Caistor Roman Town
Caistor Roman Town also known as Venta Icenorum, was the largest Roman town in East Anglia. When it was first established in the AD70s, the town was unenclosed. The banks and walls visible today were not built until the 3rd century AD. The town was laid around a grid of streets, and in true Roman fashion, there is evidence of an amphitheatre to the south of the walled area, and a temple to the north-east; this temple was in addition to those in the centre of the town. The town also boasted running water, baths, a town hall (basilica), and a central public place (forum).
The site was still occupied from the early 6th century, during the early part of the Anglo-Saxon period, but the Roman buildings and infrastructure were left to decay. Venta Icenorum was eventually abandoned in the 8th century, when Norwich became the civic centre for the county. It is one of only three Roman towns in the country that were not built over in later centuries, giving us an extraordinary opportunity to explore its below-ground archaeology.
Advice on dogs
The Trust welcomes responsible dog owners. Please keep your dog on a short lead around livestock, keep your dog on a lead March 1 – July 31 to protect wildlife. At all times make sure your dog is under close control and in sight, don’t let your dog approach other dog walkers or pedestrians uninvited, keep to paths and don’t allow your dog to run through long grass. Please clear up after your dog.
Caistor Roman Town
Caistor St Edmund
Access and Facilities
The site lies on the southern edge of the present-day village of Caistor St Edmund, c. 3.5 miles to the south of the centre of Norwich.
- By car: the site lies on the minor road southward from Norwich to Stoke Holy Cross. The car park is on the right-hand side of the road as one drives south – watch out for the ‘brown sign’ as you draw near! SatNav: NR14 8QL. The car park entrance lies on a bend, so please take care when arriving and leaving. Drivers arriving at Norwich via the A47 Norwich Southern Bypass can turn off at the A140 (Ipswich Road) intersection and follow signs to Caistor St Edmund.
- By bus: Caistor St Edmund is served every day of the week by service 587 (Norwich-Stoke Holy Cross-Poringland) run by Anglian Bus and Coach. For up to date timetable information, please visit http://www.travelineeastanglia.org.uk and search for this service, or telephone the service provider on 01502 711109. Buses depart from St Stephen’s Street, Norwich, and set down in Caistor village centre, outside the Caistor Hall Hotel, c. 0.8km to the north of the site. From this point the site may be reached via the Stoke Road (although there is no continuous pavement and pedestrians must take care.
- Cycling: from Norwich, the site is easily reached via City Road, Long John Hill passing the Cock PH, Lakenham) and Stoke Road.
Interactive interpretation scheme on site tells the story of the Roman Town.
Site guidebooks by John Davies are available from the Caistor St Edmunds Church (within the Roman Town), Caistor Post Office, the Caistor Hall Hotel, the Wildebeest Arms at Stoke Holy Cross, and local bookshops. They can also be purchased online through our distributor Bittern Books. The following link will take you to their external website: Venta Icenorum (Caistor Roman Town) Guidebook
Guided tours 2020: Please note all guided tours are cancelled until further notice in response to government advice on corona virus.
The Roman Town in 3D
Below is a 3D image of the Roman Town showing the Roman street pattern Summer 2018, courtesy of HexCam
Get the Caistor Roman Town AR App
The Caistor Roman Town free Augmented Reality app allows visitors to see a reconstruction of the town on the landscape and to examine in detail some of the artefacts found there. Download the Caistor Roman Town AR app onto a smartphone or tablet before you visit and see the town come to life!
Please note that your device must have an in-built compass for the app to work properly. Watch a sneak preview here.