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New excavations take place at Ilkley's Roman fort
4:55pm Wednesday 22nd January 2014 in News
An archaeological dig aims to uncover new information about Ilkley’s ancient Roman fort and the lives of the soldiers who once lived there.
Archaeologists are digging trial trenches on Castle Hill - close to the Manor House Museum and All Saints Parish Church.
The site was opened up for members of the public to visit today and find out more about the explorations unde way.
The investigation has been instructed by property developer, Burley Developments, in consultation with English Heritage and West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service.
Burley Developments is hoping to develop the plot, which is on the site of former Glovers Garage land, for housing - but first needs to find out if Roman remains lie beneath.
On-Site Archaeology Ltd of York is undertaking trial trenching on Castle Hill just outside the west gate of the fort.
The history of the Roman fort at Ilkley - said by some to be named Olicana - is based largely on early 20th Century excavations in the north-western quadrant and a single trench through the defences excavated in 1962.
The fort is thought to have been established in the late first century AD, on a knoll overlooking the River Wharfe, as part of the Governor Agricola’s campaigns of conquest in the Pennine region.
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