Peturia revisited (awarded 2020)

Although Roman activity has been known in Brough since the 1600s, it was not until Corder’s 1933 – 1937 excavations on the Burrs Playing Field, that any substantial remains were revealed, including a sequence of forts, buildings, a walled enclosure and an inscription presenting a proscaenium by Marcus Ulpius Januarius c. AD140 (RIB707). Under the auspices of “Petuaria ReVisited” Community Heritage Project, an excavation was carried out from 21st August – 6th September. A 25x3m trench was opened across a D-shaped anomaly and courtyard building revealed through Ground Penetrating Radar. The presence of a substantial courtyard building of considerable status with painted wall plaster in a variety of colours, ceramic and stone roof tiles and hypocaust tiles was confirmed. Although there was some correspondence between the D shaped anomaly in the GPR results and severely robbed stone features, it is not possible to verify the presence of a theatre. Finds including a crossbow brooch, military style buckle, decorated bone needle case and jewellery, demonstrating continued activity into the late 4th to early 5th centuries, contrary to previously ideas about end of Petuaria. Other finds included an oyster shell incised with a chequer board pattern and either an XI or IX.