We are very pleased to announce publication of a new guide for Caistor Roman Town: Venta Icenorum; A brief history of Caistor Roman Town.

In July 1928, an RAF aerial reconnaissance flight captured a remarkable series of images showing the streets and buildings of a vanished town appearing as pale lines in the arable fields below. This was Caistor Roman Town, also known as Venta Icenorum, the largest Roman town in East Anglia and one of only a small number of major Roman towns in the country not buried beneath later successors.

This brief but fascinating history traces the development of the Roman town from its origins in the 1st century CE through post-Roman occupation up until the present day, bringing together recent research which has transformed our understanding of this nationally important site.

The guide has been written by Will Bowden, Professor in Roman Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, who has led archaeological research at the Town since 2006. New findings during this period include the dating of the street grid, the discovery of an early timber forum, the dating of the major early defensive earthwork, the identification of cemeteries and the first analysis of the human population of the town, as well as the identification of major phases of Anglo-Saxon settlement to the west of the town. New information is made available in the new book on diet, dress, religious practice and many other aspects of life in the town.

Wider understanding of Roman Britain has fundamentally changed since the publication of the original Caistor guidebook in 1991. Reinterpretation of existing knowledge of the town alongside the new evidence allows the new guidebook to present a fundamentally different picture of the Roman town and the people who lived there.

The new guide can be purchased online through NAT’s distributor – please click on this link. 

Publication of the guide book was made possible through generous grants from the University of Nottingham, Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society and a legacy from the estate of Sophia Hankinson.