Roman road junction discovered at Network Rail site
13:01 19 November 2010
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered an ancient Roman road junction beneath a railway development site in March.
The find reveals a new junction on the historic Fen Causeway road which runs underneath Whitemoor Marshalling Yards, the site where Network Rail are building a brand new railway reycling centre worth £23 million.
The discovery points towards the town’s ancient history as a centre for settlement and trade, and provides evidence of further links to nearby settlements.
North Pennines Archaeology Ltd sent workers to the Whitemoor site to investigate the remains of the rail yard and establish whether the course of the Fen Causeway had been fully removed by the rail yard’s construction.
The archaeologists came across a 12 metre-wide road and an additional eight metre-wide road heading south-west of the junction. It is believed that this was built to meet an east-west road recently excavated at the County Council’s waste transfer facility at Melbourne Avenue.
Another possible road, though less well preserved, heads north-eastwards towards known settlements and the salterns in the Longhill Road area.
Kasia Gdaniec, of the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Historic Environment Team, said: “This has been a rare opportunity to investigate an unexpectedly well-preserved section of the Fen Causeway. It is the first time that a junction has been found in association with it,”
She added: “March has a wealth of fantastic archaeological remains that are exciting and challenging in equal measure.”
The discovery falls under the former marshalling yards where a new national railway recyling centre is in the second phase of construction. The centre will enable Network Rail to sort, clean, process, recycle and re-use railway materials.
The centre aims to create even more jobs in the town.