2,000 year old Roman brooch discovered during Lovell Homes building site dig in Wetherby

An almost 2,000 year old Roman brooch has been discovered during a Lovell Homes five-star housing development dig in Thorp Arch, Wetherby.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 2:36 pm

An archaeological evaluation was carried out, on behalf of Lovell, on the land off Walton Road, Wetherby in July 2020 in order to identify any potential remains of archaeological and historical significance lying just below the surface of the site.

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The resulting excavation yielded the discovery of a beautiful ‘dragonesque’ brooch, believed to date back some 1,950 years to between 69AD and 175AD. Made of copper alloy, specifically with brass, the brooch is zoomorphic in design and decorated with a bright red and blue enamel on the surface. It measures approximately 46mm in length, 19mm in width at its widest point, and 2mm in depth at its deepest point.

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This restored Roman brooch is believed to date back to between 69AD and 175AD, making it around 1,950 years old.

Speaking on the decision to carry out an excavation prior to building, Robert Adams, regional managing director at Lovell, explained: “We were aware that the development was located close to two Roman forts and camps dating back to the first century AD. However, to discover an artefact that’s so well-preserved and gives us that little bit more of an insight into our history is incredibly exciting.

“While we are committed to creating vibrant new communities in the region, we also want to ensure our past isn’t forgotten, which is why we commissioned the excavation. Without it the brooch would have remained underground, so it’s a great pleasure to be able to donate the artefact for the public to be able to experience for years to come.”

The Blossomfield development, located on the land off Walton Road, Wetherby is to be the home of a brand new allotment of 119 high-specification two, three and four bedroom homes, ranging from £265,000 to £420,000.

The discovered brooch, has now been fully conserved, analysed and donated by Lovell Homes to Leeds Museum and Galleries, where it has been placed on display alongside other artefacts from the era.

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