Record Details

NHER Number:4780
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Roman villa at 'Sleisham', Little Holme and Late Iron Age to Roman and Middle Saxon finds

Summary

This substantial Roman villa was excavated in 1882. A number of rooms with masonry foundations and probably opus signinum floors were recorded. The site was 'rediscovered' in 1932 when pieces of Roman pot and tile were found. A resistivity survey in 1989/1990 demonstrated that walls and floors are still preserved.
Metal-detecting and fieldwalking between 1980 and 2016 recovered prehistoric worked flint; prehistoric, Iron Age and Roman pottery sherds; Roman brick and tile fragments; Roman opus signinum flooring; part of a Roman column base; Roman pudding stone quern and fragments; Roman kiln bars; undated lava quern, animal bone and oyster shell fragments; Roman and post-medieval coins; post-medieval tokens and Late Iron Age to Roman and Middle Saxon metal objects. The metal finds include a Late Iron Age/Roman cosmetic mortar or 'woad grinder'; a Roman brooch, seal box, lion's head water spout and votive axe and Middle Saxon tweezers.

Images

  • Methwold High School students fieldwalking on the site of Methwold Roman villa. Photograph from Eastern Daily Press.  © Eastern Daily Press

Location

Grid Reference:TL 73 95
Map Sheet:TL79NW
Parish:METHWOLD, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

1882. Excavation.
Roman villa with hypocaust. Pottery found.
See (S1) and (S2).

1932. Site rediscovered.
Roman sherds and tile found.

1980. Found with metal-detector.
Roman seal box.

1987. Fenland fieldwalking and Methwold School fieldwalking.
Prehistoric, Iron Age, Roman sherds, flints.
Also casual find of Roman column-tile fragment.
See (S3) and (S4).

1989 to 1990. Resistivity survey of villa.
See (S5).

1990 to 1994. Fieldwalking.
Much Roman tile, pottery, opus signinum fragments.

1991. Fieldwalking finds.
Roman sherds and tile.

1995. Metal-detecting finds.
Roman coins and metalwork. See (S7) and (S8).

1996.
Much brick/tile with opus signinum, kiln bars, Iron Age and Roman pottery.

For full details of Fenland Fieldwalking wares, flint types etc. see (S6).

1999 to 2000.
Iron Age, Roman pot, briquetage. See list in file.
D. Gurney (NLA), 22 March 2000.

Before 21 July 2010. Metal-detecting.
Five Roman coins were recovered from an area 10 m in diameter.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (HES), 20 January 2011.

In January 2011 a collection of artefacts was donated to Methwold History Society but the exact findspots of the finds within this collection are unknown. Some of the finds (Roman and post-medieval coins, post-medieval tokens and a Roman pudding stone quern) may originate from this site. Consequently, these finds have been recorded here and under NHER 56591, a marginal entry for Methwold. See [1].
See lists in file.
E. Darch (HES) and A. Beckham (HES), 9 February 2012.

January-June 2012. Metal-detecting. [2].
9 Roman coins.
Middle Saxon tweezers (S9).
Information from PAS import.
A. Beckham (HES), 4 April 2013.

November 2016. Metal-detecting. [3].
Late Iron Age/Roman cosmetic mortar or 'woad grinder'.
Information from PAS import.
A. Beckham (HES), 9 January 2017.

See [4].
A. Beckham (HES), 20 November 2018.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • OCCUPATION SITE (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • BATH HOUSE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLOOR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HYPOCAUST (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • KILN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VILLA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WALL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • QUERN (Undated)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT BOILER (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • COSMETIC MORTAR (Late Iron Age to Roman - 1 AD to 200 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • AXEHEAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BRICK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BRIQUETAGE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CEREMONIAL OBJECT (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)
  • KILN FURNITURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PERSONAL ORNAMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PLAQUE (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 BOX (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 50 AD to 199 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 50 AD to 299 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 50 AD to 99 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 100 AD to 199 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 149 AD to 150 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 164 AD to 169 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 164 AD to 169 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 250 AD to 350 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 250 AD to 402 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 271 AD to 274 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 275 AD to 280 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 275 AD to 286 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 275 AD to 286 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 300 AD to 399 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 300 AD to 402 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 330 AD to 335 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 335 AD to 337 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 337 AD to 341 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 341 AD to 348 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 341 AD to 348 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 350 AD to 351 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 350 AD to 402 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 700 AD to 900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOKEN (16th Century to 17th Century - 1600 AD? to 1699 AD?)
  • TOKEN (17th Century - 1650 AD to 1670 AD)
  • TOKEN (17th Century - 1656 AD to 1656 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Fox, G. E. 1889. Roman Norfolk. The Archaeological Journal. Vol XLVI pp 331-367. pp 332, 362.
---*Fieldwork: Fenland Survey. MTW 144. FENS.
---*Fieldwork: Fenland Survey. MTW 145. FENS.
---*Fieldwork: Fenland Survey. MTW 146. FENS.
---*Fieldwork: Fenland Survey. MTW FB. FENS.
---Photograph: NLA. Finds Photograph.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TL 79 NW 12 [5].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Gedge, J.D.. 1893. History of Village Community in the Eastern Counties..
---Monograph: Silvester, R. J. 1991. The Fenland Project, Number 4: The Wissey Embayment and the Fen Causeway, Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 52.
---Unpublished Document: Gurney, D.. 1988. Methwold Villa, Roman tile description. 1 March.
---Article in Serial: 1929. The Proceedings of the Society during the year 1926. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXIII pp i-xxxii. p iv.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Methwold.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Article in Serial: 1884. Appendix. Extracts from the Proceedings at General and Committee Meetings. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol IX pp 359-369. p 366.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Article in Serial: Gedge, C. D. 1882. A Roman Villa at Methwold. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. First Series Vol XXXVIII pp 110-111.
<S2>Correspondence: Gedge, A.J.. 1924. Letter from Dr. A.J. Gedge to Miss Taylor regarding Excavation of Methwold Villa.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Gurney, D.A.. 1987. Methwold Villa. Surface Collection by pupils of Methwold School, Autumn 1987..
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. School children hunt for treasure at Roman ruins - history lesson in the field. 13 November.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Leah, M. D. (NAU) and Mathews, M. (NAU). 1990. Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission Dossier.
<S6>Archive: Fenland Folders.
<S7>Illustration: Reeve, M. 1995. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy lion's head water spout. Paper. 1:1.
<S8>Illustration: Reeve, M. 1995. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy miniature votive axe. Paper. 1:1.
<S9>Illustration: Gibbons, J. 2013. Drawing of Middle Saxon copper alloy tweezers. Film. 2:1.

Related records

36379Related to: Possible Roman enclosures (Monument)
24174Related to: Roman settlement and possible Roman pottery kiln (Monument)

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