M6 Toll Motorway
A route to the past: archaeology on the M6 Toll Motorway (Birmingham Northern Relief Road - BNRR)
Archaeological excavations on the line of the M6 Toll motorway provided a route to the past. The oldest site on the Birmingham part of the M6 Toll was a Bronze age burnt mound on Collets Brook. Iron age and Roman remains were found near Langley Mill Farm off Lindridge Road.
Iron Age Farms
One of these consisted of circular timber houses surrounded by a ditch, and dates to between 400 and 100 BC. At the other, a short distance away, a single circular house lay inside a ditched area. In this case the ditch was visible before excavation as a dark line on an aerial photograph because the filled-in ditch retains moisture more than the surrounding soil and so the crop growing on it takes longer to ripen. Other examples of Iron Age farms like these have been found in the Midlands but this is the first one to be found within Birmingham itself. Before this discovery, the only Iron Age remains found in Birmingham were a few pieces of pottery, so it is a major addition to our knowledge of this period of Birmingham's history
The Roman Landscape
Next to the Iron Age farm, there were large ditched enclosures, one of which contained a timber building, and square and rectangular fields. Pottery in the ditches shows that these all date to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. They were probably paddocks for livestock. These discoveries reveal a different side of life in Roman Birmingham to the military garrison at the Roman Fort (Metchley) and are like the Roman remains in Kings Norton
More about the archaeological discoveries on the M6 Toll can be found in a detailed report.
Last Updated: 7th January 2013