Monument record LVM 121 - Roman activity, land Adj to Bears Lane (AS) EXC

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Archaeological evaluation identified Roman activity including a cluster of pits and ditches, a kiln and occupation layer. The remains indicate the presence of a substantial Roman buildings in the area.


Grid reference Centred TL 9162 4877 (214m by 222m)
Map sheet TL94NW


Type and Period (13)

Full Description

Archaeological evaluation revealed a cluster of pits and ditches, associated with a kiln, a grave and a surface or layer focussed on the central-southern area of the site that are of Roman date, probably within the later half of the 2nd century AD. The artefactual evidence is consistent with substantial domestic occupation and a building in the immediate vicinity. The Roman pottery includes as Samian ware dish with a maker's stamp. The animal bone includes butchered cattle, horse and deer bone. Other finds include copper alloy coins, a pin, strap end, and a bronze or brass disc bearing the bust of an emperor, possible part of a brooch or similar adornment. In the late 19th to early 20th century a Roman tessellated pavement (or bathhouse or crypt) was reported a short distance to the north of the site, possibly in the grounds of Grove House (LVM 018) but the details remained unconfirmed and anecdotal. The evidence from Bear's Lane appears to add credence to the presence of a significant Roman building in the vicinity, including quantities of fragmented tegula and imbrex tile roof. The kiln may also relate to this structure, as it included large fragments of imbrex tile and an unusual half-box tile, which may have been backfilled from a nearby bathhouse. Alternatively it may indicate the kiln was designed as a furnace to heat a hypocaust or bathhouse (and it was not designed to fire pottery/tile, or serve as a corn drier). A sparse number of post-medieval quarry pits and ditches were also recorded along with very low quantities of residual prehistoric struck flint and pottery (S1).

Included in the Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History annual round up of individual finds and discoveries for 2018. (S2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Thomelius, S.. 2019. Archaeological Evaluation Report: Land adjacent to Bears Lane, Lavenham.
  • <S2> Article in serial: Minter, F., Rolfe, J. and Saunders, A.. 2019. Archaeology in Suffolk 2018, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History.

Finds (19)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Oct 16 2020 1:46PM

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