Who we are
The Caistor Roman Project is a community archaeology organisation
Local volunteers have been a key part of the University of Nottingham’s Caistor project from its inception. In 2009 a separate charitable organisation, Caistor Roman Project (CRP), was established to facilitate the development of community participation in archaeology at the site. Since the conclusion of large-scale excavations at the walled town in 2012, CRP has focused its efforts on developing its members’ skills through archaeological research in the hinterland of the Roman town.
This work, involving geophysical survey, test-pitting and larger-scale excavation (supported principally by grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Sharing Heritage and Our Heritage schemes, and the Foyle Foundation), has demonstrated the extent of Roman and later archaeology beneath the present village of Caistor St Edmund.
Equally, it has created a structure and skills base for CRP that has allowed it to become a sustainable independent organisation carrying out research in its own right, such as at Thorpe Abbotts (What The Americans Left Behind) and Burnham Market.
The trustees of CRP provide oversight of CRP from funding and strategic direction across all its activities. See Trustees section for further details
We currently have over 100 members who get involved in all of our activities
The ethos of CRP is that its members have the opportunity not simply to participate in the practicalities of fieldwork, but to carry out research from project design to publication, working in partnership with academics and professional archaeologists. The charitable remit of the group is educational in the widest sense. Members work in schools and the community as a whole to bring participation in archaeology to the wider public (working in partnership with the Norfolk Archaeological Trust), as well as taking the practical and organisational skills that they have learned at Caistor to other community archaeology projects.
What we do
Working in partnership with the University of Nottingham since 2007, Caistor Roman Project and its members have been involved with excavations and surveys in and around the Roman town of Venta Icenorum.
For more detailed information on what we do including research, excavation, post-excavation, education and to find out more about the area we work in click here.
Came last year and decided to come back to see the next stage. Great crowd. Very knowledgeable and keen to answer questions. Shame history wasn’t like this when we were at school. Long may it continue. Happy to support.
Excavations and surveys
From 2007 CRP was involved in research and excavation within the walled area of Venta Icenorum, including major digs between 2009 to 2012. From 2016 and 2019 the project was awarded a major National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to help develop the skills of its members and enhance the wider public benefit through a new broader programme of work around the Roman town.
Conferences & talks
CRP organised a one-day conference in 2017 with the University of Nottingham – ‘A town of the Iceni’. Sponsored by the British Academy, the conference brought together specialists and archaeologists to summarise results to date. We also offer educational talks and projects to local history groups and other organizations.
Amazing! I didn’t know this history was on our doorstep. Thanks for enlightening me.
Caistor St. Edmund village
During 2014 and 2016, CRP members investigated the extra-mural area of the Roman town that lies in the area of the present village using test-pitting and surveys. In particular looking at the area that lies within the surrounding triple-ditch enclosure.
As part of our recent Heritage Lottery Fund project, our members have been carrying out archive research relating to the site and the village itself.
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable explanations of the site suggest a thoroughly professional organisation.
This is the third outstanding example of Roman glass recovered from last summer’s excavations in the hotel paddock. It appears that we have the central part of a probable stirring rod used for medicines or cosmetics etc.. Example in the British Museum...
Some of you may remember this intriguing piece of ornate glass recovered from Trench 9 towards the end of the excavation. Harriet Foster has kindly identified it as a decorative piece added to the body of a jug at the bottom of the handle. Without seeing it in person...
Thanks to Alice Lyons our RB pottery specialist the lovely stamped mortarium sherd was conveyed up to Leeds and subjected to the expert attention of Kay Hartley (Kay Hartley Mortarium Archive Project). As an aside, Kay’s archive of mortarium stamps assembled over...
A recent promotion from the relative obscurity of the bulk finds assemblage in the barn to the hallowed turf of small finds is this example of an expertly riveted repair to a piece of samian fineware. Hopefully a lowly slave wasn’t responsible for the breakage.
Phallic amulet found by Dan the detectorist in the Caistor Hall Hotel garden recently. Nice find. Will thinks it’s a harness pendant Next year’s t-shirt logo perhaps - or perhaps a knitted version from Margaret?
Post excavation work at the barn is in full swing, meeting from 9.30 to 12 ish on Monday and Thursdays mornings. Up to 20 members are turning up regularly while the weather holds and we are currently cleaning and sorting finds before washing and cataloguing. All...