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Roman kiln found beneath children’s playground

Traces of a Roman tile kiln have been found beneath a children’s playground in England.

The tiles, pieces of pottery and bricks which were discovered on the Potter Street site have been investigated by a team from Wessex Archaeology. The team has found the materials to be that of a Roman tile kiln.

The re-used construction of the small building’s walls using tegula and brick which are typical of a kiln structure, alongside analysis of the material spread comprising dark carbon rich soils containing some Roman second and third century pottery.

After discussion with English Heritage and Essex County Council’s historic buildings advisor, the remains will be retained for posterity and protected in situ with a carefully laid series of aggregates. Once covered, work will then recommence on the playground.

Andrew Bramidge chief executive of Harlow Renaissance, which is working with Harlow Council to regenerate Prentice Place said: “This has been a very exciting discovery for the town, as whilst small in scale, it does clearly prove that the Romans had a presence in the neighbourhood.

“It also demonstrates that the legacy of pottery production in this area goes back much further than has previously been thought. We are very pleased that we have been able to preserve the kiln and at the same time look to the future with the continued regeneration of Prentice Place.”

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