Caistor Roman Town (Venta Icenorum)
Introduction to Venta Icenorum
The Roman town of Venta Icenorum (the market-place of the Iceni) was the most important Roman centre in northern East Anglia. It was founded about 1700 years ago and would have been a large bustling market town.
Along with Silchester and Wroxeter, Venta Icenorum is one of only three major Roman towns in Britain that has not been damaged or hidden by later buildings. A lot of Roman remains have been found in and around the town.
The town wall
The most visible part of Roman Caistor is the town wall on the north side. It still stands to a height of about seven metres (20 feet). The wall was built as a defence mechanism and enclosed only about half the area of the original town.
How much of the town has survived?
Since the end of Roman rule other areas of the town have not fared so well. As it fell into disuse, flints and tiles were taken away and re-used for new buildings and road mending.
Fortunately the lower parts of the buildings and town wall were left untouched, with much of the rich archaeological evidence safely preserved below ground.
Excavations at the site
The excavations between 1929 and 1935, and aerial photography of the site, have revealed the forum (market place), bascilia, bath complex, two temples, amphitheatre, grid street layout, the south gate and some pottery kilns.
To find out more about the archaeological research that is being carried out in and around Caistor see our section on the Caistor Roman Town Research Project. The objects found in the area can be seen at the Norwich Castle Museum in Norwich [external link].
Related pages on this website
Caistor St Edmund Roman Town
Provides detailed information about Caistor Roman town including history, street plan & buildings, town walls, early research and photographs.
Norwich Castle Museum, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
Includes information on the various collections, exhibits and events at the Castle Museum, as well as visitor information.
Contact Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
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Last updated on: 14 June 2012