Thanks to replacement work on gas pipes in Welsh Row, Roman and Medieval roads came to light in August 2007. Earthworks Archaeology were keeping a watching brief on the work being carried out by contractors May Gurney in the hope that such finds might emerge.
These pictures, supplied to Nantwich Museum by Earthworks Archaeology, feature the Roman trackway and the Medieval timber causeway. A piece of Roman pottery and some discarded fragments of salt barrels from the town’s Medieval salt works can also be seen.
The roman trackway was lying at a depth of around 2.5 metres under Welsh Row and at a different alignment – around 45 degrees offset – to the present road.
Samples of the finds are being subjected to tree-ring dating. Early results show the Medieval causeway dates from the second half of the 13th century.
Mike Leah (now Cheshire East Council’s Development Control Archaeologist) said unearthing the Roman and Medieval finds in Welsh Row had not been responsible for the delay in completing the road works. He was quoted in The Nantwich Chronicle of September 12.
Our thanks to Earthworks Archaeology for the pictures and details
The timbers in the Roman trackway can be seen (right) at the bottom of one of the trenches. Earthworks Archaeology spokesman, Will Walker, said the track seemed to be close to the natural ground and may not have been raised on a causeway. There were indications that the track superseded, or was contemporary with, a pebbled surface.
Impressions of pebbles can be seen in the timber, as in the example above. The groove in the section of trackway is the unfortunate result of it being hit by a digger’s scoop.