Sewage pipe helps uncover a Roman villa in Bedford

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Installing a sewage pipe is not normally an event of historic significance.

But that was what happened when one was being installed in Manton Lane in 2010 – prompting a six-year project to uncover our town’s lost history.

Councillor Roger Rigby, a long-time Roman history enthusiast, said: “There were works to install a sewage pipe, and an archeologist was on-site when they started digging and uncovered the remains.

“Sewage pipes aren’t normally something to get excited about, but here they found something quite dramatic.”

It is not known whether the structure discovered is a large villa or an important administrative centre, but a professional dig this year hopes to uncover some answers.

A group called the Bedford Roman Villa Project has been founded, which has raised almost the full £10,000 needed for the project, including a personal donation from Cllr Rigby and ward funds from councillors Louise Jackson and Colleen Atkins.

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