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In the heart of Roman Baldock: the Medieval "New town" was established half a mile to the left. Here excavations are in progress on a large natural hollow filled with stratified Roman deposits. In the top was a post-hole building, presumably all that survives of Saxon Baldock.

Photo by courtesy of the North Herts. Gazette.

BALDOCK ABelgic bronze-bound bucket has been found at the centre of a rich Iron Age complex at Baldock. Such bronze- bound buckets, often elaborately decorated, are among the highest achievements of celtic art, but this is the first time that such a bucket has been found in a formal archaeological excavation. It is all the more ironic, therefore, that this was on a site written off by the DoE as not worth excavating and it has only been excavated through the persistence of Gilbert Burleigh, the field officer of the North Hertfordshir e Museu m a t Letchworth, with the support of the

North Hertfordshire District Council and the local Society.

Baldock is not a town generally considered to be of Roman origin: instead it is one of the medieval "new towns" founded in 1134 by the Knights Templar and named by them after Baghdad, of which Baldock is said to be an anglicised version. However in the 1920s and 30s W. P. Westell, the curator of the Letchworth Museum excavated a Romano-British cemetery and together with the youthful Shimon Applebaum found traces of a Roman town with a Belgic predecessor, situated to the east of the medieval and modern town, under the crossing of the Roman roads. As a result, a strip of some 40 acres was scheduled as an Ancient Monument.

However Baldock really sprang to prominence in 1968 thanks to the vigilance of Les Matthews, the indefatigable guru of amateur archaeology in Dunstable. He was visiting a friend who proudly displayed some new fire dogs which he had acquired for his inglenook fireplace. The fire dogs had a strangely Belgic look, and after inquiry he discovered that they had been sold to his friend by a local builder who had discovered them along with other objects on a building site in Baldock. The site was

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