Historic remains found during archaeological digs on farmland at Peterborough

Archaeologists at work near Newborough on the site of a proposed renewable energy park for Peterborough. Photo: Paul Franks
Archaeologists at work near Newborough on the site of a proposed renewable energy park for Peterborough. Photo: Paul Franks
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Thursday, 2.10pm: Roman pottery and Saxon artefacts are believed to have been found on farmland in Peterborough today (24 October).

The discovery was made this morning just days after the start of archaeological digs on farmland at Newborough just outside Peterborough.

It is understood that a Roman pot and a number of items thought to be of Saxon origin have been found.

Work is already under way to accurately date the finds.

The archaeological digs have been demanded by Peterborough City Council planning officers as part of a council-led application to use the land as the sites for three renewable energy parks.

The council wants to use three sites around Newborough to put up solar panels and wind turbines as well as a temporary 70 metre high research mast.

Work on the project so far has cost the council about £1.8 million while the total cost to construct the energy parks is estimated to be up to £288 million.

If the finds are found to be of great historic significance they could derail plans for a renewable energy parks.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said: “This is very exciting news that archaeological significant ancient artefacts have been found on this site.

“It’s now time for the city council to abandon the hugely unpopular and expensive renewable energy plans in this area for fear of the irreparable damage they may do to the nation’s heritage as well as the prohibitive cost to the taxpayer and of course the unproven return on investment.

“Government Ministers, the local MP, local councillors, farmers, parish councils and local residents all oppose the plans and it’s time they were killed off.”

A council spokesperson said, “As anticipated, our archaeological investigations are uncovering items of interest, but it is currently too early to tell whether they are of particular significance. The items we have found so far are currently being dated in order to determine whether further investigations are appropriate in some areas.”

Councillor David Harrington, who is one of the Newborough representatives on the council, said: “I have heard there have been Roman and Saxon remains found at Newborough.

“It is very early in the dig and just goes to prove that there must be an absolute abundance of artefacts.”

Renown historian Francis Pryor, who is best known for the discovery and excavation of the Bronze Age site Flag Fen at Peterborough, said “These finds are inevitable - the land is covered in historic sites.

“To find something so early implies that there is a lot more to come.

“For me, it is odd that the plans for renewable energy parks should have got so far on these sites.”