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.
As we are unable to meet as normal this winter, we set up a series of online CRP members' talks. The programme this winter was: Wed 27th Jan 7.30pm CRP Winter Briefing Will Bowden and Mike Pinner will lead a session looking back on 2020 and forward to the 2021 season...
The BBC Online article went live on 14 September this year, on the BBC website here and generated further publicity. Below is the list of coverage: The Times, Monday 14 September 2020 Eastern Daily Press, Monday 14 September 2020 Times Radio, Will Bowden interviewed...
The barn is now closed for general activities until springtime. All the finds from the dig in the Caistor Hall Hotel have been cleaned, counted and weighed. This was due to the excellent turn-out over the last few weeks (subject to social distancing, masks, etc.) and...
'Roman Britain and where to find it' by Dr Denise Allen and Mike Bryan (£19.99) The 256 pages of this book do exactly that. Written by the director of an archaeology tour company (Allen) and a publisher only now studying Roman archaeology (Bryan) the academics will...
It’s out at last! Will Bowden’s guide book ‘Venta Icenorum - a brief history of Caistor Roman Town’ (£5.99) is out now. You can get a copy via this link which brings a small commission to Norfolk Archaeological Trust from Bittern Books. You can also get a copy from...
In line with updated government advice on permitted travel to outdoor space, the NAT car park at and Caistor Roman Town reopened on Wednesday May 13th 2020. If you visit the site please ensure that you continue to maintain physical distancing of at least 2m between...