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Unearthing Wrexham’s Roman Past

September 19th 2021, 10:47 pm by Arran Hodges

Hundreds of people gathered in Rossett on Saturday to step back in time and enjoy a unique glimpse into life in Roman times, thanks to an open day at the site of a Roman villa that is currently being excavated.

The open day, arranged jointly by Wrexham Museum and the University of Chester, gave visitors a rare opportunity to experience an ongoing archaeological dig and find out more about what is possibly one of the most significant Roman sites in north-east Wales, with a series of guided tours led by Stephen Grenter of Wrexham Museum.

The first Roman villa to be discovered in NE Wales, a three-week dig is currently underway to gain a greater understanding of the site and its structure, in the hope that archaeologists will be able to piece together the evidence and learn more about Roman life in Wales.

With the dig still in its early stages, the site currently leaves many questions unanswered, however, it is hoped that subsequent digs that are planned for the future will help to shed further light on what has, up until now, remained a fairly undocumented period of time for the region.

The presence of the villa, which is believed to be comparable to sites such as Lullingstone in Kent, suggests that more substantial activity took place in the area than previously understood.

The villa is located close to where the ‘Rossett Pig’ was discovered, one of north Wales’ most significant Roman objects. The 2,000-year-old lead ingot was uncovered by local metal detectorist Rob Jones in 2020. Currently on display in The British Museum in London, the incredible artefact is expected to return to Wrexham Museum in the near future.

If you are interested in finding out more about Wrexham’s Roman past, then it is well worth visiting the ‘Hidden Holt’ exhibition at Wrexham Museum. Running until January 29th 2022, the exhibition offers an opportunity for visitors to view dozens of exciting Roman discoveries unearthed in the Wrexham area.

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