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Selected Finds

     Roman Shoes




Roman Shoes Reports


Dave Thomas and Maureen Thomas have written this short report about the roman shoes we found in the Tollgate Farm well. We submitted this report to the Royal Archaeological Institute for them to host on their Queen's Diamond Jubilee web page.  The Institute created this web page in honour of their patron, Her Majesty The Queen, and they invited reports from local archaeology societies to mark their proudest archaeological or historical achievements of the past 60 years. Submissions were judged in early 2013, and the best - not ours, unfortunately - was awarded a prize.

 In 2017, Quita Mould, a leading archaeological leather specialist, has prepared for SOTMAS a comprehensive report on the leather found at Tollgate Farm. You can read it (as a set of pdf files) here.


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, 21st August 2017