FISHERMEN keeping a centuries-old craft alive in the Severn Estuary recently made a discovery which could be their oldest to date.

Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery secretary Martin Morgan was exploring the area west of the fishing grounds when he unearthed a piece of pottery dating back to the Roman occupation of Britain.

"I was out getting a bit of bait and I found it," he said.

He made his way back to shore for a closer look, and to record a video of the find for social media.

In the video Mr Morgan explains that the pot has been made from the very blue clay which forms the bank of the estuary he is standing in.

The clay, he said, would have been deposited when sea levels rose thousands of years ago.

Over the years, Mr Morgan and his colleagues have found several pieces of Roman pottery and had them dated to around 2,000 years old.


"It's amazing to think that some Roman, almost 2,000 years ago would have rubbed his finger, or her finger, under the pot lip," he said.

"It's incredible how these things survive.

"A lovely piece of Severn Estuary history.

"Safe to say that's the oldest pottery we have found out there."

The Roman invasion of Britain took place in 43 AD under the command of Emperor Claudius.

They stayed for around 400 years.

The Black Rock fishermen are no strangers to finds from bygone ages.

Just in the past few months, they have unearthed items as varied as Second World War munitions, ancient bones and signs of industry past in the river bed.

"There have been several finds of a varied nature, the most recent being more than 100 Second World War bombs," said Mr Morgan.

Ancient fish traps and a walkway, preserved in the estuary clay were significant historic finds, offering a glimpse at how the estuary was worked thousands of years ago.

"One of the animals that roamed the valley many years ago was the Aurochs (an ancient type of large cattle) and we were lucky enough to find part of a horn this winter," said Mr Morgan.