Record Details

NHER Number:1661
Type of record:Monument
Name:Roman villa and Iron Age gold coin hoard, Fring, Sedgeford and Shernborne


A mosaic pavement was found here between 1790 and 1800. It was further investigated and identified as a Roman villa in the 20th century. Cropmarks of the villa can be seen on aerial photographs. Roman pottery fragments, coins and Roman and Iron Age metal objects have been recovered. A hoard of 173 gold Iron Age coins made in France in the 1st century BC were found here by a metal detectorist.


  • A hoard of gold Iron Age coins from Fring.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TF73SW

Full description

1790 to 1800.
Tessellated pavement found.

1954 to 1957.
Roman surface finds; coins, tile, etc.

Cropmarks recorded.

1990. Metal detecting.
Iron Age, Roman, Middle Saxon, Early Saxon brooches. See drawing (S1).

Iron Age coin hoard found.

1992 to 1993.
Roman querns found.

See full details in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 6 August 1993.

May 2006. Norfolk NMP.
An extensive multi-phase cropmark complex relating to an Iron Age to Roman settlement and possible Roman villa or religious site is visible on aerial photographs (S2-S6). The boundary of the site has been extended to include additional associated cropmarks.

The main Roman element of the site is a large double ditched rectangular enclosure that is cut by a modern road and is not completely visible as a cropmark. It lies on a west-northwest to east-southeast alignment and has external dimensions of 98m wide by at least 462m long. The 3m wide outer ditch and 1m wide inner ditch are spaced 7m apart. Several short sections of linear ditch cropmark within the enclosure may relate to internal subdivisions. However, no distinct internal features or structures can be determined. This is partly due to the central part of the enclosure lying over an area of different geology or soil that is not conducive to cropmark formation. Rectilinear double ditched enclosures of this type are characteristic of many Roman sites and are often associated with villas, as at the nearby site (NHER 1659). However, this enclosure is unusually long and may have had a different function. It is located along the base of a small, now dry, valley to the west of Peddars Way Roman road (NHER 1289). The alignment of the enclosure, like that of the nearby villa site (NHER 1659) appears to have been influenced by the topography rather than the presence of the Roman road. A possible blocked entrance is present on the northern side of the enclosure. Adjacent to this is single linear ditch cropmark that extends for approximately 430m to the north-northeast of the enclosure up to Peddars Way. The landscape setting and unusual shape of this enclosure mean that it could possibly have related to a religious complex rather than a villa.

The linear ditch to the north-northeast of the enclosure has a similar alignment to a group of linear ditch cropmarks that extend for up to 220m to its northeast and 440m to its southwest. They partly overlap the northern side of the enclosure and some are probably continuous right across it but are not visible as cropmarks in the area of different soil type in base of the valley. Two of the ditches are spaced 5m apart and have a very straight roughly southwest to northeast alignment. It is possible that they relate to a late prehistoric trackway that predates the Roman enclosure. The other ditches have an irregular and braided appearance and could relate to late prehistoric boundaries or incomplete trackways.

Partly overlain by and to the north of the Roman enclosure are a complex group of rectilinear enclosures. These may be associated with at least one phase of the trackways or linear boundaries. The most complete of the enclosures measure 65m by 63m and at least 77m by 50m. It is likely that they relate to an Iron Age settlement or farmstead that preceded the Roman site. A ring ditch of a possible round house with a diameter of 9m is present within one of the enclosures. Cropmarks of several other undated ring ditches and a curvilinear enclosure are present in the northern part of the group (NHER 49677) and two isolated curvilinear enclosures are located in the south (NHER 49675-6). It is not clear how these cropmarks relate to the Iron Age and Roman features at the site.
J. Albone (NMP), 1 June 2006.

Monument Types

  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC)? (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DOUBLE DITCHED ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOSAIC (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TEMPLE? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TESSELLATED FLOOR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VILLA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BROOCH (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • COIN (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • COIN HOARD (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLUE TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • QUERN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SEAL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • PURSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BOOK FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Fox, G. E. 1889. Roman Norfolk. The Archaeological Journal. Vol XLVI pp 331-367. pp 332-333, 360.
---Monograph: 1901. The Victoria History of Norfolk. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Vol 1. p 297.
---Serial: Chambers. History of Norfolk. Vol I, p 337.
---Map: Finder's Map..
---Photograph: NCC Find Identification and Recording Service. c. 1975-2000. HES Find Polaroid Collection. HES Find Polaroid Collection. polaroid. black and white.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 73 SW 3.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Article in Monograph: Gregory, A. 1982. Romano-British Settlement in West Norfolk and on the Norfolk Fen Edge. The Romano-British Countryside, Studies in Rural Settlement and Economy. Miles, D. (ed.). British Archaeological Reports British Series No 103 pp 352-376. pt ii, pp 351-376.
---Unpublished Document: Gurney, D.. 1991. Gold coins found at Fring.. 18 April.
---Unpublished Document: Williams, J.. 1997. Letter. Fring Hoard - 173 Gallo Belgic AV. 29 October.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991. [Articles on the Iceni coin hoard].
---Article in Serial: F, H. 1914. [unknown]. British Acad. Supp. Papers. Vol II, p 21.
---Article in Serial: Gough. 1806. [unknown]. Additions to Camden. Vol II, p 201.
---Article in Serial: Woodward, S. 1831. A descriptive Outline of the Roman remains in Norfolk, by Samuel Woodward, Esq., in a Letter to Hudson Gurney, esq. V.P., F.R.S., accompanied by a Map of the County. Archaeologia. Vol XXIII pp 358-373. p 370.
---Photograph: 1991. LBQ, Fring coin hoard..
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Fring [3].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Photograph: FTG 1-10.
<S1>Illustration: Penn, K. Unknown. Drawing of an Early Saxon copper alloy equal-arm brooch. Film. 2:1.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: MAFF. NHER TF 7334ABH (MAFF/-).
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1974. CUCAP (BQF47-9) 02-JUL-1974.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1974. CUCAP( BQF52) 02-JUL-1974.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/1606 6244-5 27-JUN-1945 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1958. RAF 58/2399 (V1) 13-4 01-APR-1958 (NMR).

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2020 Norfolk Historic Environment Service