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New proposals to excavate and conserve Castleshaw Roman Fort

The Roman Fort in AD 120 by Graham Sumner

The site of the Roman forts at Castleshaw has fascinated historians and archaeologists for over 250 years but many questions remain unanswered.  Now you have a chance to help answer these questions by supporting plans for a community dig at the site!

The Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts have organised an evening at Saddleworth Museum in Uppermill on Tuesday 10th July, 7.30pm-9.00pm, to set out plans for an excavation strategy for the site and get your feedback.

The event will also include an illustrated talk by County Archaeologist Norman Redhead on the importance of Castleshaw Roman Forts and a short presentation on other successful community archaeology projects in Greater Manchester.

The remains of the Roman fort and fortlet at Castleshaw are the most important archaeological site in the borough of Oldham. Established by Agricola in around AD 78, the site was only occupied for about 50 years but has left a lasting impression of the Roman military presence on the edge of Empire.

The location of the smaller fortlet is marked out on site with landscaped embankments, but the site of the larger fort is harder to explore and understand as it is covered in early excavation trenches and spoil heaps.

A key recommendation of the recently produced Conservation Management Plan is to develop an excavation strategy to examine the Roman fort site and its hinterland. This will make it possible to understand, interpret and manage the site better, and provid a great opportunity for the local community to get involved with this exciting project.

Local people and archaeology enthusiasts are encouraged to come along to the event at Saddleworth Museum on 10 July 2012 to discuss the plans for and get involved in developing the excavation strategy and taking the project forward.

Admission is free. Just come along on the night, although it would be useful for judging numbers if you can let the Museum Curator know who will be attending. Please email:

curator@saddleworthmuseum.net or Tel: 01457 874093

Norman Redhead

County Archaeologist

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