The Antiquary (May 1908) - Noters of the Month

The following is a transcription of a historic article and may contain occasional errors.

It is not often, says the Manchester Guardian of March 24, that in this country one of a farmer's walls is found to be largely built of Roman materials. It is still more remarkable that it should be possible to see this by taking a tram-ride for a few miles from the centre of one of the great manufacturing towns of the North. The Outlane tram, which runs due west from Huddersfield for a distance of three miles, lands you in about twenty minutes at Slack, a little hamlet lying at the foot of the bleak green uplands which here form the eastern spurs of the Pennine Chain. A walk of a few minutes from the terminus brings you to a little farm whose fields overhang a narrow gorge, and one of the lower walls on this farm is largely built of Roman tiles. Scores of Roman hypocaust tiles and pieces of the large flooring-tiles that were used for the heated rooms can be picked out at a glance, and perhaps it would be possible to collect a cartload of these relics of the Britain of eighteen hundred years ago.

More than forty years ago excavations carried out in these fields, which lie within the parish of Huddersfield, brought to light a series of rooms heated by hypocausts, and suggesting by their plan and arrangement the ordinary equipment of a Roman bath. Another hypocaust, discovered close by in the year 1824, was removed from the site and set up in the grounds of Greenhead, at Huddersfield, where it may still be seen, in a sadly dilapidated condition, a few yards below the fine building which is now in course of erection for the Girls' High School. Other foundations, discovered close at hand in the sixties, suggest the outlines of a Roman fort, and only a few days ago the farmer showed us a wall mainly built with stones taken, probably, from the foundations of the head-quarters building. Strangely enough, the details of this station have never been worked out, but the question of making a proper examination of the site has recently been raised, and there is a probability that before long excavations will be made at Slack in order to decide the character of the station.