Record Details

NHER Number:9904
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible route of Roman road


This is the possible route of a Roman road running east from the Roman town of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St Edmund (NHER 9786). However it must be stated that there is some uncertainty over the reliability of the original evidence for this interpretation. The earthworks, cropmarks and soilmarks relating to the probable remains of this road were visible on aerial photographs running from along the Framingham Earl and Bixley parish boundary to the south of Bixley Hall towards French Church Farm, Caistor St Edmund, and have been recorded under NHER 53212. Discussion of a possible extension to the route to the east is made within the record for NHER 52447.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2649 0420
Map Sheet:TG20SE

Full description

Probable line of Roman road running east from Caistor.
This is probably the Blind Lane referred to by (S1) (late 18th century).
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

But what is the evidence for the line as drawn by Clarke on map? No trace on ground of western end.
E. Rose (NAU), 26 October 1977.

December 2009. Norfolk NMP.
There may be some doubt over the reliability of above Leman source (S1). It is feasible that the source relates to an 1809 commentary by Thomas Leman on Charles Bertram's forged 'Richard of Cirencester' itinerary of Roman Britain. Bertram produced a fake itinerary of Roman Britain with a map in the mid 18th century, which contained genuine Antonine Itinerary, combined with routes and place-names completely made up by Bertram. Despite the fact that the itinerary was disproved in the 1860s, the work continued to influence interpretations of Roman landscapes well into the twentieth century (Information from James Albone of NLA). It is therefore possible that the Leman source may refer to facts that have since been disproved as being concocted by Bertram. Although given that the itinerary also contained some genuine facts it is hard to assess the reliability of the source. It is worth mentioning that no corresponding road or lane through the parkland surrounding Bixley Hall is depicted on Faden’s map of 1797 (S2) and therefore the ‘Blind Lane’ referred to by Leman would appear to no longer be in use at this date, but may have been fossilised within the park layout.
The earthworks and cropmarks relating a relatively early route way are visible on aerial photographs (NHER 53212) running from along the Framingham Earl and Bixley parish boundary from TG 2542 0362 to the south of Bixley Hall towards French Church Farm, Caistor St Edmund at TG 2639 0418, along the western end of the route suggested by the Leman source (S1). A Roman date seems plausible given the location and proximity to the Roman town at Caistor St Edmund. This section of possible Roman road is located to the northeast of a more substantial section of Roman road (NHER 30288 and 52298) leading from the Roman town at Venta to the west and towards the road to major Roman road to Ditchingham. An early medieval date is also a possibility, especially given the relationship with the medieval settlement of Bixley (see NHER 53212 for discussion), however the fact that the western section appears to underlie much of the medieval to post medieval field and road layout and is ignored by some of the parish boundaries could suggest that it is pre-medieval and therefore most likely Roman in date.
The possibility of an eastern extension beyond the Loddon Road is discussed within the record for NHER 52447. A straight section of parish boundary runs to the east of the eastern end of the route suggested for the Roman road, along which a bank or road-like feature may be visible on aerial photographs. A number of major boundary ditches, assumed to be of medieval date, also run parallel to this straight parish division. It is suggested that it is feasible that the parish boundary marks a continuation of this Roman road along a different route. A significant amount of Roman date material was also recovered from this area during fieldwalking over this site in advance of the Yelverton to East Carleton gas pipeline (NHER 28995-6 and 30309).
S. Horlock (NMP), 21 December 2009.

Monument Types

  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Publication: Leman. [unknown].

Related records

53212Parent of: Earthworks and cropmarks of a former road of possible Roman date (Monument)

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