Old Durham


Old Durham, is the name of a farm a mile to the east of Durham Cathedral. In 1939 land near Old Durham Farm was being quarried for sand when a local man discovered Roman tiles. Further discoveries were then made that included a Roman bathhouse. It is the most northerly remains of a Romanised farmstead in the Roman Empire and were excavated at Old Durham between 1941-43.

These revealed a bathhouse of distinctly civilian type, overlying a boundary ditch of non-military type, the latter dated by pottery to C2, the former from the C2 to C4. The primary ditch filling also contained a native hand-made pot, possibly implying an earlier settlement. The most likely place for the dwelling house appeared to be on the crown of the hill, in the field to the north where masonry had been reported, though trial trenching failed to reveal any trace of it. Later excavation  revealed the foundations of two circular buildings, the floors of which sealed pottery of the C2. These were interpreted as possible threshing floors. Lime slurry was also found. The site is now occupied by a sand and gravel quarry.

Roman Roads near Old Durham

Dere Street: N (6) to Chester-le-street (Chester-le-Street, Durham) Dere Street: SW (10) to Binchester (Vinovia) Fort (Binchester, Durham) Margary#80a: S (72) to Derventio Brigantvm (Malton, North Yorkshire)

Sites near Old Durham