Restoring the Roman road in Okehampton

Monday 8th July 2019 7:00 am
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Groundworker Phillip Lang by the reconstructed piece of Okehampton’s Roman road.

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A groundworker has reconstructed a section of original Roman road at the Romansfield housing development on the outskirts of Okehampton.

Archaeologists from independent, commercial consultancy AC archaeology made the discovery last year during excavation on the site during the groundworks stage of building the development.

The local archaeologists found the foundation trenches and post-holes of some 25 timber-constructed buildings situated either side of a well-preserved Roman road extending eastwards from a military fort.

While it was previously known that there was a Roman fort on the site, the discovery of what appeared to be a separate town serving the needs of the soldiers was completely unexpected.

Ahead of housing company Redrow’s completion of the development earlier this year, groundwork supervisor Phillip Lang from Roadform Civil Engineering took on the challenge of reconstructing the archaeological walkway running through the site using original stones.

Phillip has a personal interest in historic ruins and drew upon his own knowledge of Roman roads and prior research to complete the project.

‘We frequently work with Redrow Homes, but this kind of undertaking doesn’t come up too often! It was a real labour of love for me for many reasons,’ he said.

‘On my holidays I often enjoy exploring archaeological sites and historic finds, and so to be able to work on a restoration project like this, handling the original stones and reconstructing a Roman road myself was a privilege.’

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