30-Jun-2016 02:54

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Following the course of Fieldhead Lane towards Drighlington is the Roman road of Tong Street.This location would give Birstall a great geographical advantage, making it within easy reach of the main thoroughfares of ancient Yorkshire.A Roman tiled mosaic was unearthed at Birstall Smithies, a former early industrial slag smelting site, during excavations in 1965.This and a hoard of Roman coins discovered at the foot of Carr Lane, on what was then Birstall Recreation Ground indicate quite succinctly as to the prehistoric origins of Birstall.

A quarter of a mile up the hill from Birstall on Leeds Road, there was once a Roman watch tower.

This observation point was built on the ridge or "brae" of the hill.

Pigot's National Commercial Directory for 1828-29 listed it as one of the four villages which make up the township of Gomersal.

The hill fort itself would have been situated high above the village, to one side of the present-day Raikes Lane, which heads towards Gildersome, and onto Leeds.

In prehistoric days, trackways ran in various directions from one British settlement to another, one such settlement being on the top of Birstall Hill.

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