surface. Inclusions: A: quartz; S: grey; VS: mica.

R04                  Reduced. Grey, hard, ill-sorted. Similar to Holme-on-Spalding Moor Reduced ware, wheel-made. Inclusions: A: white (0.1mm), C: black, rounded (some c.1-2mm). Munsell: 7.5YR 4/1 dark grey to 4/2 brown.

R06                  Reduced. Hard, irregular fracture, ill-sorted, wheel-made. Inclusions: C: quartz, S: white. Munsell: 7.5YR 3/1 very dark grey

Featured Vessels

1         

Rossington Bridge Black-burnished ware 1 (Tomber and Dore 1998, ROS BB I) jar with everted rim, broad collar, and carinated shoulder. Surface heavily eroded. c. AD 240 – 270 (e.g. no. 271, Brougham (Cool 2004, 218).  Fabric B01. Rim diam. 132mm; RE 17.5%; Count 3; Wt. 30g. Context 1012.

2/4     

Rossington Bridge Black-burnished ware 1 (Tomber and Dore 1998, ROS BB I) jar with everted rim and groove where rim meets shoulder; sharp curve to shoulder. c. AD 230 – 300 (e.g. no. 32, Dalton Parlours (Sumpter 1990, 139). Fabric B01. Rim diam. 120mm; RE 35%; Count 4; Wt. 36g. Contexts 1021 (no. 2, 2 sherds) and 1023 (no. 4, 2 sherds).

3         

Coarseware base sherd, heavily eroded. Fabric R06 (core: dark grey, reduced; margins: brown). Rim diam. 70mm; RE 12%; Count 1; Wt. 7g. Context 1021.

5         

Coarseware jar with everted rim. Grey fabric with burnished outer-surface and rim. c. AD 150 – 200 + (similar to no. 220, Castleford (Rush 2000, 114). Fabric R04. Rim diam. 102mm; RE 30%; Count 2; Wt. 25g. Context 1023.

6         

Rossington Bridge Black-burnished ware body sherd with cross-hatched decoration (likely part of vessel no. 1 or no. 2/4). Fabric B01. Count 1; Wt. 12g. Context 1023.

featured vessel 6

REFERENCES

Cool, H.E.M. 2004. The Roman Cemetery at Brougham, Cumbria: Excavations 1966-1967. Roman Society, London.

Munsell Soil Color Charts, 1992. New York (revised edition).

Rush, P., Dickinson, B., Hartley, B. And K. F., Hartley 2000. Roman Castleford. Excavations 1974-85, Volume III: The Pottery. Yorkshire Archaeology 6. West Yorkshire Archaeology Service.

Sumpter, A. B., 1990. Roman Pottery (from contexts other than Well). In Wrathmell, S. And   A. Nicholson (eds.) 1990, Dalton Parlours. Iron Age Settlement and Roman Villa. West Yorkshire Archaeology Service.

Tomber, R. & J. Dore, 1998. The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: A Handbook. London: Museum of London Archaeology Service.

 

Appendix 3: Glass Report

Swinton, South Yorkshire: Report prepared by Birgitta Hoffmann (February 2015) on a Roman Glass fragment recovered from excavations in 2014.

1 piece of glass was submitted located in 1023 Primary ditch fill.

Material: Colourless with bluish tinge no bubbles visible.

Dimensions: 26mm x 34.1 x 6.38 Surviving width of handle attachment: 16.7 mm surviving height: 10.5 mm

The fragment is from the shoulder of a handled vessel, most likely some form of jug. The handle originally attached vertically to the shoulder and continued up. While colourless handled vessels belong mostly to the tableware from the first to fourth century, the small piece and the heat deformation has made it impossible to identify the exact type of vessel it may have come from, and thus no narrower date range than  the Roman period can be suggested.

The pitted surface on the upper side of the fragment and the slight deformations of the original shape are due to a secondary exposure to heat of the vessel, melting the edges of the vessel and contracting them. A comparison with modern glass sherds exposed to a variety of heat sources and temperatures suggests that the heat was high but not excessive, but more likely accidental (eg. a small fire on a hearth or small bonfire, rather than the centre of a blaze). The exposure to heat was uneven, mainly affecting the inner surface of the vessel. This suggests that the vessel was already broken, when exposed to heat. The breaks on the handle and on one side of the shoulder are sharp and have most likely occurred after the heat exposure. There are no tool impressions or other indicators that this heat deformation was intentional or even took place in the context of a workshop.

 

Appendix 4: Environmental Report

Assessment of biological remains from two sediment samples collected during excavations at 63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Introduction

Two sediment samples (‘GBA’/‘BS’ sensu Dobney et al. 1992), from post hole fill 1012 and primary boundary ditch fill 1023, were submitted to Palaeoecology Research Services Limited (PRS), Kingston upon Hull, for an assessment of their bioarchaeological potential.

Methods

The sediment samples were inspected and their lithologies recorded, using a standard pro forma, prior to processing for the recovery of organic macrofossils (and artefactual remains) broadly following the techniques of Kenward et al. (1980).

The washovers did not appear to contain uncharred ‘ancient’ organic remains and were dried prior to examination for macrofossils using a low-power microscope (x7 to x45 magnification).

The residues were primarily mineral in nature and were dried prior to the recording of their components. The residues were separated into three fractions using 10 mm and 4 mm sieves. Sorting for all remains, including artefacts, was undertaken to 4 mm. Residue less than 4 mm was retained unsorted. All residue fractions (including those less than 4 mm) were scanned for magnetic material.

All of the components of the washovers and residues were recorded using a five-point semi-quantitative scale (see Key to Table 2). The abundance of recovered organic and other remains within the sediments as a whole may be judged by comparing the washover weights/volumes and the quantities of remains recovered from the residues with the size of the processed sediment samples.

Macrofossil remains were identified by comparison with modern reference material (where possible), and the use of published works (e.g. Cappers et al. 2006 and Jacomet 2006 for plant remains). Remains were identified to the lowest taxon possible or necessary to achieve the aims of the project.

Charcoal identifications were attempted for a small number of larger fragments, all of which were over 4 mm. Pieces were broken to give clean cross-sectional surfaces and the anatomical structures were examined using a low-power binocular microscope (x7 to x45) and higher magnification where necessary (x150). Identifications were made by comparison with modern reference material where possible, and with reference to published works (principally Hather 2000 and Schoch et al. 2004).

A microfossil ‘squash’ subsample (~5 ml) from each deposit was examined using the ‘squash’ technique of Dainton (1992). Originally designed specifically to investigate the content of eggs of intestinal parasitic nematodes, this method routinely reveals the presence of other microfossils, such as pollen and diatoms, which were the main focus of the investigations here. The slides were scanned at x150 magnification and at x600 where necessary.

During recording, consideration was given to the suitability of macrofossil remains for submission for radiocarbon dating by standard radiometric technique or accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS).

Results

The results of the assessment are presented in Tables 1 to 4. Table 1 lists the sediment samples and shows the sediment descriptions and sizes of the subsamples processed, together with context information for the deposits (provided by the excavator). Table 2 gives details of the remains recovered from the deposits in the washover fraction. Table 3 shows the descriptions of the residue fractions and the biological and other remains recovered from them. Table 4 presents the results of the microfossil investigations.

Discussion and statement of potential

Ancient organic material recovered from the fill of post hole 1020 (and associated larger cut 1015) and the primary fill of ditch 1022 (which also filled possible post holes 1028 and 1029) was restricted to a little charcoal and, from the former, a single very poorly preserved indeterminate charred grain fragment. Both deposits contained some modern intrusive/contaminant material, principally rootlet and small numbers of modern ‘seeds’ but also including occasional invertebrate remains (earthworm egg capsules from Context 1012).

Most of the charcoal recovered from the two samples was small (less than 4 mm), indeterminate, rectilinear fragments but 1012 also yielded a few larger fragments including one charred roundwood twig fragment representing four years of wood growth which could be partially identified as of a diffuse-porous species (a species level identification could almost certainly be achieved by further study). All of the charcoal present probably represents fuel waste; coal was also present (and cinder in 1012).

No interpretatively valuable microfossils were present in either of the deposits. Artefactual material from the samples was exclusively from Context 1012 and consisted of a background level of hammerscale and amorphous slag (far too little to imply any significant metalworking in the immediate vicinity), a few shards of clear glass (modern), a single fragment of clay pipe stem and a clearly modern ‘bead’ of polystyrene.

1012, and perhaps also 1023, yielded sufficient charcoal for radiocarbon dating (via AMS) to be attempted. However, all of the charcoal from 1023 would be unsuitable for this purpose being of indeterminate species and number of years of growth and, therefore, subject to the ‘old wood problem’ whereby any date returned could be significantly earlier than the charring event (the carbon content of the wood being fixed at the time of its growth). The charred grain and roundwood charcoal fragments from 1012 could be considered for submission but this deposit was clearly highly insecure/mixed in nature as it contained intrusive remains (e.g. rootlet and earthworm egg capsules) and artefactual material spanning many centuries – modern glass and polystyrene, together with clay pipe (post-medieval) recovered from the sample, but also Roman pot and prehistoric flint recovered on site (excavator’s site text) – and, consequently, any date returned from the charcoal could not be reliably extended to the deposit as a whole.

Recommendations

The dearth of ancient organic remains recovered from the samples precludes any further study.

Retention and disposal

The small quantity of artefactual remains recovered from 1012 may be retained at the excavator’s discretion but the remainder of the washover and residue fractions and the ‘squash’ subsamples of unprocessed sediment may be discarded.

Archive

All of the extant material is currently stored by Palaeoecology Research Services (Unit 4, National Industrial Estate, Bontoft Avenue, Kingston upon Hull), pending return to the excavator (or permission to discard), along with paper and electronic records pertaining to the work described here.

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Alex Sotheran, of Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd, for providing the material and the archaeological information.

REFERENCES

Cappers, R. T. J., Bekker, R. and Jans J. E. A. (2006). Digitale Zadenatlas van Nederland. Groningen Archaeological Studies 4. Groningen: Barkhuis Publishing and Groningen University Library.

Dainton, M. (1992). A quick, semi‑quantitative method for recording nematode gut parasite eggs from archaeological deposits. Circaea, the Journal of the Association for Environmental Archaeology 9, 58‑63.

Dobney, K., Hall, A. R., Kenward, H. K. and Milles, A. (1992). A working classification of sample types for environmental archaeology. Circaea, the Journal of the Association for Environmental Archaeology 9 (for 1991), 24-6.

Hather, J. G. (2000). The identification of the Northern European Woods: a guide for archaeologists and conservators. London: Archetype Publications.

Jacomet, S. (2006). Identification of cereal remains from archaeological sites2nd edition. Basel: IPAS, Basel University.

Kenward, H. K., Hall, A. R. and Jones, A. K. G. (1980). A tested set of techniques for the extraction of plant and animal macrofossils from waterlogged archaeological deposits. Science and Archaeology 22, 3-15.

Schoch, W. H., Heller, I., Schweingruber, F. H. and Kienast, F. (2004). Wood anatomy of central European Species. Online version: www.woodanatomy.ch

 

Table 1. 63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Notes from initial visual inspection of bulk sediment samples and processing

Context number Sample number Context type Initial sediment description Processed sample size wt/vol (kg/l) Remaining sediment
1012 1 Single fill of post hole 1020 and larger cut 1015 (interpreted as having been cut to aid the removal of the contents of 1020) Moist, light/mid yellow-brown to mid grey-brown (colours mottled at mm- and cm-scales), unconsolidated to crumbly (occasionally), silty sand. Stones (2 to 60 mm), modern glass, clay pipe stem and modern rootlet were present. 11.5/10 ‘Squash’ subsample only – approximately 5 ml
1023 2 Primary fill of ditch 1022 – also filling possible post holes 1028 and 1029 Moist, light yellow-brown to light/mid grey-brown, unconsolidated (occasionally crumbly – also with some heat-affected fused lumps), slightly silty sand. Stones (6 to over 60 mm) and modern rootlet were present. 10.5/9 ‘Squash’ subsample only – approximately 5 ml

Table 2. 63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Summary information regarding the assessment of the content of the sample washovers (all dried), in context number order. Key: ‘CN’ = context number; ‘SN’ = sample number; ‘Wt (kg)/Vol (l)’ = Weight (kilos)/Volume (litres) of processed subsample; ‘WO wt (g)/Vol (ml) = weight and volume of washover in grams and millilitres; ‘C’coal’ = charcoal; ‘Ch’d = charred; ’eec’ = earthworm egg capsules; ’nc’ = nematode cysts; ‘Root’ = modern rootlet. Semi-quantitative abundance scale: 1 – few/rare, up to 3 individuals/items or a trace level component of the whole; 2 – some/present, 4 to 20 items or a minor component; 3 – many/common, 21 to 50 or a significant component; 4 – very many/abundant, 51 to 200 or a major component; and 5 – super-abundant, over 200 items/individuals or a dominant component of the whole.

CN SN Wt (kg)/

Vol (l)

WO

wt (g)/

Vol (ml)

C’coal

(<2 mm/

2-4 mm/

>4 mm)

Ch’d

grain/

chaff

Unch’d

seed

eec/

nc

Sand Root Notes (see Table 2 for additional notes for charcoal)
1012 1 11.5/10 53.4/175 2/2/1 1/- 2 2/- 3 5 Charcoal: mostly indeterminate fragments (to 16 mm) but including some charred root/rhizome and 1x charred roundwood twig (to 20 mm) of a diffuse-porous species and representing four years of wood growth

Charred grain/chaff: a single poorly preserved (most surfaces damaged or missing) indeterminate grain fragment

Uncharred ‘seeds’: mostly orache/goosefoot (Atriplex/Chenopodium; score 2); a few dock (cf. Rumex; score 1)

Root: formed approximately half of the total washover volume

Other: coal (to 22 mm, but mostly less than 4 mm; score 5); cinder (to 20 mm; score 4); amorphous ‘slag’ (to 5 mm; score 1); modern clear glass (to 5 mm; score 1); 1x polystyrene ‘bead’ (to 4 mm)

1023 2 10.5/9 15.8/10 2/-/- -/- 2 -/- 5 2 Charcoal: indeterminate fragments (to 2 mm)

Uncharred ‘seeds’: at least three forms present – not identified but some would be if studied further

Root: formed approximately one-tenth of the total washover volume

Other: coal (to 12 mm, but mostly less than 4 mm; score 4); cinder (to 10 mm; score 3)

Table 3. 63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Biological and non-biological remains recovered from sample residues. Key: ‘CN’ = context number; ‘SN’ = sample number; ‘Wt (kg)/(Vol (l)’ = weight and volume of sample processed in kilograms and litres; ‘mm’ = maximum linear dimension in mm; ‘g’ = weight in grams;; ‘*’ = flakes/spheroids of hammerscale; ‘sq’ = semi-quantitative abundance score (scale as for Table 2).

CN SN Wt (kg)/

Vol (l)

Residue

wt (g)

Residue fraction %s

>10/4-10/<4 mm

Ceramic

sq/mm/g

Mag

*/g

Description of residue, notes and identifications
1012 1 11.5/10 6223.6 8/3/89 1/13/0.4 2/2.0 Mostly sand (score 5) and stones (to 60 mm; score 4) – stones appeared to be mostly sandstone but with some unusually smooth surfaces (faced or surfaced) and perhaps derived from the possible floor surface encountered at the site

Ceramic: 1x piece of clay pipe stem

Magnetic: mostly heat-affected stones (to 4 mm) and sand; a little flake (to 3 mm; <0.1 g; score 2) and sphere (to 2 mm; <0.1 g; score 1) hammerscale

Other: 1x piece of cinder (to 25 mm; 1.3 g); coal (to 15 mm; score 3) – not sorted; 2x shards of modern clear glass (to 24 mm; 0.9 g)

1023 2 10.5/9 7270.7 27/4/69 -/0.1 Mostly sand (score 5) and stones (to 115 mm; score 5) – stones appeared to be mostly sandstone but with some unusually smooth surfaces (faced or surfaced) as also seen in Sample 1 (1012) and, again, perhaps derived from the possible floor surface encountered at the site

Magnetic: all heat-affected stones (to 4 mm) and sand (combined core 1) – returned to residue fraction

Other: coal (to 3 mm; score 1) – not sorted

Table 4. 63 Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Results from the microfossil ‘squash’ subsamples. Key: ‘CN’ = context number; ‘SN’ = sample number.

CN SN General description of ‘squash’ Notes
1012 1 Mostly inorganic, with a little organic detritus A single soil nematode (dead) was seen but there were no interpretatively valuable microfossils present
1023 2 Almost entirely inorganic, with a trace of organic detritus No microfossil remains present

 

 

Desk Based Assessment for the Unlocking Swinton’s Roman Past project

NGR SK 44698 98976

Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd

September 2014

 

 

Document Monitoring
Document Profile
Client
Title

 

Desk Based Assessment for the Unlocking Swinton’s Roman Past project
Written By Kate Brown
Illustrations By Kate Brown
Additional Research By Christine Rawson
Site visit/s carried out 16th September 2014
Approved By
Document ID Report # 2014007
Date   Version   Status    Description/Changes
Report Issued      

 

Enquiries regarding this report can be made to: Elmet Archaeological Services Lt, Office 3, Wath Trinity Community Hall, Chapel Street, Wath-Upon-Dearne, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S63 7RF

01709873053          mob. 07840729014

www.elmetarchaeology.co.uk          email:enquiries@elmetarchaeology.co.uk

Registered Business No:   07165714

© Ordnance Survey maps reproduced with the sanction of the controller of HM Stationery Office.

Licence No: 1000052331

 

Contains British Geological Survey materials

©NERC 2014

Contents

1 Non-Technical Summary. 4

2 Introduction. 4

3 Aims and Objectives. 5

3.1 Aims. 5

3.2 Objectives. 5

4 Planning Legislation and Guidance. 5

5 Methodology. 6

5.1 Desk-Based Assessment 6

6 Geology and Topography. 7

6.1 Geology. 7

6.2 Topography. 7

7 Archaeological and Historical Background. 7

7.1 Introduction. 7

7.2 Prehistoric (ca. 10,200BP to AD70) 8

7.3 Later Prehistoric to Romano-British Periods (2000 BC-410 AD) 8

7.4 The Anglo-Saxon Period (AD410-1066) 8

7.5 The Medieval Period (AD 1066-1530) 8

7.6 The Post-Medieval period (AD 1530-1900) 9

7.7 Landscape regression analysis of the site. 10

7.8 Gazeteer 12

8 Significance and Potential 13

8.5 Designated Heritage Assets. 13

8.6 Non designated Heritage Assets. 13

9 Development and Impact 14

9.1 Development 14

9.2 Known Potential Impacts to the Site. 14

9.3 Unknown Potential Impacts to the Site. 14

10 References. 14

10.1 Bibliographic references. 14

10.2 Cartographic References. 14

10.3 Internet Sources. 14

11 List of Figures. 15

12 List of Tables. 15

 

1 Non-Technical Summary

1.1       This desk-based assessment was commissioned by Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd, as part of the Unlocking Swinton’s Roman Past project, centred on NGR SK4469898976.

1.2       The assessment has determined the extent to which archaeological and cultural heritage features within the development area may be impacted upon. Any indirect effects on the setting of cultural heritage assets within the development area are also considered.

1.3       The archaeological, historical, topographical and environmental information consulted indicates that there are a number of designated heritage assets and a number of non-designated heritage assets in the locality of the site. In accordance with NPPF, IfA and MoLA policy and guidelines this desk based assessment presents a balanced response to the work proposed.

2 Introduction

2.1       This desk based assessment considers the proposed works as part of the Unlocking Swinton’s Roman Past project, located in Swinton at 63 Toll Bar Road, grid reference SK4469898976 (hereafter known as the site). These work areas will cover at least 6x4m at the site.

2.2       The site is located in Swinton, which lies 7km to the North East of Rotherham, and sits at a height of 84m above sea level. Swinton meets the boundary of Mexborough in the East, and Wath-Upon-Dearne to the West. To the North is the locally termed Roman Ridge and to the South lies Rawmarsh. To the North and South West there are extents of countryside and farmland. Toll Bar Road lies within a housing estate which was first constructed in the second half of the 20th Century. The site is a semi-detatched property adjoined to the North East, and is bounded by further residential properties on both sides. A school field adjoins to the back of the site.

2.3       In accordance with government planning policy (NPPF), this desk-based assessment has been completed to establish the possibility of the presence of archaeologically significant sites and finds, and to consider the archaeological potential of the site and to assess the impact of any proposed work.

2.4       This desk-based assessment comprises an examination of evidence in:

  • Archaeological and excavation records
  • Archaeology Data Service
  • National Monuments Records
  • National Buildings Records
  • Listed Building lists
  • Scheduled Monuments lists
  • various online sources including MAGIC and Heritage Gateway
  • and relevant literary sources.

3 Aims and Objectives

3.1 Aims

3.1.1    The aim of this desk based assessment was to consult the available evidence regarding heritage resources, both archaeological and built, within the area of the proposed works. The sources consulted, considered and collated were drawn from existing records within the written, graphic, electronic and photographic datasets for this area. This evidence was then considered in relation to the proposed Unlocking Swinton’s Roman Past project in order to identify potential impacts at the site. These aims are in line with IfA Standards and Guidance.

3.2 Objectives

3.2.1    The specific objectives of the desk-based assessment were:

  • to identify known heritage assets within or in the vicinity of the site;
  • to identify areas with the potential to contain any unknown heritage assets;
  • to provide information on the historic landscape character of the proposed site and the surrounding areas; and
  • to identify areas disturbed by modern activity that might have affected the survival of the potential heritage resource.

4 Planning Legislation and Guidance

4.1       The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (2012) sets out the requirements placed by Government on the planning system. The overall aim of the planning system is to ensure that sustainable development is central to the planning process. In particular, the three roles of economic, social and environmental elements are deemed to be mutually dependent, thereby ensuring sustainable development is achieved. Of particular relevance to heritage assets is the environmental role:

4.2       The NPPF includes a number of guidance notes that are of relevance to the proposed development site, in particular these include paragraphs 126-141, which are heritage specific policies. Their objective is to manage any change to a heritage asset in a way which provides long term sustainability of that asset, and which will in the longer term enrich its’ significance. The following are all relevant to this site:

4.3       Paragraph 128 states that ‘In determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance’.

4.4       -132. ‘When considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to the asset’s conservation. The more important the asset, the greater the weight should be. Significance can be harmed or lost through alteration or destruction of the heritage asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification. Substantial harm to or loss of a grade II listed building, park or garden should be exceptional’ (NPPF 20012:30).

4.5       -139. ‘Non-designated heritage assets of archaeological interest that are demonstrably of equivalent significance to scheduled monuments, should be considered subject to the policies for designated heritage assets’ (NPPF 2012:32).

4.6       -141. ‘Local planning authorities should make information about the significance of the historic environment gathered as part of plan-making or development management publicly accessible. They should also require developers to record and advance understanding of the significance of any heritage assets to be lost (wholly or in part) in a manner proportionate to their importance and the impact, and to make this evidence (and any archive generated) publicly accessible. However, the ability to record evidence of our past should not be a factor in deciding whether such loss should be permitted (NPPF 2012:32).

5 Methodology

5.1 Desk-Based Assessment

5.1.1    All Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) codes, standards and guidelines have been followed in carrying out and writing this report. Additionally, English Heritage assessment standards and guidance have been followed.

5.1.2    A site visit has been undertaken in order to assess any possible factors that may affect the survival or condition of both known and potentially unknown archaeological sites.

5.1.3    The desk based assessment has considered all appropriate sources of information, and all techniques used comply with relevant legislation, as well as the given brief.

5.1.4    The assessment for the impact of the project on heritage assets has considered archaeological, historic, architectural and artistic interests related to the heritage assets and their significance, the extent of which is reliant on the nature of each asset. Specific detail regarding this can be found in the Heritage Survey.

5.1.5    Where possible, the truncation or erosion of deposits, alterations to buildings and any other significant changes to the landscape have been documented and taken into consideration.

5.1.6    Also identified are the potential impacts of the proposed works in relation to changes to the existing landscape, and thus the potential impact of changes to heritage assets, and the identification of possible options for reducing these changes. These factors must also be considered in the context of the proposed works and how these affect the area and its heritage assets, both positively and negatively.

6 Geology and Topography

6.1 Geology

6.1.1    The underlying geology at the site comprises Oaks rock and sandstone. This sedimentary bedrock formed between 310 to 312 million years ago in the Carboniferous Period (British Geological Survey, NERC 2014). The local environment has previously been dominated by rivers which formed these rocks, depositing sand and gravel detritus in channels which formed river terrace deposits (British Geological Survey, NERC 2014).

6.1.2    Superficial deposits of fine silt and clay from overbank floods formed floodplain alluvium. Some bogs deposited peat in the area, which also includes estuarine and coastal plain deposits that are mapped as alluvium (British Geological Survey, NERC 2014).

6.2 Topography

The site (centred at NGR SK4469898976), is approximately 84m above sea level. Areas around the Roman Ridge are often well elevated due to overbank flooding in the area.

7 Archaeological and Historical Background

7.1 Introduction

7.1.1    Swinton is a large village located next to Mexbrough, Rotherham in South Yorkshire. The name Swinton is from the old English word for swine farm or enclosure. It is located within two parishes, one is the parish of Mexbrough and the other is the Parish of Wath-Upon-Dearne. It’s township is a chapelry, and comprises a scattered village, 1560 acres, and lands including parts of Kilnhurst and the hamlet of Birdwell Flatts (Rotherham Web, 2004). The Roman Ridge in Wath Wood dates to 450 to 600 AD. One of a few proposed origins is that it was built to defend the Celtic kingdom of Elmet from advancing Anglo Saxon forces, although this is not definite.

7.2 Prehistoric (ca. 10,200BP to AD70)

7.2.1    The remains of Prehistoric Swinton are mainly demonstrated by findspots of tools and arrowheads. A Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowhead (HER 0082/01) was found in 1962 at 16 St Michaels Avenue.

7.2.2   A dozen waste flint flakes (HER 01780/01) were also found in Three Corner Plantation, in October 1979 at 64 Valley Road. They date from the early Mesolithic to the late Iron age (10000 BC – 42 AD).

7.2.3    A flint lithic implement (HER 04141/01) has also been recovered from the Roman Rig site at Wood Farm. It was found in 1964 on an eroded bank.

7.3 Later Prehistoric to Romano-British Periods (2000 BC-410 AD)

7.3.1    At the garden of 29 St Michaels Avenue a findspot of a Roman coin (HER 04468/01) of Antoninianus of Victorius, Pax Aug.

7.3.2    A hoard of around 300 – 400 silver roman denari (HER 00832/01) was found in 1853, during excavations to build a cellar for new homes. There are multiple examples of various coins within the hoard, including Nero, Galba, Vaspasian, Domitian, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Sabina, Antonius Pius, Faustine I, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, Severus, Julia Domna, Geta, Caracalla and Plautilla. The coins all date between 54 and 217 AD.

7.3.3    A silver denarius coin (HER 01093/01) of Emperor Nero, dating from 63 – 68 AD, was found at 14 Romwood Avenue in 1964.

7.3.4    The top stone of a beehive style quern (HER 01095/01) was recovered from the garden of 83 Rockingham Road in 1970.

7.3.5    A coin hoard (HER 04268/01) was found at Rawmarsh during the construction of a tramway in 1908. It was reported in 1947.

7.3.6    Another coin hoard (HER 04267/01) was recovered at Rawmash during tram construction.

7.4 The Anglo-Saxon Period (AD410-1066)

7.4.1    There are no extant records of any Anglo-Saxon finds or features in the area.

7.5 The Medieval Period (AD 1066-1530)

7.5.1    The Swinton town cross (HER 00183/01) is a medieval cross, and is currently located 1m to the South of the tower of the church of St Margaret. This cross is listed (grade II).

7.5.2    Swinton Old Hall (HER 00187/01) is a medieval hall house. The Old hall was incorporated into a 16th century or earlier structure, and was demolished in 1963, when the site was then redeveloped.

7.6 The Post-Medieval period (AD 1530-1900)

7.6.1    A kiln and various pottery works buildings, including a gatehouse and Strawberry Cottage, remain from the Rockingham Pottery Works (HER 02218/01). The bottle kiln, which is known as the Waterloo Kiln, is grade II listed. The Rockingham works first recorded owner was Joseph Flint, who paid rent to the 1st Marquis of Rockingham in the 1740s for ‘digging clay and renting a brick works’ (Rotherham Web, 2004). The pottery works continued to expand under subsequent owners, which included William Malpass. The works principle output was a chocolate brown tea or coffee service. In 1785, owners Bingley Wood and Co. went into a partnership with Leeds Pottery, however this partnership was dissolved in 1806, and the pottery was acquired by the Brameld family in 1807. Following bankruptcy in 1825, the pottery was purchased by William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, 2nd Earl Fitzwilliam. It was renamed to Rockingham Works in 1842 after his uncle, Charles Watson Wentworth. The works closed in 1842 (Rotherham Web, 2004).

7.6.2    The Don Pottery Works (HER 03523/01) have one kiln remaining of the original 8. It was established in 1801 by John and William Green, and lay on the bank of the Don canal on the boundary between Swinton and Mexbrough. Don pottery was exported across the world, including the Middle East, Russia and South America. Business fell into decline in the 1830s, and by 1834, the Greens declared bankruptcy (Rotherham Web, 2004). In 1839, the owner of Mexbrough Pottery bought the Don works, and both were run by Samuel Barker until 1848, when all production was moved to the Don site (Rotherham Web, 2004). It was rented out to partners in 1882, but remained trading under the name of Samuel Barker and Sons. The Don works were closed in 1893, when all stock was sold off in order to pay overdue rent (Rotherham Web, 2004).

7.6.3    The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, river Don and railway all run to the East of Swinton. The Dearne and Dove Canal also joins the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation at Swinton Bridge (Rotherham Unofficial, 2014).

7.6.4    From Swinton Bridge to Kilnhurst there was various heavy industry, including glass works, steel works and chemical factories. Following these factories decline, the land has since been redeveloped into housing estates (Rotherham Unofficial, 2014).

7.6.3    A post-Medieval sundial (HER 02811/01) was ploughed up on Swinton Common.

7.6.4    The church of St Margarets was rebuilt in 1816 for £6000, which was mostly given by Earl Fitzwilliam (Rotherham Web, 2004).

7.6.5    A Norman Chapel was demolished in 1817, and was replaced by the Church Hall, however the remains of the chancel arch and the South door have been rebuilt to the North of the present church (Rotherham Web, 2004).

7.7 Landscape regression analysis of the site

7.7.1    The 1855 1st edition Ordnance Survey map of the area surrounding the site shows a field system that looks very similar to medieval field systems, with long thin fields following the contours of the land.  Also on this map, a ruin is shown that is not shown on any of the subsequent maps at co-ordinates 444834 398640, to the East of some old coal pits.

7.7.2    On the 1893 1st revision Ordnance Survey map shows a number of changes. The woods to the South of Swinton are now named Stake Hole Plantation and Piccadilly Wood, and Long Plantation is extended to include an extra area of woodland. It is in this area That Wood Cottage is located, and is now named unlike the building at the site on the 1855 map. The old coal pits that were previously marked no longer appear, but Swinton Common Colliery is located near here at 444845 398884. Pottery Lane has been renamed to Rockingham Road, and it is near here that a Roman vase and coin discovery site is marked. To the North, on the now named Wath Road a pinfold has been converted into a small reservoir. A police station appears in the village near the stables, as well as a school located near the church. The church has been renamed from St Mary’s to St Margaret’s. In addition to this church there is also a chapel, although it is no longer demarked as being a Wesleyan chapel. It also has the addition of a small school. A hall is marked, although what was called Swinton Hall on the 1855 map is now not marked. More pinfolds have been lost to the South East, and the wells in this area are no longer seen. Across the extent of the area, field boundaries have changed, becoming wider and making larger enclosures of land.

7.7.3    There are further significant changes between the 1893 map and the 1904 2nd revision Ordnance Survey map. The Roman road to the far South is now marked, and 2 of the old coal pits are marked again, although they have been renamed to an air shaft and old shaft. To the South West of Swinton Common Colliery there is now a Swinton Nursery, and to the North a public house called the Woodmans Inn has been founded. There are also new buildings in the colliery, indicating its growth. An inn appears close to both the stables and the police office, and a pavilion and cricket ground have been added to the North. To the East of the settlement there is a new housing development, and the previously Wesleyan chapel is now marked as Methodist. What was marked as a ‘Hall’ on the 1893 map is now called Swinton Hall, and what was noted as ‘Swinton Hall’ on the 1855 map is now Swinton House. To the South East of this there is another new public house, called the Sportsman Inn, and close by to this there are two new large housed marked named Greno House and Brook Field House.

7.7.4    Bigger changes to the housing and road structure of Swinton is shown on the 1938 3rd revision Ordnance Survey map. Allotment gardens appear at Piccadilly in the South, as well as the addition of a large water works next to Long Plantation and Wood Cottage. The Sportsman Inn is no just marked as an inn, and across the road from this there is a large new housing development. Next to Swinton House a group of buildings or houses have been developed, noted as ‘The Beeches’. One of the large fields on the outskirts of Swinton has now been made into two recreation grounds, with a pavilion and other associated buildings shown. A war memorial has been erected next to St Margaret’s church, as well as a public house opposite. Another new housing development has been added to the East of the stables, and to the South of Wath Road.

7.7.5    The most significant change shown on the 1956 National Grid map is that the Swinton Common Colliery has gone, and the site appears to be in the middle of redevelopment into a housing estate. In addition to this, the locations of any coal mine shafts no longer appear. Further housing has been constructed to the East of extant developments between Wath Road and Rockingham Road, and new houses have also been added on the land on the West side of the recreation ground. To the South East, Greno House no longer appears next to Brook Field House. There are further new housing developments nearby.

7.7.6    On the 1967 National Grid map, the water works at Piccadilly are now marked as ‘Works, and the adjoining Long Plantation has been renamed to Creighton woods, as has Stake Hole Plantation. The housing estate on Piccadily Road is now named Wood End Estate, and further housing has been built along Valley road, which join up with the now finished development on the site of Swinton Common Colliery. A disused shaft is marked to the North West of this estate. A new school has been added in to the North of these developments, and one of the recreation grounds has been renamed to a sports ground. St Margaret’s church is no longer named, but does still appear, and next to this there is an historic cross noted. The Chapel to the East appears to be no longer Methodist. To the North of the chapel a new housing development has been constructed, along with two new schools and playing fields. This development appears to have destroyed Thomas Street, which has been replaced by a new road layout within the development.

7.7.7    On the 1985 National Grid map, the works at Picadilly have gone entirely, replaced by more new housing. The housing to the West of Piccadilly Road has been expanded and a new recreation ground has been added. There are also further housing developments to the East of this, and an estate to the North on Piccadilly Road seems to have been redeveloped, resulting in a new layout. To the East of the housing development that occupies the old site of the colliery, there is a large new school, accompanied by two playing fields to the North and South of the site. The recreation ground has been renamed to Highfield Park. Swinton Hall, Swinton House and The Beeches do not appear on this map. Warren Vale Road is now known as just Warren Vale. The reservoir is no marked as covered, and the stables that were previously to the North of the reservoir are no longer shown. Interestingly, the historic cross first shown on the 1967 map appears to have moved, and this is supported by the monuments record.

7.8 Gazeteer

SMR no. Sitename Period Site Type
00082/01 Enclosure Early Iron Age/Roman Enclosure
01093/01 Romwood Ave Roman Find spot
05062 Wath Wood Iron Age/Roman Terraced Ground
Medieval – Post Medieval Boundary Bank
Medieval Holloway
Post Medieval – Modern Bell Pit
Post Medieval – Modern Platform
Post Medieval – Modern Quarry
00113/01 Roman Ridge Unknown Linear Earthwork
00112/01 Roman Ridge Unknown Linear Earthwork
00823/01 Coin Hoard Roman Find spot
04475/01 Racecourse Roman Find spot
01900/01 Racecourse Roman Bank & Ditch
04472/01 Racecourse Roman Enclosure Bank & Ditch
04468/01 Off Whitelee Road Roman Find spot
04464/01 87 Piccadilly Rd Roman Find spot
01095/01 Rockingham Road Roman Find spot
02218/01 Kiln and Pottery Works Post medieval / Industrial Monument
03693/01 Wishing Well Unknown Holy Well
03472/01 Earthwork Bank U/C Iron Age?/Unknown Earthwork
00184/01 St Mary Magdalen Chapel Medieval Monument
00095/01 Large IA/RB enclosure Early Iron Age – Roman Monument
00183/01 Swinton Town Cross Medieval Monument
01779/01 Roman Pottery and Undated flints Roman, Prehistoric Find spot
01778/01 Flint flakes and Pottery finds Roman, Prehistoric Find spot
00111/01 Roman Ridge Unknown Linear Earthwork
00110/01 Roman Ridge Unknown Linear Earthwork
04473/01 Flint Microlith Prehistoric Find spot
00187/01 Swinton Old Hall Medieval Monument
04141/01 Flint finds at Wood Farm Prehistoric Find spot
02811/01 Post-Medieval sundial Post-Medieval Find spot
04437/01 Arrowhead find Prehistoric Find spot

 

8 Significance and Potential

8.1       The archaeological potential of the site and its surrounding area is high. The area has large numbers of examples of Roman occupation, including coin hoards and large enclosures. The coin hoard is particularly significant, as it was located very close to the site, on the same housing estate. This could indicate the possibility of Roman occupation evidence being uncovered by the proposed works.

8.2       The possibility for ditches or boundaries is large, as many have been found in the surrounding area, and can be evidenced in aerial photography of the area.

8.3       There is also the potential for medieval remains to be uncovered, as the settlement of Swinton has numerous links to the medieval period that have been found, including the town cross as well as Swinton Old Hall.

8.4       There is a high probability of uncovering post medieval remains. The area has a rich industrial history, which includes many large high profile potteries in addition to glass and steel works in the surrounding areas.

8.5       There is also a possibility present for finding prehistoric remains, although this is not as pertinent as other time periods may be. There have been various findspots dating to the prehistoric period, including arrowheads and tools.

8.5 Designated Heritage Assets

8.5.1    There are 6 designated heritage assets in the area, as demonstrated in the gazetteer (7.8) and their presence has been considered in relation to the proposed works.

8.6 Non designated Heritage Assets

8.6.1    Due to the nature of various non designated heritage assets in the area, especially earthworks and findspots, there is a high potential for work undertaken as part of this project to uncover further features or finds. This has been considered in the approach to any proposed works.

9 Development and Impact

9.1 Development

9.1.1    The development of the site will likely be affected by any potential finds during the proposed works. Preventative measures may have to be taken to protect any finds from future construction work in the area.

9.2 Known Potential Impacts to the Site

9.2.1    The biggest potential impact of this project is the necessity for further archaeological work needing to be carried out as a direct result of the proposed works.

9.3 Unknown Potential Impacts to the Site

9.3.1    The site may be subject to construction or redevelopment in the futures, as it is part of a council house estate.

10 References

10.1 Bibliographic references

National Planning Policy Framework. 2012. London: Department for Communities and Local Government https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6077/2116950.pdf  (last accessed 24/11/14)

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act. 1990. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/9/contents (accessed 24/11/14)

 

10.2 Cartographic References

OS Mapping Data

OS 1:25,000

OS Mapping from 1st edition to current

10.3 Internet Sources

Swinton [Online] Available from: http://www.rotherhamweb.co.uk/district/swinton.htm [last accessed 24/11/14]

Swinton and Swinton Bridge [Online] Available from: http://www.rotherhamunofficial.co.uk/villages/swinton.html [last accessed 24/11/14]

11 List of Figures

Fig. 1 – Site Location

Fig. 2 – 1855 Map

Fig. 3 – 1893 Map

Fig. 4 – 1904 Map

Fig. 5 – 1938 Map

Fig. 6 – 1956 Map

Fig. 7 – 1967 Map

Fig. 8 – 1985 Map

12 List of Tables

Table 1 – Site Gazeteer

 

 

LOCATION MAP

site map

63TOLL BAR ROAD

 

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Fig. 1

Project Ref: SWINTON Drawn By: KB Checked by: Drawing No:
Report Ref: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

SWINTON OS MAP 1855

figure 2

 

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Fig. 2

Project Ref: SWINTON Drawn By: KB Checked by: Drawing No:
Report Ref: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

SWINTON OS MAP 1893

figure 3

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Fig. 3

Project Ref: SWINTON Drawn By: KB Checked by: Drawing No:
Report Ref: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

SWINTON OS MAP 1904

figure 4

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Fig. 4

Project Ref: SWINTON Drawn By: KB Checked by: Drawing No:
Report Ref: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

SWINTON OS MAP 1938

figure 5

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Fig. 5

Project Ref: SWINTON Drawn By: KB Checked by: Drawing No:
Report Ref: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

SWINTON OS MAP 1956

figure 6

 

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Fig. 6

Project Ref: SWINTON Drawn By: KB Checked by: Drawing No:
Report Ref: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

SWINTON OS MAP 1967

figure 7

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Fig. 7

Project Ref: SWINTON Drawn By: KB Checked by: Drawing No:
Report Ref: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331

 

SWINTON OS MAP 1985

figure 8

ELMET ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD  

Fig. 8

Project Ref: SWINTON Drawn By: KB Checked by: Drawing No:
Report Ref: Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Licence number 100052331