An exciting discovery was unearthed during the construction of Grand Arcade when substantial evidence of late Medieval activity in Wigan was uncovered. Upon further investigation, led by the Oxford Archaeology North team, numerous items were found, including a hearth/furnace, pottery pieces and tiles. The most fascinating evidence discovered was when a hypocaust (a Roman underground heating system) was found, suggesting the existence of a Roman fort in Wigan upon the Grand Arcade site.
Oxford Archaeologist, Ian Miller, was brought on board to educate schools and local Wiganers on the importance of the findings and Wigan’s status as an important Roman settlement was confirmed, with Miller claiming the site may have been used by the Roman imperial postal service and could have been “the Travelodge of its day!”
Grand Arcade were so proud of this discovery that Maysand, the building conservation and restoration specialist, was commissioned to restore the remains of the hypocaust and rebuild it in Concert Square, which is one of the community areas within Grand Arcade.