Gloucester dig, Slimbridge 16th July 100 acres of freshly cut pasture.

Posted by

The postcode for this dig takes us to the heart of Slimbridge near to the village church of St John the Evangelist which dates from the early 13th century and is a grade I listed building. There are 6 Roman roads identified in this area and various Roman villas. The following write up, with special thanks to Slimbridge Dowsing Group says it all really! We have the area, hopefully we will have the finds!

“One of the main features of Roman roads is that they are usually remarkably straight. There is a theory that this may be because the Romans used dowsing to plot the route in the first place. If you stand in Bath and ask your dowsing rods the whereabouts of Salisbury, you will get a one-direction straight answer.

Originally built 8 or 9 metres across, these roads gave marching Roman legions clear passage, and allowed carts and wagons room to pass with ease.

The manpower must have been impressive. They would first remove the topsoil, dig one or two ditches either side for drainage, protected by kerb stones, then build up layers of hardcore, shale and sand. Creating a good camber called an ‘agger’ to aid drainage, it was then covered with flat, dressed stones called pavers (hence pavement).

Below image shows sites of six Roman roads in Slimbridge itself, including Moorend Lane and Longaston Lane, and one crossing the River Cam. The A38 was a Roman road too, although the Romans probably didn’t call it that, and originally went from Gloucester to Bath.

Roman roads around Slimbridge

slimbridge map with no locations
The River Cam at Cambridge, where three roads join the A38, was an important junction in those days. Today the river goes under the road, but in Roman times there was a bridge (hence Cambridge). It would have been a lot deeper and easily navigable, and there would have been a wharf too. Note Wharf Farm nearby.
By dowsing in the Cemetery field behind the village hall car park, Peter found indications of Roman occupation, including a well, stables, a fuel store, and a food store with no doorway but steps going up the outside, which would have deterred rats. There was also a large building with a furnace, possibly used as a bath house. All this was mostly built in the early Roman period, i.e. first and second centuries.

Archaeologists investigating the Forge orchard beside the village hall also produced finds dating from the same period, some of them imported continental items. Peter has also found indications of three Roman villas in the Parish”.



Please note: We expect all finds to be shown for photographing, all items considered treasure for the finder to provide identification and a contact number. Whilst it is not our responsibility to report items of treasure found on our digs, we will advise the finder to do so and expect confirmation it has been done. And find of this nature not reported will entail the finders details being passed to the relevant authority.


The dig will will commence at 08:30 after a 5 minute briefing. There will be hot and cold drinks available throughout the day. The postcode will be published on here and on Facebook the evening prior to the dig. Please be aware that we expect all holes to be back filled on all land types and anyone caught failing to follow this rule will be asked to leave the event immediately and will not be welcome on any further Lets Go Diffing events.

Slimbridge Dig


Registration opens at 14-06-2017 13:26

Registration closes at 15-07-2017 23:30

Max Participants: 150

Registered Users:

  1. Peck106
  2. Bicks
  3. ahc56
  4. chriscuddon
  5. Paulhills
  6. Murf
  7. Thills
  8. Pete2317
  9. bodger
  10. Saffron
  11. Hhills
  12. Carlallison20
  13. Kphillips
  14. Welly8812
  15. marks
  16. rickyfletcher
  17. granv
  18. Springj86
  19. [email protected]
  20. TigerSteve
  21. Noobie
  22. Bargeman
  23. TEZZA
  24. Howie26
  25. AnnTurrell
  26. JamesG
  27. Aggyh16
  28. phil2401
  29. LordDarren
  30. badger1970
  31. parki17
  32. parki
  33. Dobbi
  34. Karlwall
  35. Justicou
  36. gloryhole36
  37. boycey71
  38. GwynWilliams
  39. Audrey
  40. Andy48
  41. Lammy
  42. Grzwlo
  43. gje51
  44. Metaljester
  45. minidigger
  46. Buzzer
  47. colinmcevoy
  48. Dazzler25
  49. Fellrunner
  50. Seasider
  51. RayDuncan
  52. Rich1987
  53. Katateman
  54. Stubbs
  55. pittc

Please login (or create an account) to sign up for this event.





  1. Profile photo of Janet and L

    Janet and L

    June 14, 2017

    Hi, my 9 yo would like to attend. She has the detector, husband & I will be there to supervise her. Please book her in, thanks

    • Profile photo of Joanne Boyce

      Joanne Boyce

      June 22, 2017

      Hi Janet, thank you for letting us know, there is no need to register her as she will be digging free of charge due to being under 14. Thanks Joe

Add a comment

You must be logged in to comment.