Welcome to Caistor Roman Project
Find out about our work and get involved
Working in partnership with the University of Nottingham, the Caistor Roman Project was set-up in 2009 to encourage community involvement in archaeological research in and around the Roman town of Venta Icenorum – present-day Caistor St. Edmund in Norfolk.
Caistor St Edmund (Venta Icenorum) is one of only three Roman regional capitals in Britain that were not succeeded by medieval and modern towns; the others are Wroxeter and Silchester. The aim of the project is to investigate the origins of the site in the late Iron Age and its development as a Roman town as well as the relationship between the town and its surrounding countryside.
The Caistor Roman Project is a registered charity
Walls of Caistor Roman Town looking west. Photo Nick Stone.
Since the conclusion of major excavations at the Roman town in 2012, Caistor Roman Project has continued to develop as a research organization in its own right, working in partnership with the University of Nottingham, Norfolk Archaeological Trust, South Norfolk Council and Norfolk Museums and Archaeological Service, with the aim of investigating the origins, development and demise of the Roman town and its relationship with the surrounding hinterland.
Caistor Roman Project actively seeks to involve the local community in programmes of excavation, field survey and other research. We always welcome new members, experience is not necessary.
We are always grateful for contributions, large or small, to help us continue this work.
The development of this website was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund.
Absolutely wonderful! – such exciting work being done. An inspiration to younger generations, as the grandmother of two young girls who are fascinated by the whole idea of finding lost things and the stories it tells us of the past!
The Roman town site is owned by Norfolk Archaeological Trust
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.
What we do
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.
News from the members’ meeting on 22nd February.
Since some members were unable to access the Zoom link, this is a quick summary of the news that was discussed. The barn. Due to rising costs it will be necessary to move from our present premises in the near future and seek new arrangements. We have been offered...
ALAN PASK TO STEP DOWN AS CHAIRMAN OF CRP
ALAN PASK TO STEP DOWN AS CHAIRMAN OF CRP Alan has decided to step down as our Chairman after the members briefing on 22 February. Having been Chairman for 11 years, and overseen huge developments in our work, Alan feels it's time to step aside. The time is right as...
Barn Closed for Winter
The post-ex work at the barn has been completed for 2022 and so the barn will now be closed for the winter. Many thanks as always to all who took part in processing what was a large amount of finds from the summer dig. We will reopen next year to start the cataloguing...
MEMBERS’ BRIEFING – NOW Wednesday 22ND February!
NEW DATE FOR MEMBERS’ BRIEFING - NOW Wednesday 22ND February! Caistor Roman Project’s annual report back to members has had to be changed to 22 February 2023 as the hotel could not manage our preferred date. There will be reports from Will Bowden, Alan Pask and Mike...
Dem bones The bone analysis group will be starting on Thursday, 12 January from 9.30 – 12.00. If you would like to join us, please contact Lynda Bradley at email@example.com No experience necessary, just an interest – we have plenty of references books etc. We...
CRP and Current Archaeology Magazine
The November 2022 edition of the Current Archaeology magazine features a very fine article on the summer 2022 excavation to Friston Field.