Empty flats on Newlands Avenue in Breightmet were waiting for the demolition crews to arrive in 1991. Many of the windows had been broken and doors ripped off their hinges.

Lancashire Telegraph: Newlands Avenue, Breightmet, 1991

But the area was making headlines not for the eyesore flats but because experts thought it could be the site of a Roman burial ground.

Housing giants Barratt was set to redevelop the site as part of Bolton Council’s area improvement scheme but archeologists had failed in a bid to delay work until a ‘dig’ could be carried out to see if there were any Roman remains nearby.