Record Details

NHER Number:3743
Type of record:Monument
Name:Gayton Thorpe Roman Villa

Summary

A two block winged corridor Roman villa was excavated here in the 1920s when the plan of the building was uncovered and mosaic floors discovered. The layout of the villa, a possible boundary ditch and access road joining the site to the nearby Icknield Way (NHER 1398) could be clearly seen as parch marks in the hot summer of 1976. Fieldwalking in the 1980s uncovered evidence of further buildings on the site including a detached bath house with a mosaic and tessellated floors and another building with decorated painted wall plaster. Pottery recovered suggests the villa was in use between 125 and 360 AD. Fragments of Iron Age pottery and a brooch recovered suggest the site was in use during this earlier period too. In 2006 parts of the villa were re-excavated.

Images - none

Documents/files/web pages

Location

Grid Reference:TF 73 18
Map Sheet:TF71NW
Parish:GAYTON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Gayton Thorpe Roman villa.

1906.
Roman villa discovered.

1922 to 1923. Excavation of villa.
A two block winged corridor Roman villa plan was uncovered and mosaic floors discovered.
See (S1), (S2) and (S3).

Pre 1946.
Early Saxon sherd found.

1956.
Roman sherds and stamped brick found.
See (S4), (S5), (S6) and (S7)

1957.
Iron spearhead and a bone tool (S16) found, and traces of further buildings.

1960.
Roman sherds found.

1961.
Roman bracelet and other metalwork (S17) found.

1966.
Bath house located.
See (S8).

1969.
Roman sherds found.

1973.
Roman building material found.

1976.
Parch marks plotted from aerial photographs. The layout of the villa and a possible boundary ditch and access road joining the site to the nearby Icknield Way.
See (S9).

1980.
Medieval sherds found.

1982.
Detailed fieldwork produced Roman sherds, coins, tesserae. Uncovered evidence of further buildings on the site including a detached bath house with a mosaic and tessellated floors. Pottery recovered suggests the villa was in use between AD 125 and AD 360 although fragments of Iron Age pottery recovered suggest the site was in use during this earlier period too.
See (S10) and (S11).

1983.
Roman metalwork and potboilers.

Autumn 1983.
Late Iron Age double-looped strap union (S20) and a strap loop end (S21) which are part of a set, possibly part of a haord.
Roman coins and metal (S18 and S19) finds.

Autumn 1983.
Late Iron Age pot sherd found close to possible harness fitting hoard discovered in 1983.
A. Rogerson (HES), 3 February 2012.

1984.
Roman pottery and wall plaster.

1985.
Engraved Roman sherd.

1993.
Roman tile, brick, tessera, pottery. Also Late Saxon and medieval sherds.

1993. Metal detecting.
Roman metalwork.

1994.
Roman, Late Saxon, medieval sherds.

Full details in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 28 March 1996.

Before 4 November 2005. Metal detecting.
Thirty-six Roman, one Late Saxon and two medieval coins.
Iron Age, Roman (S22), Early Saxon, Middle Saxon, Late Saxon, medieval, post medieval and undatable metal objects.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 23 June 2006.

July 2005.
Scheduled monument consent granted regarding arrangements to cary out a magetometer, resistivity and ground penetrating radar survey.
See (S12) for further details
H. White (NLA), 25 March 2009

See (S13) in file.
D. Gurney (NLA), 25 July 2006.

July 2006.
Scheduled monument consent granted concerning partial excavation through two targetted trenches.
See (S14)
H. White (NLA), 1 April 2009

July 2007.
Excavation was carried out in 2006 to re-excavate and record the main mosaic, evaluate damage to the site by ploughing since 1923 and obtain evidence for phasing/remodelling of the wing-corridor building. Geophysical surveys (resistivity, magnetometry and ground penetrating radar) were carried out to look for evidence for the immediate landscape of the villa and to record other archaeological features that have not been previously noted. Ground penetrating radar survey identified a possible detached bathhouse south east of the main villa.
See (S15) for more information, photographs and survey plots.
M. Dennis (NLA), 4 July 2007.

During the 2006 excavations, human remains were recovered from beneath the floor level of the south block of the villa. These are thought to be the remains of a full term neonate.
See report (S23) for further information.
A. Cattermole (HES), 6 September 2011.

Monument Types

  • BATH HOUSE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HYPOCAUST (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TESSELLATED FLOOR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VILLA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VILLA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds

  • CASTING WASTE (Unknown date)
  • KNIFE (Unknown date)
  • PENDANT (Unknown date)
  • POT BOILER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BROOCH (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • HOARD (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • HARNESS FITTING (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Late Iron Age - 100 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)
  • BELL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BOX (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BRACELET (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BRACELET (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BRICK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DISC (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DISC (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DOOR FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLUE TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FURNITURE FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HARNESS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HARNESS MOUNT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • INSCRIBED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • KEY (LOCKING) (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • KNIFE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • NAIL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SPEAR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TESSERA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TESSERA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TOILET ARTICLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (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)
  • POT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SLEEVE CLASP (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • VESSEL (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • HOOKED TAG (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COIN (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • EAR RING (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BOOK FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FURNITURE FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SEAL MATRIX (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • VESSEL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF7318 A,G-L,P-U,Y-ACU,ACV-ADF; also St Joseph AP's.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF 7318ADG - ADS.
---Photograph: NLA. Finds Photograph.
---Scheduling Record: English Heritage. Scheduling Report.
---Map: Finder's Map..
---Photograph: I&RS. Finds Polaroid. Polaroid.
---Archive: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 71 NW 8.
---Monograph: Gregory, A.. 1982. Romano-British Settlement in West Norfolk and on the Norfolk Fen Edge, IN Miles, D. (ed.), The Romano-British Countryside, Studies in Rural Settlement and Economy.. British Archaeological Report British. Vol 103. pt ii, pp 351-376.
---Article in Serial: Wallace, C.. 1994. Donald Atkinson, a Neglected Roman Archaeologist.. Trans Bristol & Gloucestershire Arch Soc. Vol CXII. pp 167-176.
---Illustration: Roman Country Villa Gayton Thorpe..
---Unpublished Document: Hartley, B.. Samian Ware from Gayton Thorpe..
---Unpublished Document: Correspondence and material relating to Gayton Thorpe Villa in the Haverfield Archives..
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2006. A Roman piece of art.. 23 August. pp 2-3.
---Projected and Video Material: de Bootman, M.. The Search for Norfolk's Lost Mosaic.. DVD.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Gayton [12].
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Photograph: CKZ 14-27, CKT 20-22.
---Illustration: Williams, D.. 2003. Drawing of a Late Saxon stirrup terminal.. Paper. 1:1.
---Unpublished Report: de Bootman, M. 1998. Re-evaluation of the Roman Villa at Gayton Thorpe, Norfolk. Publication draft.
<S1>Illustration: Plan of Villa at Gaytonthorpe Excavated 1922 to 1923..
<S3>Article in Serial: Atkinson, D. 1929. The Roman Villa of Gayton Thorpe. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXIII pp 166-209.
<S4>Photograph: Clarke, R. R.. Gayton Thorpe Legionary tile fragment.
<S6>Unpublished Document: Various. 1956 to 1964. Correspondence. Re Sixth Legion tile inscription from Gayton Thorpe villa..
<S7>Unpublished Document: James, E.. 1994. Roman Pottery from Gayton Thorpe Villa Site.. January.
<S8>Serial: 1966. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries for 1966. No 13. p 3.
<S9>Map: French, S.. 1976. Parch Marks Plot. Gayton Thorpe Villa.. Summer.
<S10>Unpublished Document: de Bootman, M.. 1983. Gayton Thorpe, June 1983. Fieldwalking Results and Plots.. June.
<S11>Article in Serial: de Bootman, M. 1998. Re-evaluation of the Roman Villa at Gayton Thorpe, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt I pp 133-142.
<S12>Scheduling Record: DCMS. 2006. Scheduled monument consent.
<S13>Unpublished Document: Birks, C. 2006. Revised Project Design for an Archaeological Excavation at Gayton Thorpe, Norfolk.
<S14>Scheduling Record: DCMS. 2006. Scheduled monument consent.
<S15>Website: de Bootman, M.. 2006. http://www.heritagemp.com/gaytonthorpe.asp.
<S16>Illustration: Unknown. 1957. Drawing of an undated red dear antler tool.. Card. 1:1.
<S17>Illustration: Unknown. 1961. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy horse harness or casket.. Card. 2:1.
<S18>Illustration: Gregory, T. 1983. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy object possibly a handle.. Film. 2:1.
<S19>Illustration: Gregory, T.. 1983. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy bracelet.. Film. 2:1.
<S20>Illustration: Gregory, T.. 1983. Drawing of an Iron Age double-looped strap union.. Film. 2:1.
<S21>Illustration: Gregory, T.. 1983. Drawing of an Iron Age strap-end loop.. Film. 2:1.
<S22>Illustration: Gibbons, J.. 2006. Drawing of a Roman finger ring.. Film. 2:1.
<S23>Unpublished Document: Snelling, H.. 2011. Neonate human remains from Gayton Thorpe Roman Villa Site, Norfolk.. February.

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