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Rolleston Folly

This was a development for a stone folly in Rolleston, Leicestershire.

The archaeological potential for the site was highlighted in a desk-based assessment, which showed that the wider Leicestershire area in which the site lies is known to have a rich historic background with prehistoric, Roman and medieval activity occurring in the area. The site is located close to the Fosse Way, the Roman road that linked Exeter to Lincoln, and a manor house has been present on the estate since the medieval period, with an older hall demolished in the 1950s to make way for the current structure. The desk-based assessment identified the possibility of a Bronze Age barrow on site in the zone of impact of the proposed structure.

An initial geophysical survey did identify a circular anomaly on site. In the central area of the site a circular positive curvilinear anomaly approximately 15m in diameter with a branching positive linear anomaly extending from the eastern edge and running for 21m to the east was identified. It was concluded that the circular positive linear corresponds to an earthwork mound seen above ground and is possibly a Bronze Age round barrow.

The Outcome

Although still unconfirmed if this feature was indeed a barrow, it was decided that the best approach would be to re-locate the proposed folly slightly to the north, so that the suspected feature could be left in-situ. A simple archaeological evaluation was undertaken to determine the presence or absence of any archaeological remains in the new location. Two trenches, each measuring 10m in length and 1.6m wide were opened to examine the proposed alternative location of the folly.

The evaluation was successful in identifying features of possible archaeological interest in both trenches. However, the features recorded took the form of medieval and/or post-medieval furrows reflecting a phase of previous use of the site for arable agriculture of a form once widespread across the country. One furrow contained one fragment of brick as broad medieval or later dating evidence. On the basis of these results, the site of the proposed new folly has no archaeological potential.


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