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This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Focus on Freshford

St Peter's Church - Freshford
As part of our travels around the county, the collections team has recently been to Freshford to work with the local school children, to inspire the imagination. We will be returning to Freshford Memorial Hall on Saturday 3rd March 2012, for a finds liaison day with Kurt Adams, our county FLO (Finds Liaison Officer), where we hope the school children will have created their own display. If you fancy coming along to learn a little more about Freshford, or you have an object that needs to be identified, do come along and join us!

So, a little more about Freshford …. Freshford comes from the origins of Fersc, the Anglo Saxon word meaning fresh, pure and sweet, while Ford means river crossing. Sooooo this means Fersc + Ford eventually turned into Freshford. Oh yes, there is more…

Freshford is close to Hayes Woods, which is rich in archaeology. Excavations in 1935 found an enclosed Iron Age settlement known as a hillfort. Here, the remains of animals such as sheep, pig, oxen and dog were found, giving us an indication of Iron Age farming practices.

Not too far away from the Iron Age site are the remains of a Roman settlement, discovered in 1920. A cobbled surface and over 4,000 fragments of Roman pottery were found, but the most interesting find must be the stone coffin that contained the skeleton of a young girl.

Did you know?
From skeletal remains we can learn a lot, for example, the life expectancy for a Roman man was 42 and for a Roman woman it was 31.

And the history continues …

In 577 AD, ‘The Battle of Dyrham’, a huge battle between the native Britons and the Saxons took place. Three native kings from Bath, Gloucester and Cirencester were killed; this marked the beginning of Saxon rule from the Severn to Kent and 200 years of peace and stability within Britain. Peace lasted until the 8th Century when the Vikings began a series of raids in an attempt to conquer Southwest England. Unrest continued until the Battle of Stanford Bridge in 1066, where King Harold II defeated the Norwegian King Harald III. Unfortunately for Harold II, not long after this win, the Normans were on their way to invade and invade they did….

After the Norman Conquest of 1066, William I realized he needed to survey the kingdom to be able to impose taxes. So in 1086, a record was made of land ownership, ternary, valuation of agricultural land and status of the workers. This record was put together in the form of the ‘Domesday Book’, in which Freshford is included, and thus starts the historic record for the village we see today….

For more information on this or any other of events please see the links below:




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