Keys to the Past

Apperley Dene Roman site (Broomley and Stocksfield)

Cropmark of Apperley Dene Roman Fortlet.
Copyright Reserved: Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Cropmark of Apperley Dene Roman Fortlet. Copyright Reserved: Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne.

This site stands on the crest of a ridge and overlooks the Roman road called Dere Street. It was excavated in 1951 and interpreted as a Roman fortlet. It had a double ditch, enclosing a rectangular area, with an entrance carried on a causeway. Many sherds of pottery were discovered which showed the site had been occupied throughout the fourth century AD. The site was excavated again in the 1970s and a 2nd century Roman farmstead with a timber round house was recognised. It seems to have been abandoned and the site lain unoccupied for 100 years until a stone-built, probable native, farmstead was built here. This in turn was demolished in the mid-4th century and not reoccupied until after about AD370. As well as the Roman remains, several pieces of late Mesolithic/Neolithic flint were also discovered at the site and were donated to the Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle. The site has had no further excavation but was reinterpreted in the 1980s as a possible villa site, or at least a highly Romanised farmstead, based on the finds assemblage. This is a Scheduled Monument protected by law.

Reference number:N9839
Historical period: Roman (43 to 410)
Neolithic (4000BC to 2200BC)
Bronze Age (2600BC to 700BC)
Mesolithic (10000BC to 4000BC)
Legal status:Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):EXCAVATION, A Roman site on Dere Street 1951
EXCAVATION, Apperley Dene "Roman Fortlet": a re-examination, 1974-5 1975

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Broomley and Stocksfield

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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.