Record Details

NHER Number:1007
Type of record:Monument
Name:Villa Faustini, Scole Iron Age, Roman and medieval settlement


The Roman site at Scole appears, from casual finds and limited excavation, to be a major roadside settlement or small town. Its position on the major road running between the Roman towns of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St Edmund (NHER 9786) and Camulodunum at Colchester has led this site to be associated with the 'Villa Faustini' site of the Antonine Itinerary, a Roman road map, although this link is not certain. Remains cover an area of some 35 acres, and finds indicate occupation throughout the Roman period. Modern buildings and roads now cover half of the Roman settlement, and some of the areas subject to agricultural activity have been badly damaged. An excavation in advance of the A140 bypass construction in 1993 recovered a large quantity of evidence, including thousands of coins, pottery sherds and metal objects. The proximity of the river has resulted in the rare recovery of a number of waterlogged items. These include fragments of a Roman writing tablet, timber-lined wells, timber framed buildings, and the remains of the first Roman roofing timbers to be recovered in Western Europe. Excavation indicates that Roman occupation was not limited to the roadside, but that settlement stretched back either side of the road. Evidence such as two rare unfinished wooden bowls also indicates that the occupants did not rely entirely on the road for trade, but undertook industrial activity such as tanning, leather working, iron smelting and smithing themselves. Iron smelting evidence has been recovered at a nearby site (NHER 1008), and to the east a Romano-Celtic temple and possible cremation cemetery has also been discovered (NHER 30650). However, occupation of this site is not limited to the Roman period, but also includes the remains of Iron Age and medieval settlement. It should also be noted that there is evidence that this site may have extended to both sides of the River Waveney, particularly if the Roman road it centred upon crossed the river at this point.


  • A copper alloy Roman cosmetic spoon found during the excavation of a Roman villa in Scole.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service. NWHCM 1973.539.1:A


Grid Reference:TM 1469 7875
Map Sheet:TM17NW

Full description

Roman occupation site, may be the Roman posting station of Villa Faustini.

1949. Roman buildings and pits excavated.
1957. Roman pottery found.
1963. Human skeleton noted.
1964. Roman road and building found.
1967 to 1968. Excavation of Roman road and timber building.
1972. Excavation of Roman settlement by Workers' Education Association (Suffolk Federation) (S1).
1973. Excavation by Norfolk Archaeological Unit (S2), (S3).
1976. Roman sherds found.
1977. Possible Roman cremation found. See drawing of pottery jar (S4).
1978. Roman sherds found.
1980 to 81. Roman coins found.

1980. Stray Find.
Dug up in garden of 6 Beech Close:
Roman pottery sherds and hand of pipeclay figure (S5).
Donated to Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1981.71).

1986. Trial Trench.
Square trial pit for Scole Bypass investigation dug by hand by MSC team with T. Gregory.
See (S14) for further details and drawings (S6) and (S7).

1987 and 1993. Excavation.
Excavation in advance of road building.
See plans (S6) and (S7), correspondence, scheduling, etc. in file, (S8) and (S9).
See report (S10) for details of trial trenching and earthwork surveys undertaken in November 1987.
The excavation is now fully published. The results of this work are also summarised in (S13).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2016.484).
E. Rose (NAU), 29 January 1991. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 27 April 2019.

29 June 1993. NLA air photography. NAU excavations of villa prior to road building (Event NF 12076, Flitcroft, m).
Southern extent of excavation (south of river Waveney) is located in Suffolk (photos not held in Norfolk Aerial Photography library).
S. Massey (NMP), 30 January 2001.
See (S11) for Norfolk photos.

22 July 1993. NLA air photography. NAU excavations of villa prior to road building.
Photos show open area excavation (Event NF 12076, Flitcroft, M.).
Southern extent of excavation (south or river Waveney) is located in Suffolk. Aerial Photography of this area to be consulted through Suffolk Aerial Photography archive.
See also (S12).
S. Massey (NMP), 29 January 2001.

6 August 1993. NLA air photography of villa.
Excavation on route of Scole Bypass (Event NF12076). General views of excavation to be seen.
Southern extent of excavation (to south of river Waveney) is located in Suffolk. Aerial Photographs of this area to be consulted through Suffolk Aerial Photograph archive.
H. Clare (NLA), 5 February 2001.

Monument Types

  • BURNT MOUND (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • BUILDING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CEMETERY (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CESS PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CREMATION (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • EARTHWORK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLOOR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HEARTH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MANSIO (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • OVEN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SHOP (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WELL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE PLATFORM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUARRY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FIGURINE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FURNITURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SEAL BOX (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SHOE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VESSEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: See file.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. Ruling on fields may hit bypass. 12 December.
---Serial: 1957. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries. No 4. p 4.
---Aerial Photograph: TM 1478 ABT-ABX, ABF, ABY, ACA-ACC, ADZ, AEA-AEE.
---Aerial Photograph: TM 1478 AEP-AEX, AEY-AEZ, AFA-AFE.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TM 17 NW 14 [5].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Publication: Ives, J. 1803. Remarks upon the Garianorum of the Romans. Second Edition.
---Article in Serial: Jordan, D.. 1994. The Roman Small Town at Scole.. The Searcher. October pp 36-37. pp 36-37.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997-1998. [Articles on the ploughing at Villa Faustini].
---Unpublished Document: Keith Branigan. 1984. Lost Towns of Roman Britain.. January.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1993. [Articles on the excavation of 1993].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1992. More gold found in field of treasure. 21 November.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1973-1974. [Articles on the archaeological work undertaken in 1973].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1993. Dig gives clear view of Roman lifestyle. 15 November.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1993. Site dig reveals Roman suburbs. 10 August.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Scole [9].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Newspaper Article: The Independent. 1993. Roman industrial complex unearthed. 27 September.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2000. Mystery of body in shallow grave. 3 November.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF472.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF472.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Human Skeletal Remains (HSR). Scole.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Workers' Education Association. 1972. Interim Report on Excavations at Scole (Norfolk) April 1972.
<S2>Article in Serial: Rogerson, A. 1977. Excavations at Scole, 1973. Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 5 pp 97-224.
<S3>Illustration: Gregory, T. 1973. Drawing of an Iron Age or Roman iron horse-bit. Card. 1:1.
<S4>Illustration: Gregory, T. 1978. Drawing of a Roman pottery jar. Card. 1:1.
<S5>Illustration: [Unknown]. 1981. Drawing of a Roman pipe clay figurine fragment. Card. 1:1.
<S6>Illustration: [Unknown]. 1986. Bypass trial pit - plan and section. 1:20 and 1:10.
<S7>Illustration: [Unknown]. 1986. Bypass trial pit - location plan. Film. 1:1250.
<S8>Correspondence: Various.
<S9>Unpublished Contractor Report: [Unknown]. 1994. A140 Scole Dickleburgh Road Improvement Project. Norfolk Archaeological Unit.
<S10>Unpublished Contractor Report: [Unknown]. 1987. Trial Excavations at Scole, Norfolk, November 1987. Norfolk Archaeological Unit.
<S11>Photograph: Smith, M.. 1993. GTP-GTZ, GVA-GVZ, GWL-GWN.
<S12>Slide: Various. Slide. 60-690.
<S13>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1994. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1993. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt I pp 115-123. p 121.
<S14>Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.

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