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The existence of a Roman settlement at Adel has been known for centuries. Leeds historian Ralph Thoresby, writing in his diary c1700 recorded the robbing for walling stone of the remains of “a Roman town, which by the ruins seems to have been very considerable”.  It was recorded as lying to the east of what was at the time believed to be the Roman camp, near Adel Mill, adjoining the Roman road (RR 72b). Foundations of houses standing up to four courses high on both sides of a street were found, and the quantity and quality of the finds, including Samian ware and other pottery, fragments of statues, pillars, glass-ware and "Aqueducts", does indeed indicate a substantial and important site, although whether it could accurately be described as a town is not yet proven. An altar dedicated to Brigantia and a stone slab with an inscription surrounding a phallus are both preserved in Adel parish church.

Excavations took place from 1933 to 1938, in a field east of the Adel to Eccup road, north-east of the earthwork at Adel Mill, and revealed what was thought to be a "ribbon village" along the Roman road. Wall footings, paving, rammed stone floors, cobbled areas and several hearths were uncovered, along with Samian and other pottery ranging from 1st century to 4th century. Other finds included a cremation burial, quarry pits, stone roof tiles, a few coins, a brooch and some querns.  A further trial excavation in 1956 to the est of Eccup Lane revealed substantial wall footings and an associated cobbled area.  Sadly, the soil of this area does  not appear conducive to the production of cropmarks, and so aerial photography has revealed nothing about the size or layout of the site. However, a geophysics survey by ASWYAS in 2005 shows it to have stretched along the Roman road for as much as 350m, making it possibly the third largest settlement in Yorkshire, after York and Aldborough. Subsequent geophysics by Bradford University appears to show that the settlement superceded the earlier fort, although without much more fieldwork, it is impossible to say whether the settlement originated as a Vicus that grew up next to the fort and simply grew from that, or if it was a Roman town in it’s opwn right. The dubious attribution of the name Burgodunum to Adel is discussed in the page concerning Adel Roman Fort.

Fort & Settlement
West Yorkshire, SE 27 41
Roman Name:

Not known

Related Roman Sites
External Webpages & Links
Adel Pastscape Page ASWYAS Geophysics 2005 Roman Road M72b Adel Roman Fort Adel Roman Settlement Location Map & Access Info.