Post-excavation assessment : land at Land Gate, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, Greater Manchester

Burns, ML and Harvey, KM 2019, Post-excavation assessment : land at Land Gate, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, Greater Manchester , Project Report, University of Salford.

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Bellway Homes Limited (Manchester Division) has obtained planning consent for a large residential development at Land Gate, near Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan (centred on NGR SD 57140 01220). The consented scheme allows for the construction of 157 dwellings, together with associated landscaping works and roads across 5.45 hectares of agricultural land to the north of Ashton-in-Makerfield (Planning Ref: A/17/84450/MAJOR). In view of the extensive earth-moving works required to deliver the scheme, a condition was attached to planning consent that required an appropriate programme of archaeological investigation to be carried out in advance of construction. The potential for archaeological remains to survive across the development site was highlighted in a desk-based assessment produced by The Environment Partnership (TEP) that was prepared to support the planning application in 2017. This identified that the projected course of the Roman road from Warrington to Wigan crossed the site, and concluded that intrusive investigation to establish the presence or absence of archaeological remains was merited. In the light of this conclusion, TEP on behalf of Bellway Homes Limited, commissioned an appropriate programme of archaeological investigation, which initially comprised a geophysical survey and subsequent trial trenching that targeting the projected line of the Roman road. Whilst the results obtained from the geophysical survey were inconclusive, a section of the Roman road was exposed during the evaluation. Following consultation between TEP and Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service (GMAAS) it was concluded that the eastern part of the site had potential to contain buried archaeological remains of sufficient research interest to warrant more detailed investigation. GMAAS recommended that detailed archaeological investigation of two areas targeted on the course of the Roman road would constitute an appropriate strategy to mitigate the ultimate loss of the archaeological remains. The excavation was undertaken by Salford Archaeology between March and April 2018, with invaluable support provided by members of the Wigan Archaeological Society, together with a watching brief that monitored development ground works in May 2018. The excavation revealed the fragmentary remains of the Roman road, together with its associated drainage ditches, one of which contained two sherds of Roman pottery. The upper fill of one of these ditches contained an assemblage of pottery, to which a 12th- to 14th-century date may ascribed, raising a possibility that the road remained in use for a considerable period after the collapse of Roman administration in Britain. In addition, a date returned from radiocarbon assay of material lying immediately beneath the Roman road has indicated some activity on the site during the late Bronze Age. A post-excavation assessment of the dataset has been carried out following the completion of all elements of the fieldwork. This has concluded that whilst the results obtained from the archaeological investigation are of regional importance and merit an appropriate level of publication, the dataset has little potential for any further analysis.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Contributors: Miller, IF (Editor)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Publisher: University of Salford
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2020 11:31
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 04:04

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