Research and excavation at Caistor Hall Hotel May, 2022

Those of you who have previously worked at Caistor Hall Hotel will have heard talk of the Roman ‘mausoleum’ that lies in the wooded area between the lawn and the field. It was originally dug in 1846 and appears to have been left open as an attraction to the middle of the 20th century. Whatever is left is now overgrown, silted up and scarcely discernible. If you go to the field, you walk over it without realising it’s there.

The building and its use have been a matter of controversy in archaeological circles for years. What is it?  What is its function near a Roman trackway leading to the temple? We have dimensions but no extant plan; we know of no-one who has seen it or able to describe it to us. There is a brief record of finds from  the 1846 dig which include some bone (human?), some tile and some pottery, all now lost. We don’t know how much remains and in what state.

CRP has now received permission to investigate the site- it’s a scheduled monument. This work will be unusual; we may come across indications of how the original dig was organised and will certainly find out what remains are still in place. Finds may be down to old crisp packets!

We are proposing to start work on Sat. 1st May, work for a week to Sat 8th and then continue on odd dates thereafter, depending on what we find and events taking place at the hotel. The ancient monuments inspector is already involved- and what happens to the remains after the dig will depend on what we find and further liaison with the owners. Whilst the work will require a mixed workforce of around 12 people each day, we are inviting members to visit as they wish and join us at their leisure. Further details in due course.

We shall need a mixed team of diggers, sievers and planners as we proceed, as well as supervisors who can take charge of the day to day working.

If you are interested in taking part in this very unusual piece of work, please contact Rhiane at  stating which days you like to work on and how you feel you can help.

Andy Woodman has posted the SMC application on the website- which gives background information and how we propose to tackle the site.

Mike Pinner