Monument record PKM 009 - Redcastle Farm (Rom)

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Roman villa, winged corridor type, with mosaic pavement.


Grid reference Centred TL 901 694 (456m by 383m)
Map sheet TL96NW


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

Roman villa, winged corridor type, with mosaic pavement. A tessellated pavement was found in 1776 and fenced off by the farmer, but cattle are said to have broken through and totally destroyed it. This site originally given as TL 904 691, which is on a field to the S of Redcastle Farm. Basil Brown kept this area under observation for 20 years and reported that no finds had ever been made on this constantly ploughed field (S1)(S2)(S3)(S4). In 1936 Basil Brown acquired air photographs of the area and remains of buildings could be seen on a field N of Redcastle Farmhouse. In October 1936 he visited the site and found red tesserae, roof tile, pottery, piece of mortarium, samian, green window glass. Trial holes revealed the location of walls and floors of two wings. The farmer decided to deep plough with a Gyrotiller late in 1951 and agreed to allow Basil Brown to excavate after tesserae were brought up by the plough. He uncovered a large apsidal room with fragmentary remains of a circular coloured mosaic pavement and the foundations of at least one of the wings (to the E). Eleven post holes were found which he thought were pillar sockets and artefacts were listed as pottery, samian, glass, brick, part of a hone stone. He concluded that this had been the site of the 1776 find and in 1952, the OS changed the grid reference to TL 901 695 (S5)(S7).
n August 1953, R Inskip excavated the site and found evidence of an earlier building with slight flint foundations which was long and narrow. The main structure was on a slightly different alignment to this early phase and comprised the apsidal room located by B Brown (in which almost all the tessellated area had been destroyed by ploughing) with 6 rooms to the NE forming a main block and short wing. At a later stage, 2 rooms were added to the NW side. Surface indications suggested that the plan repeated symetrically to the SW of the apsidal central room. There was no direct dating for the building phases. Five pots were found dug into the floors of three rooms of the villa and were thought to be possibly dedicatory. Some rooms had been decorated with lightly painted wall plaster, and remains of window glass (31 fragments) and tiles were found. Box tiles suggested a hypocaust. A chalk block and fragments of Purbeck marble, suggesting a pillar supporting a statue, were excavated. No other room apart from the apsidal room, appeared to have been floored. Artefacts included pottery, vessel glass (including fragments from an Egyptian glass vessel, a radiate coin of Tetricus I, rotary quernstone of millstone grit, pottery spindle whorls, bronze strips, various iron objects, the shaft of a bone pin and an iron hippo sandal (complete). In one of the two rubbish pits, ? pagan Saxon pottery sherds were found. The life span of the villa is early C2 to late C3 or early C4. Owing to his finding robber trenches, Inskip's theory was that the villa had been abandoned peacefully and the material had been robbed probably during Saxon times - Basil Brown having already reported finding a Saxon site some 300 yards to the W (BRG 005)(S6)(S7).
Find of `very fine rat tailed spoon 900 695' marked with a cross at TL 9005 6954 on BSEMH map (S8).

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <M1> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Basil Brown archive: volumes, maps, card index, site plan.
  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 1, 74.
  • <S2> (No record type): Camden, Britannica (ed Gough), 2, 81.
  • <M2> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: copy Inskip notes and correspondence.
  • <M3> (No record type): BSEMH archive: microfilm & notes.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: 1911. VCH Suffolk 1. 314.
  • <S4> (No record type): Shebert, Beauties of England (Suffolk), 191.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Brown B, III,1,2,9.13,14,19,20,110-119,121,123,125-131,134,135,VIII,17, XXXVIII,86,XL,17,LXX,45,46,5.
  • <S6> (No record type): Inskip R, Summary report, unpublished, 195-.
  • <S7> (No record type): IPSMG, map 1977, 40,61, field plan 1977, 40.71, site plan M.42.
  • <S8> (No record type): BSEMH, Correspondents 6 inch record map, ?A R Edwardson entry, undated.

Finds (15)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Jun 7 2018 12:59PM

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