Record Details

NHER Number:24627
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Roman villa

Summary

Observations made during the construction of residential dwellings on this site suggest that this was the location of a high status domestic Roman building, probably a villa. Further evidence for Roman activity has been recovered during subsequent metal-detecting, minor excavations and an archaeological evaluation. Large amounts of building materials have been recovered, including roof tiles and the remains of a hypocaust. Roman pottery, metalwork, wallplaster and tesserae have also all been found on the site. The building with the hypocaust appears to have lain in the eastern half of the site, although evidence for a second Roman building has also been recovered to the north-west, close to where a number of other Roman features have been identified.

Limited evidence for earlier activity has also been recovered, including several worked flints of probable Mesolithic or Early Neolithic date and two sherds of ?Iron Age pottery.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TM 06 88
Map Sheet:TM08NE
Parish:BANHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

June to August 1988.
Roman ditch. Roofing tiles in upper fill suggest nearby Roman building. Small excavation found possible traces of this.

September 1988.
Old metal detector finds identified by D.A. Gurney (NLA).

November 1988.
Two pilae of hypocaust exposed in trench.

January 1989.
Roman pit with pottery.

March 1989. Metal detecting finds.
Roman brooches.

October-November 1993. Trial Trench and Test Pitting.
Evaluation undertaken prior to the development of the land immediately to the west of the earlier discoveries. A single trench and a series of test pits were excavated.
The trench revealed a number of archaeologically significant features, including ditches and pits. Several periglacial natural features were also identified. Two of the three ditches identified were aligned north-to-south and were probably Roman or earlier in date. One was cut by a much more substantial ditch with a 'v'-shaped base; this feature was almost certainly Roman, its north-east to south-west alignment being similar to the substantial linear feature identified to the east. The pits found were of varying size and shape, although the finds recovered suggested that all were of probable Roman date. Roman building material was recovered from a number of features, including fragments of tegulae, imbrices, box-tile, flue-tile and tesserae. The largest pit also contained a number of large flints and chalk blocks.
A shallow Roman pit, what was possibly a truncated gully and another natural feature were the only archaeologically significant remains to be identified in the test pits.
Although the majority of the finds found during this work were Roman limited evidence for earlier activity was also recovered. Seventy-eight worked flints were found, the majority either from unstratified contexts or residual in later features (although 13 were recovered from one of the natural features). Although much of the assemblage is undiagnostic several small blades and long flakes with light patination are of probable Mesolithic or Early Neolithic date. Two sherds of flint-gritted ?Iron Age pottery were also found. Finds of certain Roman date included a small assemblage of pottery (mostly locally-made coarse wares) and 199 fragments of building material. Other finds recovered included iron and copper alloy fragments, pieces of lead scrap, a small number of animal bone fragments and a piece of potentially Roman blue-green glass. Post-Roman finds were limited to two sherds of post-medieval pottery.
See report (S3) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S4).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1998.56.A407).
P. Watkins (HES), 5 April 2013. Amended 29 April 2019.

November 1993. Minor Excavation
Excavation by E. Savery of small hole in field to north of residential development (on roughly the same site as where he had excavated a hole the previous year. This hole exposed substantial foundations with layers of mortared tiles. See photos in file. Finds recovered included three combed tile fragments, eight pieces of painted wall plaster (mostly brownish yellow) and 25 tesserae made from cut-down tile (most with mortar adhering). It is notable that these discoveries are close to where the greatest concentration of Roman features was found during the evaluation of the land to the south.
P. Watkins (HES), 5 April 2013.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (Undated)
  • DITCH (Undated)
  • NATURAL FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • BUILDING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLOOR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HEARTH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HYPOCAUST (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TESSELLATED FLOOR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VILLA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • AWL (Undated)
  • CARVED OBJECT (Undated)
  • KNIFE (Undated)
  • NAIL (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • VESSEL (Undated)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BEAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BRIQUETAGE (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)
  • FLUE TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • KEY (LOCKING) (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • NAIL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STUD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TESSERA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • AMPULLA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BOTTLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 198. Eastern Daily Press. 8 August.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Evening News. 198. [unknown]. 9 August.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Percival, S. 1993. Evaluation Report. Gaymer Close, Banham. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 23.
<S4>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1994. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1993. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt I pp 115-123. p 115.

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