Discoveries in Doncaster

Discoveries of Iron Age or Romano-British buildings are rare in the Doncaster area. Farmsteads that have been excavated had only one or two buildings, though we don’t know what has been lost to ploughing or more recent development. People lived in timber round houses during the Iron Age, houses thatched with straw or reeds and walled with wicker hurdles (wattle) covered in dried clay (daub). Rectangular buildings and building in stone became popular in many parts of Britain after the Romans arrived. These were sometimes built alongside or replaced earlier round houses. Two timber rectangular buildings dating to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD were excavated at Bessacarr. 

  thatched roof Round house

Scarcity of sites

There are very few large Romanised farms (villas) known in South Yorkshire and all come from the Doncaster area. Excavated sites include Oldcoates near Doncaster, Stancil near Tickhill and Conisbrough. This may be because of the proximity of Danum and its network of roads. A bath-house found at the Hazel Lane quarry, in Hampole, was probably once part of a villa complex. If so, the other buildings have long since been quarried away.

archaelogist excavating roman finds

Multicultural Romano-British

Most of the people who lived in Roman Britain were not Roman. Most were British, with a cosmopolitan mix of people from all over the Empire. Britons came into greater contact with Roman ways of doing things, such as living in towns, building new styles of houses and using money. Some people chose to take on these new ways, while others resisted. British culture would have influenced the Romans also. Roman and British gods were often worshipped together, each religion influencing the other. In the centuries that Rome ruled Britain, later generations may not have thought of themselves of Roman or British but as Romano-British.

For further information, please contact us:

  • tel: 0114 273 6354
  • address: South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, Howden House, 1 Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2SH
Last updated: 17 March 2021 13:15:38

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