Information for record number MWA520:
Roman buildings, Bleachfield Street, Alcester

Summary The remains of a series of timber and stone buildings, a road and a ditch all of Roman date were found during excavations.
What Is It?  
Type: Building, Road, Ditch, Pit
Period: Romano-British (43 AD - 409 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Alcester
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 08 57
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Scheduled Monument (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 In the 1970's construction of a flood barrier to the east of Bleachfield Street resulted in an area circa 152m by 9 to 24m being stripped. An area about 9m square was excavated revealing a Roman road 4.3m wide running Southwest from the Stratford-Droitwich road towards the river crossing at Oversley Mill. The road was probably a 'bypass' around Alcester's south industrial suburbs. Traces of at least two phases of timber buildings survived along the West edge of the road. These were destroyed, the road resurfaced and a roadside ditch dug some time before the 4th century. Early in the 4th century the ditch was filled in and buildings with stone footings erected along the street line. Similar buildings were erected East of the road. These were succeeded by a timber erection of uncertain date. Traces of stone buildings were found to the South of the area.
3 A 4m by 4m area was excavated over a 19th century culvert within the Scheduled Roman site at Alcester. The earliest phase of activity was dated to the 1st-2nd century AD and was associated with two large pits. The largest of these pits was backfilled with charcoal and ash probably derived from hearths. At this point half of the excavated area contained stakeholes which were driven through a layer of charcoal. Sealing this layer was a stone surface of a 2nd to 3rd century AD date. Finally in the 3rd to 4th century a stone building, and another implied by postholes were observed.

Source No: 2
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: WM
Author/originator: PJB
Page Number: No 45
Volume/Sheet: Roman Alcester
Source No: 1
Source Type: Serial
Title: WMANS no 13 (1970)
Author/originator: Rahtz, P (ed)
Date: 1970
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 13
Source No: 3
Source Type: Serial
Title: West Midlands Archaeology Vol 53
Author/originator: CBA West Midlands
Date: 2011
Page Number:
Excavation of a Roman building in Alcester
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 2001
Click here for larger image  
Excavation of a Roman building in Alcester
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 2001
Click here for larger image  
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Word or Phrase
none Scheduled Monument Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) are those archaeological sites which are legally recognised as being of national importance. They can range in date from prehistoric times to the Cold War period. They can take many different forms, including disused buildings or sites surviving as earthworks or cropmarks.

SAMs are protected by law from unlicensed disturbance and metal detecting. Written consent from the Secretary of State must be obtained before any sort of work can begin, including archaeological work such as geophysical survey or archaeological excavation. There are nearly 200 SAMs in Warwickshire.
source WM Warwickshire Museum Aerial Photograph Collection. A collection of oblique and vertical aerial photographs and taken by various organisations and individuals, including the Royal Airforce, The Potato Board, Warwickshire Museum. The collection is held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source WMANS West Midlands Archaeological News Sheet, a publication that was produced each year, this later became West Midlands Archaeology. The West Midlands Arcaheological News Sheet contains reports about archaeological work that was carried out in the West Midlands region in the previous year. It includes information about sites dating from the Prehistoric to the Post Medieval periods. It was produced the Department of Extramural Studies at Birmingham University. Copies are held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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period Roman About 43 AD to 409 AD (the 1st century AD to the 5th century AD)

The Roman period comes after the Iron Age and before the Saxon period.

The Roman period in Britain began in 43 AD when a Roman commander called Aulus Plautius invaded the south coast, near Kent. There were a series of skirmishes with the native Britons, who were defeated. In the months that followed, more Roman troops arrived and slowly moved westwards and northwards.
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monument LAYER * An archaeological unit of soil in a horizontal plane which may seal features or be cut through by other features. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument BUILDING * A structure with a roof to provide shelter from the weather for occupants or contents. Use specific type where known. back
monument CULVERT * A drainage structure that extends across and beneath roadways, canals or embankments. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument MILL * A factory used for processing raw materials. Use more specific mill type where known. See also TEXTILE MILL, for more narrow terms. back
monument SUBURB * A largely residential area on the outskirts of a town or city. back
monument ROAD * A way between different places, used by horses, travellers on foot and vehicles. back
monument INDUSTRIAL * This is the top term for the class. See INDUSTRIAL Class List for narrow terms. back
monument PIT * A hole or cavity in the ground, either natural or the result of excavation. Use more specific type where known. back
monument HEARTH * The slab or place on which a fire is made. back
monument BLEACHFIELD * Large field or yard used to lay fabrics out ready for bleaching. back
monument DITCH * A long and narrow hollow or trench dug in the ground, often used to carry water though it may be dry for much of the year. back
monument BARRIER * An obstruction, usually manmade, which is used to restrict or prevent access to a settlement, building or area of land. Use more specific type where known. back
monument SQUARE * An open space or area, usually square in plan, in a town or city, enclosed by residential and/or commercial buildings, frequently containing a garden or laid out with trees. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record