Tag Archives: Catterick

Roman villa discovered on site of new by-pass

VILLA: Archaeologists at work on the site.

Work  on a new bypass has revealed a Roman villa dating back to the third or fourth century AD which has lain hidden under farmers fields for hundreds of years.

Archaeologists say it is a significant find , and the first Roman villa to be discovered in North Yorkshire since the Second World War. It lies near Aiskew, Bedale, close to the A1 which is along the line of Dere Street, the original Roman road from Eboracum the capital of the north at York and the Roman fort of Cataractonium, now modern day Catterick.

Archaeologists discovered the site during initial excavations for the new £34m Bedale, Aiskew and Leeming Bar bypass and a dig has been carried out over the past four months.

“We expected to find some interesting archaeology but we never expected to find something quite so significant,” said Bedale Councillor John Weighell, leader of North Yorkshire County Council who are carrying out the work.

The villa is described as extensive with a series of rooms and one pavilion type room with under floor heating. There are small sections of mosaics, and evidence of plaster and concrete from floors and walls.

Development archaeologist Lucie Hawkins said:

”The rooms would have been painted in bright vibrant colours, it is a higher status building and would have had lots of colour.

 “It is quite a substantial size and was set within a landscaped environment and field systems. It is a very exciting find, you don’t discover Roman villas that often and because it was totally unknown before the excavations began it makes it more interesting.

“It helps us to look at the wider Roman world , the villa is quite close to the A1 which was a Roman road so we can build up a picture. We can’t say at the moment if it would have been connected to Cataractonium, there are other Roman settlements such as Aldborough.”

The dig is due to finish in the next couple of weeks and because it is a construction site people are not allowed on it. But a display held at a later date along with updates and a final report.

Cllr Weighell said the new road will cover part of the site but the council’s archaeological team has worked with English Heritage to gain as much knowledge as possible from the excavations.

 “It has certainly proved interesting, it is fascinating that nearly two thousand years ago there was a former civilisation here and this could help us find out more about it,”  he added.
Source – Northern Echo, 21 Mar 2015
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North East explosion followed by loud bangs across UK – with theories including meteors and spy planes

A mystery explosion in Catterick in the early hours of Saturday morning has been followed by further reports of loud bangs across the country – leading to wild theories about meteors and spy planes.

The massive bang reported at around 3am on Saturday, heard in the Marne Barracks area of Catterick Village, resulted in the A1 being closed for more than 12 hours while extensive searches were carried out.

Police found no obvious signs of an explosion and say they may never know what caused the noise, although investigations are still ongoing.

Later on Saturday night, at around 10pm, people across Britain reported hearing loud bangs which experts have claimed could have been caused by a jet engine, fuelling some theories that they could have come from a top secret fighter plane.

The bangs could be heard from Glasgow to West Sussex and Devon and social media was awash with ideas about what could have created the noise which shook windows, woke children and alarmed animals.

A Sheffield-based engineering research associate among a team of scientists working the technology behind types of pulse detonation engine said test engines could often be heard for miles.

Dr Bhupendra Khandelwal said:

“When we run a test engine it’s a real industrial noise and you can hear it for miles. We have people coming to us asking to make less noise or keep it to the daytime.”

 The engine works by using the force from a series of explosions, caused by mixing a fuel mist and air intake, to thrust itself forward. It is thought to be able to power planes at five times the speed of sound.

The technology builds upon ‘pulsejet‘ principles which first emerged in the early 1900s and were used in German V-1 flying bombs.

Test flights using the most recent forms of the technology have lasted only a few seconds, but it is still listed by conspiracy theorists as a possible way of powering the so-called Aurora spy jet.

The theorists have cited Aurora – a name which appeared in a Pentagon budget report in the 1980s – as an ongoing spy plane project for several years.

 After the Catterick explosion officers carried out extensive searches in the area where the explosion was reported but found no obvious signs of an explosion.

During the course of the day, eight members of the public came forward to report hearing a what they describe as an explosion in the area.

Superintendent Dave Hannan of North Yorkshire Police said:

“We are satisfied that the call to the police was made with good intent.

“The investigation is still ongoing but there is no information or evidence to say this reported explosion was a criminal or deliberate act.”

Source –  Northern Echo, 01 Dec 2014

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