Low stone structures in excavated ground. The main structure includes a central circle of stone with three rectangular rooms radiating from it.
Roman remains excavated at Eastfield, Scarborough, North Yorkshire © Maparch
Roman remains excavated at Eastfield, Scarborough, North Yorkshire © Maparch

Rare Roman Remains Discovered in Scarborough

Rare Roman remains have been discovered at the site of a new housing development in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

The potential for Roman remains had been identified at the site in Eastfield, so archaeologists employed by the developer Keepmoat carried out excavations as part of the agreed planning conditions with advice from Historic England.

During the course of these excavations, it became clear that the Roman archaeological remains were far more significant than anticipated.

The excavations revealed a large complex of buildings including a circular central room with a number of rooms leading off it, as well as a bathhouse.  Archaeology experts believe they are likely to represent a high-status luxury Roman villa or religious sanctuary, or perhaps a combination of both.

Understanding and protecting this significant site

This type of building layout has never been seen before in Britain and could even be the first of its kind to be discovered within the whole former Roman Empire.

Working in partnership with Historic England, North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Council, Keepmoat has modified its design for the housing development to protect the remains for future generations. In the original application, houses would have been built over the site, but the public open space within the development has now been relocated to cover and conserve the core of the Roman structural remains.

Historic England will grant aid the additional archaeological work, which will include the analysis and publication of discoveries made at the site.

These archaeological remains are a fantastic find and are far more than we ever dreamed of discovering at this site. They are already giving us a better knowledge and understanding of Roman Britain. We are grateful to Keepmoat Homes for their sensitive and professional approach to helping ensure the future conservation of this important historical site.

Keith Emerick, Inspector of Ancient Monuments Historic England
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