The Bedale, Aiskew and Leeming Bar bypass is a relief road running between Bedale, to a point east of Leeming Bar on the A684 Northallerton Road. The road corridor runs west to east for approximately 4.2km and crosses the A1(M) at a point north of Leeming Bar.
Two major sites were impacted by the road scheme; part of a Roman Villa complex to the north of Aiskew, and a substantial ditched enclosure of Iron Age/ Roman date situated to the north-east of Bedale. These two sites were previously known from various campaigns of preliminary archaeological works undertaken as part of the planning process, but both were thought to be poorly preserved and that the impact of the development upon them could be mitigated by suitable programmes of archaeological excavation and recording in advance of construction works.
The road corridor clipped one corner of the villa site, and all archaeological remains within the corridor were fully excavated and recorded prior to construction works occurring. However, the site proved to be rather more complete and in better condition than anticipated, and the remainder of this monument has now been Scheduled.
The road corridor ran through approximately two-thirds of the enclosure site and this was again subjected to archaeological excavation prior to construction works.
The remainder of the corridor was subjected to archaeological monitoring of soil-stripping works as the development progressed and any archaeological remains encountered along the route were excavated and recorded as a matter of course, without causing any undue delay to the development programme.
The specification for this project required that there were significant elements of community involvement with the scheme. Where safe and practical, this included on-site experience during excavation works at the enclosure; programmes of finds processing and recording where on-site work was not feasible for members of the local community, and outreach in the form of presentations to schools and local societies.