Record Details

NHER Number:5205
Type of record:Monument
Name:Roman villa and bath house at Little Oulsham Drove

Summary

A 4th century Roman villa and bath house were excavated in the 1960s. The villa was a simple corridor-type building with five rooms and a corridor. Inside, one collapsed wall lay relatively intact. Finds included Iron Age pottery, a steelyard and two objects made from elephant ivory. The bath house was a separate detached building with the usual suite of hot and cold rooms and a pillared hypocaust. An important Early Saxon sword in its scabbard was found under the floor in one room, between the pilae (tile pillars) of the hypocaust. This may be the earliest Germanic sword found in Britain, dating to the first half of the 5th century AD, and hidden in the ruined building by an Anglo-Saxon warrior. The two buildings appear to have been the nucleus of a small fen-edge estate, and the unpretentious nature of the buildings suggest that these belonged to a working farm rather than a luxurious establishment. It may be related to a larger Imperial Estate in the fens. The bath house was destroyed by the construction of the Cut-Off Channel, but the remains on the villa were reburied.

Images

  • A plan of the Roman villa and bath house excavated in Feltwell in the 1960s  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TL 6998 9197
Map Sheet:TL69SE
Parish:FELTWELL, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Roman bath house and villa.

1960. In ploughing.
Roman villa and bathhouse discovered.

1961 to 1962 and 1964. Excavations.
Roman coins, metalwork (S3, S4, S6, S6 and S7). Iron Age ditch and Early Saxon sword left in hypocaust (S8 and S9).

1979.
Roman brooch.

1993. Metal detecting.
Iron Age/Roman pin. Iron Age sherd.

See details in file, (S1) and (S2).
E. Rose (NAU), 24 April 1990.

1993. Fieldwalking and metal detecting.
Medieval sherd.
Copper alloy ?vessel and ?ring.
D. Gurney (NLA), 8 March 2001.3

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • BATH HOUSE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BATH HOUSE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HOUSE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HYPOCAUST (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VILLA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds

  • RING (Undated)
  • RING (Unknown date)
  • VESSEL (Undated)
  • VESSEL (Unknown date)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • QUERN (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • PIN (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 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)
  • BOX (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BUCKET (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLUE TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • GAMING PIECE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • LINCH PIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PADLOCK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIN (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)
  • SCABBARD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SPADE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SPOON (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STEELYARD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SWORD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SWORD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SCABBARD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SWORD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SWORD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Publication: The Daily Telegraph. 1962. Roman Bath Found. 9 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1962. 500-Year-Old Skeleton Unearthed.. 9 May.
---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.
---Monograph: Gurney, D.. 1987. East Anglian Archaeology. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 31.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Feltwell [5].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1962. Fourth Century Bath House Found on Feltwell Site. 9 May.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Photograph: CMM31-6, CMW, CVC15-19, CZJ20-26.
<S1>Unpublished document: Greenfield, E.. 1962. Feltwell Roman Villa. Interim Report..
<S3>Illustration: Unknown. 1962. Drawing of two Roman penannular brooches, bucket binding, two bracelets and a hook-and-eye necklace fastener.. Paper. 2:1.
<S4>Illustration: Unknown. 1962. Drawing of a Roman bracelet, a copper alloy strip and a fragment of a circular boss.. Paper. 2:1.
<S5>Illustration: Unknown. 1962. Drawing of a Roman steelyard arm and weight.. Paper. 2:1.
<S6>Illustration: Unknown. 1962. Drawing of Roman bracelets, a bowl of a spoon and a necklace link.. Paper. 2:1.
<S7>Illustration: Unknown. 1962. Drawing of a Roman brooch, a handle mount and a strap-holder for a sword.. Paper. 2:1.
<S8>Illustration: Unknown. 1962. Drawing of an Early Saxon scabbard chape.. Paper. 2:1.
<S9>Illustration: Unknown. 1962. Sketch of an Early Saxon strap-holder for a sword.. Card. 1:1.

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