Various media outlets have been reporting in recent days about discoveries made by Wessex Archaeology during excavations in advance of the construction of a cable route to carry power from what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm to a substation at North Killingholme in North Lincolnshire.

hornsea cable route map
Map of the cable route. Image taken from

Coverage in the Grimsby Telegraph and on the BBC combines with information from Wessex Archaeology’s own blog, but only the briefest details of the Roman finds have been released to date. The headline is the excavation of three Romano-British settlement sites at Stallingborough, Tetney and Holton le Clay, and a Roman inhumation burial at North Killingholme. We will have to wait for more information to put these into context, however. The fact that the excavations have uncovered close to 30,000 artefacts (of all periods, not just Roman), is testament to the quantity of archaeology unearthed.

hornsea radiate
Radiate of Tetricus I (AD271-274). Image copyright Wessex Archaeology

The wonderful potential for Roman archaeology on the North-east Lincolnshire coast has also recently been explored by Allen Archaeology, who undertook a series of investigations around North Killingholme between 2012 and 2014 (see their page on the project on their website here). The results were presented at a lecture to the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology in March 2017, and included a mass of Iron Age and Roman ditched enclosures, field systems, corn drying ovens and an aisled building. Finds included a La Tene sword handle and an incredible early-mid 2nd Century wooden ladder, found in situ within a well.

I will be returning to both the latest Wessex Archaeology excavations and the earlier Allen Archaeology project when they have been written up and I can analyse the final reports in detail. Both projects will eventually be archived with the North Lincolnshire Museum in Scunthorpe.