Dragonesque Roman brooch unearthed at Thorp Arch

A dragonesque Roman brooch has been unearthed at a new housing development in Thorp Arch.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 9:52 am

Housebuilder Lovell Homes said the find, discovered during an archaeological excavation at its Blossomfield site, off Walton Road, in the village, dates back more than 1,950 years.

Robert Adams, regional managing director at Lovell, said: “We were aware that the development was located close to two Roman forts and camps dating back to the first century AD.

“However, to discover an artefact that’s so well-preserved and gives us that little bit more of an insight into our history is incredibly exciting.”

He added: “While we are committed to creating vibrant new communities in the region, we also want to ensure our past isn’t forgotten, which is why we commissioned the excavation.

“Without it the brooch would have remained underground, so it’s a great pleasure to be able to donate the artefact for the public to be able to experience for years to come.”

An archaeological evaluation was carried out, on behalf of Lovell, on the land off Walton Road, near Wetherby, in July 2020.

An excavation followed in August to identify and record any potential remains of archaeological and historical significance lying just below the surface of the site.

The excavation yielded the discovery of the brooch, believed to date back to between 69AD and 175AD.

Made of copper alloy, specifically with brass, the brooch is zoomorphic in design and decorated with a bright red and blue enamel on the surface.

It measures about 46mm in length, 19mm in width at its widest point, and 2mm in depth at its deepest point.

The brooch, which has now been fully conserved, analysed and donated by Lovell Homes to Leeds Museum and Galleries, has been placed on display alongside other artefacts from the region.

When complete, the Blossomfield development will offer 119 high-specification houses, with two-bedroom homes starting from £265,000, three-bedroom homes from £315,000 and four-bedroom homes from £420,000.

The first set of homes are due for completion in October 2021, with the overall scheme due to be finished by Autumn 2023.