By Guy Carpenter
The work on the A1 at Scotch Corner has uncovered new archaeological remains, some dating back more than two thousand years. I visited the site with Dr Jonathan Shipley, who is a heritage consultant for AECOM.
Scotch Corner, now the intersection between the A1 and A66, has always been an intersection of routes, according to Dr Shipley. Previously, it was the intersection between the Stainmore Pass (A66) heading to the west, and Dere Street (A1), heading north and south. The habitation being excavated may prove to be much what Scotch Corner services is today: a stopping off point for travellers.
Dr Shipley said that the site at Scotch Corner is particularly interesting as during the Roman occupation of Britain, the site was only active for about twenty years. This could be due to larger population centres at Catterick and Piercebridge making the Scotch Corner habitation redundant, but evidence taken from the site will hopefully provide some clues.
The archaeological works will delay the A1 upgrades.