A once in a lifetime discovery, which could be the first of its kind in Europe, was found on wasteland in the Eastfield area of Scarborough. The site, which is to become a new housing estate, was firstly investigated by archaeologists, who found the remains of an ancient Roman Villa. The sheer size of the foundations indicates that it belonged to a person of high status. The remains include a circular central room with a bath house and other rooms leading off it. The discovery of such an opulent residence is very rare and could be the only known example of this kind of Roman structure across the whole of the ancient empire.
While it has been long since known that there was a Roman signal station on the headland of Scarborough, this is the first evidence that there may have been a Roman settlement there too.
Plans for the housing estate have been changed to accommodate the new discovery and it will be kept as open land, with no modern houses being built on top of it. Historic England also wish for it to become a scheduled ancient monument and will fund ongoing archaeological work on the site.
The original discovery was actually made in early 2020, but work halted on the discovery because of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. It has started again recently under tight security due to reports of nighthawkers and illegal metal detectorists breaking into the site and stealing artefacts. At the time of writing the dig is ongoing, with many more exciting discoveries to be made as we learn about the ancient history in this corner of Yorkshire.