A treasure trove of Roman architecture has been unearthed during an archaeological excavation of the Westminster Lodge site.

A team of archaeologists began digging earlier this month before a planning application to develop a leisure centre on the site in Holywell Hill was submitted to St Albans District Council.

And the dig has thrown up some interesting finds, including a Roman mill, trenches and prehistoric flints.

Richard Shwe, head of culture and community development at St Albans District Council, said: “As part of the new development at Westminster Lodge, the council has undertaken a geophysical survey of the proposed development site.

"Twelve trenches, including two pairs which were joined and L-shaped, have been excavated.

"Approximately five of the evaluation trenches produced stratified archaeological deposits.

"The main features found in the trenches include a two-phase Roman building, possibly a mill, which appears to have been partially demolished in the Roman or medieval period for building materials.

"In addition, a ditch was found close by which could be the mill’s associated leat.

"These two features will be preserved in situ and the trenches in which they were discovered have been backfilled for reasons of health and safety. The preliminary dating of these features is second to third century AD.

"Evidence suggests that the building may have had painted walls and a solid concrete floor.

"Other finds included prehistoric flints, possibly dating from the late mesolithic to early neolithic periods, circa 4,000BC.

"Pits and layers of archaeological deposits from the Roman period or later have also been discovered and additional work will be carried out to investigate these further.

"Most of the known archaeology is located towards the Holywell Hill entrance into Verulamium Park and will not affect the leisure centre development.”

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