THE remains of a Romano-British cemetery and a small section of Iron Age ditch have been identified on land at a former army barracks in Ludgershall.

The Ministry of Justice granted a licence to exhume at the former Corruna Barracks site and, a team of archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology, excavated 14 graves in March.

Despite years of redevelopment on the former barracks, the graves “survived reasonably well”.

Project manager Si Cleggett said: “The chance survival of this small group of late Romano-British burials will enhance our understanding of the area in the waning years of the Roman occupation.

“There are few records of Roman find-spots in and around Ludgershall but one of the Roman villas recorded at Shoddesdon Grange, Thruxton, Ragged Appleshaw and Redenham may have served as the administrative focus of large farming estates possibly including the Ludgershall area.

“I often hear how mesmerised American tourists are by our incredibly rich heritage − I have recently wondered just how amazed American World War Two troops drinking coffee in their canteen would have been to know their boots were only half a metre above the remains of people who lived there in the last days of Roman Britain.”

Major General Richard Wardlaw OBE, the senior army officer responsible for the Army Basing Programme (ABP), said: “The scale of the archaeology found at our ABP sites has been truly amazing, ranging from an insight into life 1,000 years before Stonehenge right up to World War One training tunnels and World War Two artefacts.

“These latest finds shine a light into yet another era in the history of this part of Wiltshire and we are all keen to know the conclusions of Wessex Archaeology’s investigations.”

Wessex Archaeology has been engaged in major excavations on behalf of the ABP in preparation of the land for the development of new accommodation for army personnel relocating in 2019 from bases in Germany and within the UK

The Corunna Barracks site will see the construction of 242 new army family homes under the ABP. and a new primary school, community facility and open space.