In the last fifteen years there have been numerous opportunities to discover more about Shepton Mallet’s Roman past, as the eastern side of the town, along the route of the Fosse Way has been gradually developed. The Fosse Way ran between Exeter and Lincoln – and Shepton Mallet, situated about halfway between the better known towns of Bath and Ilchester, is thought to have been a strategically important military staging post.
Previous excavations close to the Fosse Way in Shepton Mallet have revealed extensive Roman habitations, coins, pottery and some lead coffins, so there was some interest in the archaeological investigation that preceded the building of Framptons’ new 85,000 sq ft Distribution Centre. Framptons’ new DC is set back from the main road, away from the linear constructions along the route, and adjacent to land previously excavated, so realistically we were not expecting a ‘treasure trove’, and in the event some signs of Roman occupation were discovered, but were probably more useful in a wider historical context rather then of any significant individual value.
We engaged A O Archaeology to carry out the excavations and develop a strategy to deal with any finds. Initial investigations were carried out using ‘non invasive’ technical equipment of the type we have become familiar with through programmes like ‘Time Team’. All finds were fully recorded and when building finally commenced it was according to modern ‘best practice’ for the construction of commercial buildings in historically sensitive sites with foundations in the form of a ‘raft’, leaving deeper archaeology undisturbed.
Our Archaeology consultants have published an interim document, showing the coins and walls found during their excavations, which, for those interested in Roman history, can be read by following the link below.
To move back to the present day, our storage facility is now nearly complete and we are very much looking forward to occupying the building from the end of December onwards. This will be a premier quality, food-grade, fully racked warehouse, using state of the art IT systems and offering a wide range of services including picking full or mixed pallets, packing and labelling. We would welcome enquiries from any companies seeking to outsource their storage and distribution operations.