Record Details

NHER Number:1003
Type of record:Monument
Name:Brancaster Roman vicus

Summary

This Romano-British civilian settlement grew up to the east of the Roman fort of Branodunum (NHER 1001) and is probably part of the same settlement as NHER 1002 and NHER 1004. The site is represented by cropmarks and finds. Excavations here have revealed Roman features and casual finds also include an Early Saxon brooch. To the east of the vicus a circular ring ditch cropmark and a rectangular enclosure, probably of Roman date, can be seen. In 2006 a metal brooch mould was found, and this is one of only three sites in this country where these have been found. The other two sites are also in Norfolk (NHER 30864, 34732).

Images

  • A Roman brooch mould from Brancaster.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TF 78644 43947
Map Sheet:TF74SE
Parish:BRANCASTER, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

1974.
Vicus located by aerial photography.

1942.
Roman sherds found.

1960. Excavation.
Excavation of Roman building.

Pre 1982. Metal detecting.
Roman coins; Carausis, Constantius and Maximinius found with metal detector.

1982.
Roman sherds, tile.

1983. Metal-detecting.
Found by [3]:
1 Early Saxon cruciform brooch.
This brooch was donated to the Norwich Castle Museum, along with 76 other, predominantly Roman objects were had also been recovered by [1] in the field to the east of Branodunum (NWHCM : 1984.86). The Roman objects and Saxon brooch are fully described and illustrated in (S16). The Roman assemblage includes:
1 silver finger ring, 1 copper alloy ring with intaglio (depicting Victory), 1 copper alloy enamelled finger ring, 8 brooches (including Nauheim derivative) and 1 copper alloy bracelet.
2 seal box lids, 1 pair of tweezers and 1 bell.
12 mounts (including scabbard mount), 1 ?mount, 1 key ring, 1 decorated tube, 2 knobs, 1 belt-end plate, 1 strap union, 1 strap end, 1 boss, 3 decorated plates and 2 pendants.
2 miltary buckle plates, 2 miltary mounts and 1 ?military mount.
1 vessel handle escutcheon and 2 copper alloy vessel repairs.
1 lead steelyard weight (with remains of iron hook), 1 lead ?steelyard weight, 1 lead plumb bob and 3 lead square blocks.
See also distribution maps in file [4] and additional drawing of ring with intaglio (S17).
This finder also recovered 576 Roman coins in the field imediately to the east of the fort. These are also summarised in (S16) (full list on microfiche).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 23 August 2016.

April 1994. Field Observation.
Examination of spoil heaps and soil exposures following groundworks at Staite Garden Cottage (south of Context 2).
Negative results.
Information from file notes.
P. Watkins (HES), 25 January 2017.

September 1994. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of groundworks at Staite Garden Cottage. The excavation of a shallow trench for a garden wall revealed no archaeologically signficant features or finds.
Information from file notes.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 25 January 2017.

May 1995. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of excavation of evaluation trenches at The Laburnums (Contexts 10-14).
At least six linear features and a possible pit were identified. None were excavated. Finds recovered from the surface of these remains included Roman pottery sherds, animal bone and worked stone.
Information from file notes.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 25 January 2017.

12 July 1994. NLA air photography.
Faint cropmarks visible.
H. Clare (NLA), 22 February 2001.

28 June 1996. NLA air photography.
Cropmarks of vicus visible in southern field. No cropmark response in upper field.
S. Massey (NLA), 28 September 2001.

19 July 1996. NLA air photography.
Cropmarks clearly show the building and street layout of the vicus.
S. Massey (NLA), 30 April 2001.

November 1996-February 1997. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of groundworks associated with construction of new house at First Staithe Field. No archaeologically significant features or deposits identified. Two potentially prehistoric burnt flints were the only finds recovered.
See report (S1) for further details. Schedule filed under NHER 1001.
The archive associated with this work has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2008.53).
E. Rose (NLA), 15 February 1996. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 5 May 2019.

March 2001. NMP.
Cropmarks of the Roman vicus associated with Brancaster fort can be seen on 1976 aerial photographs (S2 and S3) and 1980 aerial photographs (S4 and S5). The western part of the vicus can be seen as cropmarks on 1976 aerial photographs (S6) and 1975 aerial photographs (S7). A linear feature with an associated pit can be seen to the east of the main mass of vicus cropmarks on a 1976 aerial photograph (S8), around TF 7881 4408. It would appear that the features were contemporary with the vicus and the fort. Parts of the north of the vicus can be seen as faint cropmarks on 1980s aerial photographs (S9 and S10).
A. Hunt (NMP), 21 March 2001.

March 2002. Norfolk NMP.
The feature is circular in plan, with a maximum diameter of 11.5m (S11). The feature is situated on the apparent eastern edge of the vicus, outside the eastern gate of the Roman period fort at Brancaster. The feature is located on the northern side of the road that comes out of the eastern gate of the fort, and is apparently outside the entrance of a rectangular enclosure, although the two may not be contemporaneous. This cropmark probably represents a relatively small circular structure or building that is part of the vicus. It seems less likely to represent a burial mound or site, although the location would not be atypical of a cemetery for a large Roman period site.
M. Brennand (NMP), 13 March 2002.

April/May 2006. Triangular field within scheduled area.
Five Roman and one post medieval coin, post medieval token and button.
[1].
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 14 June 2006.

Before 22 March 2006. Metal detecting. [2].
Many Roman coins, medieval and post medieval coins.
Roman metal objects including a 1st century brooch mould (S15) and several military fittings.
Early Saxon, Middle Saxon, medieval, post medieval and undatable metal objects.
See lists and (S12) in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 1 July 2006.

August 2006. Geophysical Survey.
Magnetometry survey of area on eastern edge of Scheduled area.
Several archaeological type anomalies visible in the data, including one which could represent the corner of a side street.
See report (S13) for further details.
J. Allen (NLA), 11 October 2006.

January 2007. Metal-detecting.
1 post-medieval coin.
Information from PAS download.
A. Cattermole (HES), 13 February 2013.

November 2009.
The field to the east of the fort is known locally as 'Allotment Field'.
There is mention in the Parish Council minutes of a Mr Reeve renting the land to the Parish Council for allotments for £9 per annum from Michaelmas 1910. Quite when the lease ended is not known yet but it may have been in WW2 when many men were called up (S14).
D. Gurney (NLA), 2 November 2009.

August 2012. Geophysical Survey.
Magnetometer survey to inform subsequent work by Time Team.
Report awaited.
P. Watkins (HES), 3 July 2017.

Monument Types

  • LINEAR FEATURE? (Unknown date)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • BUILDING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLOOR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RING DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VICUS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • BEAD (Undated)
  • FINGER RING (Unknown date)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Undated)
  • POT (Undated)
  • RING (Unknown date)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Undated)
  • BURNT FLINT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD?)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD?)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ARROWHEAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BELL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BOSS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BRACELET (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN HOARD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DOOR FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HANDLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HARNESS MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HARNESS PENDANT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • KNIFE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOULD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUNT? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • NAIL CLEANER (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PENDANT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PENDANT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PENDANT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PLUMB BOB (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SCABBARD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SEAL BOX (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SEAL BOX (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STEELYARD WEIGHT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STEELYARD WEIGHT? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STRAP END (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STRAP END (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SWORD BELT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VESSEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VESSEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HARNESS PENDANT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLOTH SEAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HARNESS PENDANT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • JETTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOKEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1600 AD to 1700 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF7843 A-Z,AV-AX; TF7844 ALR-AND,ANF-ANJ,ANR-APG.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF7844/APL - APP.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TF 7844APJ - APK; TF 7843ABN.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF 7844APQ - APS.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 74 SE 3.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Serial: 1960. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries for 1960. No 7. p 2.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Brancaster [3].
---Article in Serial: 1961. Other Archaeological Excavations, 1960. Norfolk Research Committee Bulletin. Series 1 No 13 (for 1960) pp 1-2. p 1.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Photograph: CKC13-24, GZR.
---Drawing: [Unknown]. [Unknown]. Tracing of sketch of finds by A. Holmes. Film. Unknown.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Forrest, K. 1997. Results of Watching Brief at First Staithe Field, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 231.
<S2>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. (NMR) TF 7844/127 NLA 1417/2 24-JUN-1976.
<S3>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. (NMR) TF 7844/134 NLA 9904/TF 7844AME 24-JUN-1976.
<S4>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. (NMR) TF 7844/215 NLA 9962/TF 7844AMF 24-JUN-1980.
<S5>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. (NMR) TF 7844/221 NLA 9962/TF 7844AMC 27 JUne 1980.
<S6>Aerial Photograph: 1976. (NMR) TF 7844/129 24-JUN-1976.
<S7>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1975. (NMR) TF7844/269 NLA 1488/16 21-JUL-1975.
<S8>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. (NMR) TF 7844/126 NLA 9904/TF 7844AGW 24-JUN-1976.
<S9>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. (NMR) TF 7844/240 NLA 10058/TF 7844ALU 23-JUL-1980.
<S10>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. (NMR) TF 7844/234 NLA 10056/TF 7844AMQ 13-JUL-1980.
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/388 4089-90 16-JUN-1945 (NMR).
<S12>Map: Finder's Map..
<S13>Unpublished Contractor Report: Chester, F. 2006. Geophysical Survey Report. Brancaster, Norfolk. GSB Prospection. 2006/64.
<S14>*Verbal Communication: Christopher H. Jones. 2009. [unknown].
<S15>Illustration: Gibbons, J. 2006. Drawing of a Roman brooch mould. Film. 2:1.
<S16>Monograph: Hinchliffe, J. and Sparey Green, C. 1985. Excavations at Brancaster 1974 and 1977. East Anglian Archaeology. No 23.
<S17>Illustration: [Unknown]. [Unknown]. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy finger ring with glass intaglio. Film. 2:1.

Related records

1001Part of: Branodunum Roman 'Saxon Shore' fort (Monument)
1002Related to: Brancaster Roman vicus (Monument)
1004Related to: Roman vicus and possible early Roman fort (Monument)

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