AN archaeological dig in an ancient Roman town has unlocked secrets of its past.

A team from the University of Central Lancashire have spent their fourth year digging at a site in Ribchester during the summer.

This year’s four-week long dig revealed items from the Roman fort’s earliest existence, the remains of a wooden well, almost 2,000 years old.

The well would have been one of several in the fort which would have been used by the 500 men and 700 horses that would have lived there at the time.

The well is believed to have been constructed around 72 to 74 AD, when the fort's first wooden structures were built.

Other findings included pieces of leather.

Dr Jim Morris, a lecturer in archaeology at the university, who led the team, said the findings were unique.

He said: “We are pleased with the results because these sorts of materials are perishable and usually disintegrate.

“The well was lined with wattle, which had lots of pieces of wood weaved together to make it strong.

“It’s a great find, we have found pieces of the fort from when it was originally built as a wooden fort, almost 2,000 years ago.”

The fort is one of specific interest as its one of the last so-called areas of Roman civilisation before the Lake District, which was described as ‘wild lands’.

The dig also revealed there had been people living in Ribchester before the first known settlers, contrary to what archaeologists originally believed.

A dig has taken place at the site every summer since 2015, with finds including pieces of pottery and cloth, along with broken ladles and lead weights. More than 20 coins were dug up in a trench in the northern area of the fort during the digs.

He said: “Every year we generate a lot of interest and we have students from the university, the USA, Australia and primary school children from Ribchester coming down to look at what we are doing.

“We’re open to the public when we’re digging and we want to encourage young people to take an interest in the history on their doorstep.”