Information for record number MWA562:
Roman Settlement, Coulters Garage, Alcester

Summary The site of a settlement dating from the Roman period. Excavation also revealed evidence for later occupation during the Medieval period (see MWA7849). The site was located to the west of the High Street, Alcester.
What Is It?  
Type: Cavalry Barracks?, Storehouse?, Settlement
Period: Unknown
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 - Conservation Area (Grade: )
Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 Two trial trenches excavated in 1978 revealed a couple of fragments of stone wall 2.75m apart and 1.0m thick. The surface and walls were covered by a compact surface of clay and destruction debris which appeared in both trenches. The only dating evidence was a few sherds of 3rd-4th century pottery. The destruction layer sealed a fine millefiore brooch.
2 During 1979 further salvage and full excavation identified significant archaeological remains. The earliest Roman features, which overlay sealed waterlogged organic deposits, consisted of seven large waterlogged post bases. The next phase was represented by a large stone building (37m x 11.5m) which had been partly located by trial trenching the previous year. The building probably contained at least 10 rooms. On the north west side of the building a wall was located possibly representing a further structure of similar type and date. There is insufficient evidence to reach a firm conclusion for the function of the building. The closest parallel is a cavalry barrack block at Benwell, however there is no supporting evidence for military occupation in Alcester at this time.
4 Roman Store buildings at Alcester: Built on former marshy ground in the second half of the 2nd century AD was a timber building which was interpreted as a granary. Following this, a substantial stone building was constructed after the end of the 3rd century. This may have been the official collection place of the 'annona militaris'.
5 Further evidence of the large stone building (see
4) was noted during a limited scale watching brief. The side walls and part of an internal cross wall were exposed. A possible occupation layer containing pottery and animal bone was observed outside the building and elsewhere a gravel yard surface was revealed.
6 Within the trenches 4 and 5 of work undertaken during February 2007 sandstone walls of the building previously recorded in the 1970s were also encountered, partly revealed, excavated and recorded. These sections of walls appear to link in with the walling earlier recorded as an external north to south aligned wall and an internal east to west aligned wall. These walls were of large, roughly-hewn, sandstone blocks lying immediately below the Post-Medieval layer at a depth of 0.63m below the ground level. The lack of coursing in the walling seen in trench 5 may indicate that here the lower foundation courses of walling were exposed. The previous suggestions of a cavalry barrack block or a storage building are noted, but nothing favouring either interpretation was identified and recorded in this work.

Source No: 6
Source Type: Archaeological Report
Title: Archaeological Evaluation: Brooklyn, Priory Road, Alcester, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Teresa Hawtin
Date: 2006
Page Number:
Source No: 2
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: WMANS no 22
Author/originator: Booth P M
Date: 1979
Page Number: 49-52
Volume/Sheet: 22
Source No: 5
Source Type: Observation Report
Title: Archaeological Observation of drainage works at Waitrose car park extension, Priory Road, Alcester
Author/originator: Gethin B
Date: 2010
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 0918
Source No: 1
Source Type: Serial
Title: WMANS vol 21 1978
Author/originator: Booth P M
Date: 1978
Page Number: 79
Volume/Sheet: 21
Source No: 4
Source Type: Serial
Title: TBAS vol 94 (1985-6)
Author/originator: Hooke, D (ed)
Date: 1989
Page Number: 107-122
Volume/Sheet: 94
Source No: 3
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Alcester, Priory road (Coulter's Garage)
Author/originator: Anon
Date: 1978
Page Number:
A millefiori brooch found during an excavation in Alcester
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1979
Click here for larger image  
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Word or Phrase
designation Conservation Area The character of a town or village is often enhanced by its streets and buildings. Where these places are of special architectural or historic interest, they are protected by being designated as a Conservation Area. Conservation Areas vary greatly and can range from historic town centres to country houses set in parkland. Their special characteristics come from a combination of factors including the quality of buildings, the historic layout of roads and boundaries, use of characteristic building materials, the presence of trees and street furniture. All features within the area are recognised as part of its special character. Within Conservation Areas there are greater controls over demolition, minor developments and protection of trees. back
source TBAS Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society is a journal produced by the society annually. It contains articles about archaeological field work that has taken place in Birmingham and Warwickshire in previous years. Copies of the journal are kept by 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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technique Trial Trench A small regular hole that is usually square or rectangular in shape. Archaeologists dig trial trenches to discover if there are any archaeological remains at a particular location. See also excavation. back
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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period Medieval 1066 AD to 1539 AD (the 11th century AD to the 16th century AD)

The medieval period comes after the Saxon period and before the post medieval period.

The Medieval period begins in 1066 AD.
This was the year that the Normans, led by William the Conqueror (1066 – 1087), invaded England and defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex.
The Medieval period includes the first half of the Tudor period (1485 – 1603 AD), when the Tudor family reigned in England and eventually in Scotland too.

The end of the Medieval period is marked by Henry VIII’s (1509 – 1547) order for the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the years running up to 1539 AD. The whole of this period is sometimes called the Middle Ages.
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monument YARD * A paved area, generally found at the back of a house. back
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 SETTLEMENT * A small concentration of dwellings. 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 STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
STORAGE BUILDING * A building used for the storage of equipment. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument PRIORY * A monastery governed by a prior or prioress. Use with narrow terms of DOUBLE HOUSE, FRIARY, MONASTERY or NUNNERY. back
monument ROAD * A way between different places, used by horses, travellers on foot and vehicles. back
monument STOREHOUSE * A building in which goods or items are stored. Use more specific type where known. back
monument CAR PARK * A place where cars and other road vehicles may be parked and left. back
monument TRENCH * An excavation used as a means of concealment, protection or both. back
monument STRUCTURE * A construction of unknown function, either extant or implied by archaeological evidence. If known, use more specific type. back
monument MARSH * A low lying area of land that is usually waterlogged at all times and is flooded in wet weather. back
monument CROSS * A free-standing structure, in the form of a cross (+), symbolizing the structure on which Jesus Christ was crucified and sacred to the Christian faith. Use specific type where known. back
monument GRANARY * A building, or first-floor room in a building, for the dry and secure storage of grain after it has been threshed and winnowed. back
monument CAVALRY BARRACKS * A barracks including stables and associated buildings housing a cavalry regiment. back
monument WALL * An enclosing structure composed of bricks, stones or similar materials, laid in courses. Use specific type where known. back
monument GARAGE * Use only for buildings which house motor vehicles. Includes garages for vehicle repair. For petrol sales use PETROL STATION. back
monument WORKS * Usually a complex of buildings for the processing of raw materials. Use specific type where known. back
monument OCCUPATION LAYER * A layer of remains left by a single culture, from which the culture can be dated or identified. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record