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Selected Finds

     Roman Shoes




Roman Shoes Report


Dave Thomas and Maureen Thomas have written this short report about the roman shoes we found in the Tollgate Farm well. We have submited this report to the Royal Archaeological Institute for them to host on their Queen's Diamond Jubilee web page and here it is as it appears on that page.  The Institute have created this web page in honour of their patron, Her Majesty The Queen, and they have invited reports from local archaeology societies to mark their proudest archaeological or historical achievements of the past 60 years. Read all about it here, where you can follow links to all the submitted reports. Submissions will be judged in early 2013, and the best awarded a prize. Watch this space for further news!


Roman Shoes Gallery


The pictures below (all taken by Dave Thomas) show some of the many Roman shoes, and fragments of shoes, found down the Tollgate Farm Roman Well which we excavated in 2009 and 2010. These pictures were taken after the shoes/fragments had been returned following conservation by the York Archaeological Trust's Conservation Laboratory. Click on any thumbnail to display a larger picture on which you will be able to read some descriptive text.


Tray of Shoes.jpg (447902 bytes)

 This tray of shoes was photographed before conservation. You may be able to find some of them below.


Very rarely do archaeologists find Roman footwear. The shoes we found down the well were vegetable-tanned, found in anaerobic conditions and as a result were extremely well preserved.


Some are one-piece shoes i.e. made from a single piece of leather, while others have separate soles stitched or nailed to the upper by the shoemaker. The more heavy-duty shoes have hob nails, which have been preserved in the well and can be seen here. All the shoes were fastened by loops and laces, as with modern-day sandals.

Note the size of some of the shoes: some are very small, others huge!

Some of these shoes can currently (November 2010 to 2012) be seen in our display in the Archaeology Gallery of the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.



"Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society, October 2012