After the Iron Age

The Romans

Evidence of Roman activity on the lower slopes of Worlebury has been highlighted by housing development from the Victorian period to recent times. A Roman burial with a first-century AD brooch overlay Iron Age pit burials north of Grove Park. A coin of Vespasian (AD 67 - 79) was found just west of the parish church and it is in this area, now covered by Royal Crescent, South Terrace and Weston College, that evidence of a settlement site has been found. Further along the hill there was another settlement in the area now occupied by Roslyn Avenue. The fields on the slopes of Worlebury Hill continued to be farmed during this period.

A hoard of eleven Roman coins was dug up in 1833 on the south-west side of Worlebury, and inside the hillfort the Revd. Warre found, underneath the turf, over 200 coins of the late Roman Empire, Roman pottery, glass beads and fragments of bronze ornaments. There were also iron nails suggesting the existence of a building. Perhaps a Romano-Celtic shrine once stood here; the finds being votive offerings once made to a god(dess).


Of notable interest are the Monks Steps, consisting of nearly 200 undressed flat stones which climb the hill from above Kewstoke Church to Milton. No one knows exactly why and for what purpose they were built. In 1853 a small silver ring brooch, dating to the sixth century AD, was found from above the top of the steps. On the western side, towards the top of the steps, was a pit-chamber of regularly shaped stonework, which was excavated by the Revd. W. Jackson in 1871 and later destroyed during World War II. The finds included: Iron Age pottery, an iron knife of Saxon or Medieval date, Medieval pottery, a 15th-century spur and a sword hilt dating from the time of the Civil War. A local legend says that the chamber was a cell for a mythical saint, St. Kew. Sometimes the stes are known as St. Kew's Steps.

Back to the Main Page....

Text by Jane Allwood, HTMLised by Stephen Jenkins
Last modified: Tue Apr 16 18:25:01 BST 1996