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 Post subject: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:41 pm 
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Location: just outside the fort
Phil,
You asked a while back for some photos of Rossall so here are a few Sheryl took on Thursday. (First time for weeks that the aircraft slot and a good evening's weather have coincided). Not much beach showing I'm afraid. If you like any of them I can email jpegs to you.

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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:39 pm 
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Location: just outside the fort
Some more shots from the other direction, (taken by me this time).

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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:43 pm 
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Location: Fleetwood
I can see Phil's house on one of them. (It's that big place...Rossall Hall or sommet it's called.)

That last photo's Barnaby Sands, I believe, where that helicopter crashed a few weeks ago.

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http://www.wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:14 pm 
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Location: Poulton
In 1840 a large hoard of Roman coins was found close to the site of the large pond situated the southern end of Fleetwood golf course as shown in the photos. There may be some still there, but I don't think the club would appreciate us digging up their greens.


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:48 am 
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Location: Fleetwood
Gary,

According to Michelle the actual location of the coin hoard (a farm called Fenny if memory serves) is now, due to coastal erosion, just outside the golf course under the beach (possibly the promenade). Potential treasure hunters might require a pick axe and/or a worming spade.

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http://www.wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:18 am 
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Interesting photos of Rossall. The location of the Rossall Hoard could be anywhere, beach, sea wall or even still on the Golf Course. The old map indicates the find was close to the then shoreline (1840s), but I suspect it was somewere close to the shoreline along the line of Rossall Grange Lane extended westwards towards the sea wall. The large pond to the southern end of the Golf Course would be difficult to sweep with a metal detector even if permission could be obtained because it is extensively "seeded" with spent bullets (it was a rifle range up to and including [at least] the 1st World War)...we used to dig them there as children, which is how I know this fact. The immediate area around the pond is greenless, so it would provide the only area on the Golf Course where excavations wouldn't impinge on the greens themselves. The area of the pond is marked on the Lancashire Towns Survey as a possible Roman Site although there are no explanations as to what has been found there...it may be that it is merely associated with the Rossall Hoard...given this hoard was found by workmen digging for clay it may be the spot where the find was made as the pond area looks like it has been extensively dug which would account for the pond too. It is surprising no other individual Roman coin finds were made either on the West View Estate or in the general area of Rossall Grange Lane although the Leighton Avenue Roman Coin find in 1974 does show the possibilities of that area. It's a real shame that the whole area was never surveyed and searched prior to the area being built on in the post 2nd World War period.


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:41 pm 
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Location: Fleetwood
Terry,

Quote:
"...it was a rifle range up to and including [at least] the 1st World War..."


Run by Wilfred Owen, no less -- his last stop before heading to the front. He probably even composed a few of his earlier poems there.

Quote:
"The area of the pond is marked on the Lancashire Towns Survey as a possible Roman Site although there are no explanations as to what has been found there..."


Thornber mentions in his 'History of Blackpool and its Neighbourhood' a round platform in this general area that was dismantled by the local farmers (on one of their recycling binges, no doubt), which he believed to be Roman. Is it possible that the remains of whatever this building was (now long since gone, of course) might be the survey's Roman site?

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http://www.wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Brian,

I can see I might become a regular on this site and may also become the Roman site bore...especially when discussing the Rossall Hoard and Roman coin finds in Fleetwood. If this platform was removed to build other buildings in early Fleetwood then the favourites would have been the 3 nearest farms (Rossall Grange, Larkholme or one of the Warren Farms), perhaps even Rossall Hall or even the Barracks on Beach Road. I've always assumed that this platform was on the Point near the Landmark and if so the nearest farm (assuming it wasn't Fenny...which I've always placed near the old pumping station) would have been Rossall Grange Farm which was opposite the Golf Clubhouse at the junction of Rossall Grange Lane/Grange Road/Princes Way. The pond could have been the site of the "round platform", but I suspect not although I'm tending to think it may have been the site of the clay digging that resulted in the hoard being found. From memory we never found any pieces of masonry whilst digging there, just spent bullets and the odd pieces of broken crockery and glass which may have been Victorian...we were just interested in the bullets (as kids would be). Rossall Grange Farm however, did have several pieces of masonry in its structure as well as large numbers of rounded stones, no doubt from the beach...you can still see some of these style of walls along the front gardens of some houses on Beach Road between Shakespeare Road and The Queens. I am convinced though that there's still more to be found in this area. The beach itself could be a fruitful site for investigation and one of the big mysteries which needs answering is where exactly the coast was in Roman times (in this area). It would be wrong to necessarily assume that the coast line was further west because over the period of the Roman Occupation (AD43 - AD410) the sea levels fluctuated. If we could pinpoint this platform though...now that would be a good start, shame that we are unlikely to know exactly what it was although, like you, I favour some sort of watchtower. The whole of this area has been so transformed by removal of material, the building of the sea wall and the post WWII housing that at times I despair at ever getting a clear picture of what has gone on. We need more data and a sweep of the Golf Course would be a good start...even just a field walk would be a start...but permission, my boy, how and when?

One point to consider is that if the pond was the site of the hoard find then whoever put it there must have had some significant marker nearby...the usual markers being a road, road junction, ford, bridge or some significant structure (man made) nearby...well this point is still valid wherever the hoard was actually found. Now, the Landmark itself wasn't Roman (thought I'd need to state the obvious), but it obviously marked a point on the coast that was significant...no reason to suppose the point was any less significant in Roman times...so was the structure near the Landmark?


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:10 am 
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Location: Fleetwood
Terry,

Can't remember off hand where Thornber said the platform was. You could be right...it might well have been Rossall Point...I need to dig Thornber out again at some point and check.

As far as a marker goes for the coin hoard, I strongly suspect that a Roman coastal road cut across the golf course close to it, before heading down Grange Road and then Poulton Road. If you look at Frank's photograph of the links there does appear to be something running across it between Grange Road and the prom.

Poulton Road, of course, was there before Fleetwood was built and is recorded on old maps as 'the old country road'. It's certainly a long, straight road considering there were only a couple of farms on the peninsula before Fleetwood.

The old road headed to the river bank close to the harbour mouth, exactly opposite Hackensall and the coin hoard discovered there. Continue it in a straight line and you hit the base of Preesall Hill at roughly the location you'd expect the Roman road from Stalmine to end up...and also the spot where a large piece of mortarum was discovered in Brian Pinney's front garden.

Not proof, of course, but with Roman finds at either end it makes a certain sort of sense. (Well...it does to me, anyway.)

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http://www.wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:24 am 
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Brian,

If you take a look at aerial photos of the Golf Course area taken in the 1940s and 1960s (Lancashire County Council historical archive...online), you can, as you suggest see traces of a track , a continuation of Rossall Grange Lane (not Grange Road)...and on down Poulton Road and yes logically the continuation would have come out at about the Ferry Beach. I seem to remember this road being shown on either the Yates map of 1786 or the Hennets one of 1829, going from nowhere to nowhere (or so it seemed from the map and its lack of any meaningful detail). And then, of course, we have the possibility of the coastal road (skirting the Golf Course) along the shore and again ending up at or near to the Ferry Beach (the Min End ford). The roman pavement mentioned in Porter's tome could be related to either of these tracks (or roads) as could Thornber's "platform".

I must admit that there's little concrete evidence for all this and without the Rossall Hoard and the various coin finds in Fleetwood then we would be in the realms of having very vivid imaginations, but the clincher, as you suggest, are the coin and (other items) found in Preesall (and the associated roads). The key point is the mouth of the Wyre and some connection with Kirkham, the Dowbridge Fort and possibly the Lancaster fort. The Preesall (and HACKENSALL) hoards are well documented and have pretty good provenances, so we can be sure something of importance was going on in this area. The lack of much info for Fleetwood itself makes it fairly important to document all the Fleetwood coin finds, which is a big sticking point because, of course, some of the findspots are known only to the finders, which is frustrating, but I'm patient...Leyburn Avenue (1968)...Leighton Avenue (1974)...Fleetwood Road, near the Windmill (1940 something) and the , ahem, 1991 coin whose findspot I am not privy to.


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:34 am 
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Location: Fleetwood
Terry,

Quote:
"...a continuation of Rossall Grange Lane (not Grange Road)..."


You're absolutely right. I have a terrible memory for roads. I even forget the names of the ones in the immediate vicinity of my house. Not sure how many centuries I'm going to have to live here before I eventually realise which are which.

The Lancaster to Dowbridge Roman route might well be backed up by the 'Pilling Enigma' -- a collection of what many people believe were Saxon graves, but which, from the diagrams I've seen of them, look more to me like lilia. Running from the Mount in Fleetwood, to the Mount at Knott End, the next likely location for a Roman watchtower would be the back of Fluke Hall, where the lilia/graves were discovered. Apparently other 'graveyards' of a similar ilk have been discovered all along the coast to Lancaster, although to date I've never found anything relating to the exact locations. (Somebody, somewhere, no doubt, will have the documents.)

With regards to the 'finds spots', I can't help wondering how many more Roman coins have come to light on the peninsula over the years, but have been kept quiet by their discoverers. I suspect Roman coin finds are a bit like fleas; for every coin that people know about, there are probably another fifty lurking close by, not showing their faces.

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Brian Hughes: Curator of the Fylde and Wyre Antiquarian.
http://www.wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:19 pm 
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Brian,

I've been through, books, websites etc. trying to find some decent photos of 19th Century Rossall, but have only come across one (and can't put my hand to it) that have even a vague hint as to what the Rossall (and "the warren") area looked like before wholesale development took over. There were some big dunes and possibly one or two small hillocks that could have served the purpose of vantage points. Having said that this one photo was taken on the Mount looking south-westish. Even though the Golf Course is "undevleoped" I suspect it has been extensively smoothed and prettified, but even so it is relatively pristine retaining some of the original features of the area as it once was and as such has potential for some serious exploration. If you go up onto Westside especially at low tide you will see at Rossall Point large numbers of stones that are not present along what is basically a sandy beach. I have always wondered why these stones are there and largely not elsewhere along Rossall. Many of them are the sort of stones used in the construction of Rossall Grange Farm and if my memory serves me correctly Larkholme Farm too. I did wonder if these stones represented the remnants of some structure, may be one of the farms close to the sea shore that became (eventually) inundated? I think the Point deserves further investigation especially on one of the Spring Tides when the sea recedes the most. It's difficult to imagine what that area was like without the sea wall, but you have to do that to get a picture.

If you start adding up all the Roman coins found in the Fylde, well there are thousands of them, not all fully documented...so that's a project and one started and partially done by David Shotter. If you look at some of his maps showing the various distribution of his finds, then you start to get a good picture. I've done some work on this myself (a la David Shotter) and once I've knocked the piece into shape [it's currently an academic dissertation] I'll post it...the Over Wyre distribution makes interesting reading especially the 2nd Century stuff. The PAS currently as a tiny fraction of all finds, but has it rows will become the database to watch (and analyse).


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:13 am 
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Preston Chronicle, September 9th 1840

"On Saturday last, some men at work in a brickfield of Mr Walmsely’s near The Landmark, Fleetwood, found upwards of 300 Roman coins. They are principally of silver and are in a very fair state of preservation. We have seen a few of them, which bear the impress of “Sabina”, “Nerva”, “Antoninus” & “Adrianus”. Most of the coins are now in the possession of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, Bart M.P."


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:35 pm 
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Location: Fleetwood
Terry,

Sorry about not responding sooner. I haven't been able to get on the net for the last couple of days. My server's been down or something. We have a couple of SKYPE mobiles running through 'Three' as well, and they've only just come back on-line, so I'm assuming it was a technical glitch at their end.

Anyhow, where was I? Oh yes...those stones off Rossall Point. Me and Michelle noticed them a couple of years back (haven't been for a stroll down the beach for ages -- I'll have to go back in the not too distant future, I reckon) and wondered what they were at the time. Some of them were definitely dressed and they're far too selectively grouped not to be anything other than building remains.

I know that the 'landmark' was moved a couple of times. Whether the stones are connected or not to an earlier version I couldn't honestly say. Probably not. When it stops raining, and I'm feeling up to it (probably in about six years times then) I'll have a wander down that way and get some photos for you.

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http://www.wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: ROSSALL BEACH
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:35 pm 
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Ah Technology, Brian,...the bain and major help to modern historians, how did we ever manage without it?

Rossall Point deserves fuller investigations...look forward to progress there. The Preston Chronicle article does seem to be saying (assuming the find was near the Landmark on the Point) that that whole area was a brickfield...presumably with kilns? As I looked at the Victorian OS map I noticed a series of "ventilators" marked on it and wondered how they fitted in with it being a rifle range? May be they were related to its use as a brickfield? Interestingly all the coin finds in Fleetwood seem to be in or near areas were bricks were made or brick making material was being dug. There were some kilns marked (on Victorian maps) up around Flakefleet which takes in the 1968 (Leyburn Avenue) and 1991 ("Fleetwood Road Area") coin finds all in that general area. Likewise the 1974 Leighton Avenue coin find was near a clay pit. What this all means is anyone's guess.


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