In 2015/16, the field group has continued to investigate fields in and around High Offley and Woodseaves. Revisiting a number of sites where Roman and Medieval artifacts have previously been recovered. The group will be returning to High Offley this Spring to continue its work around what is believed to be the original site of the Medieval village of Woodseaves. The village is known to have been relocated to its current location in the 18th century, although the exact site of the Medieval village remained unclear. Last year the field group began to search a small field on the outskirts of the modern village. The field produced finds from a wide time span, from the early Bronze Age, Roman, Medieval through to the English Civil War. Many of the artifacts recovered are of regional importance!
The Society have also searched areas closer to home, most significantly at Longford. The landowners, the Duchy Of Cornwall granted the group permission to search a number of their fields. The Newport History Society is currently the only group officially allowed to metal detect on Duchy land. Permission was granted due to our policy regarding the collection and display of finds, the Newport Heritage Center being key to gaining permission. Artifacts recovered from Longford fall into three principal periods, Roman, Medieval and English Civil War.
Throughout the winter, members have excavated a number of test pits at No1 Station Road. The majority being dug in the old orchard, which is currently for sale as a building plot. In total 10 test pits have been excavated. All the test pits have produced pottery from the Medieval period principally from around 1200-1400AD.
A small amount of Roman Severn Valley Ware pottery was also recovered. Roman metalwork has been found in the adjacent fields and this combined with the pottery indicates the presence of a Roman building near by, somewhere around the late first/early 2nd century AD.
In 2016, the group will be investigating another area in Woodseaves, this time the possible site of an Iron Age Hill settlement. The site is where the Iron Age Quern stone currently displayed in the Heritage Center was discovered. This would be a major archaeological discovery if confirmed, as an Iron Age site.
Further work in Longford and Newport will also continue through 2016/17, along with a number of new sites.
I would like to say a big thank you to all those members who give up their Sunday mornings, to come out and field walk, metal detect and dig on behalf of the Newport History Society. Without them, as an example we would never have discovered Newport’s Roman past. I look forward to working with all in 2016/17.
Julian Meeson (field Officer)