Prehistoric, Romano-British and Medieval Settlement in Lowland North West England

BookPrehistoric, Romano-British and Medieval Settlement in Lowland North West England

Prehistoric, Romano-British and Medieval Settlement in Lowland North West England

Archaeological Excavations along the A5300 Road Corridor in Merseyside

National Museums Liverpool


February 1st, 2013




In 1993, the construction of the A5300 road provided the opportunity for archaeologists from Liverpool Museum to investigate a corridor of land through the townships of Tarbock, Ditton and Halewood, Merseyside. The first part of this book provides detailed accounts of the resulting excavations at three Mesolithic sites, a late prehistoric double-ditched enclosure and two Romano-British and medieval farmsteads. These have produced valuable evidence for wider regional research, particularly for the nature of Romano-British settlement. The late prehistoric settlement is an important addition to the meagre number of such sites in the region, while artefact studies make a significant contribution to an understanding of prehistoric hunter-gatherer settlement patterns and medieval pottery use. The second part of the book draws on this new evidence to provide in-depth regional accounts of current research and theories on settlement and land use for these periods.

The A5300 excavations, which took place along a 4 km road corridor through Halewood and Tarbock, Merseyside, have transformed our understanding of the ancient landscape in the lowland North West of England. In a region traditionally viewed as sparsely populated and archaeologically unrewarding, excavations revealed an unexpected density of sites comparable with far better known regions of England. This includes Mesolithic evidence, which has begun to redress the upland, Pennine emphasis in the study of this period in the north. Alongside this is important new evidence of Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement, while the project discovered no fewer than three Romano-British rural sites, one of which combined farming with legionary tile production. This monograph presents the detailed results of excavation and scientific analysis together with period syntheses of landscape development from the Mesolithic to the medieval period, assembling a wealth of additional unpublished material from two decades of research.

Author Information

Ron Cowell BA Hons MIfA (Curator of Prehistoric Archaeology, National Museums Liverpool) has researched the prehistory of north-west England since 1983. He has undertaken extensive fieldwalking surveys, excavations at Mesolithic sites throughout Merseyside and in the Pennines, and directed a long term research and teaching excavation on an important multi-period site at Lathom, West Lancashire. His specialist interests are wetland and coastal archaeology and prehistoric stone tool analysis.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
1. Introduction
2. Ditton Brook, Ditton
3. Brook House Farm, Halewood
4. Ochre Brook, Tarbock
5. Brunt Boggart, Tarbock
6. The Early Prehistoric Period in Southern Merseyside
7. The Late Prehistoric Period in Northern Merseyside
8. The Romano-British Sites in their Regional Context
9. The Medieval Settlement in its Landscape Context
10. Conclusions: Significance and Research Implications
Glossary of terms used in the text
Botanical terms