Hot and dry weather reveals Roman temple in Great Chesterford

PUBLISHED: 08:32 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:32 03 September 2018

Cropmarks revealing the remains of three large ploughed-out round barrows of probable prehistoric date in Little Chesterford. Picture: HELEN SAUNDERS

Cropmarks revealing the remains of three large ploughed-out round barrows of probable prehistoric date in Little Chesterford. Picture: HELEN SAUNDERS

Essex County Council

A hidden Roman temple has been discovered in Great Chesterford - it has shown up in aerial photographs because of the prolonged spell of hot and dry weather over the summer.

Cropmarks revealing the buried remains of the Scheduled Roman town of Great Chesterford. The roads within the town are visible as lighter lines within the crop and the pits, property boundaries and possible temple are visible as darker lines. Picture: HELEN SAUNDERSCropmarks revealing the buried remains of the Scheduled Roman town of Great Chesterford. The roads within the town are visible as lighter lines within the crop and the pits, property boundaries and possible temple are visible as darker lines. Picture: HELEN SAUNDERS

Aerial archaeology has been carried out in Essex since the 1970s identifying new sites each year however, a further 20 new archaeological sites have been recorded in the county for the first time this year.

The historic environment team at Place Services uses aerial photography of crop marks to uncover buried archaeological features and the dry summer created the perfect conditions as the marks became more visible. As a result, new details have been revealed about a Roman temple at Great Chesterford.

Cropmarks showing the precinct of the Scheduled Roman Temple at Great Chesterford, also visible are Roman pits within the temple (top right) and a narrower inner precinct. Picture: HELEN SAUNDERSCropmarks showing the precinct of the Scheduled Roman Temple at Great Chesterford, also visible are Roman pits within the temple (top right) and a narrower inner precinct. Picture: HELEN SAUNDERS

The lines of roads, a possible temple, numerous pits and property boundaries within the ancient Roman town of Great Chesterford were also shown up.

A group of three large round barrows were revealed near Little Chesterford.

Aerial archaeology in Essex is currently funded by Historic England and delivered by Place Services, an arm of Essex County Council.


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