Monument record MNL 769 - Holywell Drove, Mildenhall

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Large Roman scatter covering several acres and the remains of a floor and tessellated floor.


Grid reference Centred TL 6864 7959 (476m by 475m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TL67NE


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Large Roman scatter covering several acres. First located in 1959 by Hammond and then in 1962 by Colonel T C Kelly (S1) who carried out small excavations in at least two places. The latter exposed four ?floor layers, one of which was a mosaic made of small tessera (S2).

The former is probably Colonel Kelly's site 135 as listed in Mildenhall Museum's catalogue (no. 62-2) "135-12 surface; 135-12-2 Excavated. Too much plough", nails excavated "5 (blank) g to three and half feet deep. Chalk floor, bone (deer and horse?)" 1962. Catalogued finds consist mainly of grey ware sherds and three iron nails (S11). Also catalogued (MIHLM 62-2K) as coming from next to Hammond site (MIHLM 59-3) to South, is tile fragment, a stamped Samian base, 4 grey ware, a buff flange, a Nene Valley C/C sherd and a bone (S11, S17). Finds include a large spread of Roman pottery, including Samian, Horningsea type ware, grey ware, colour coated, amphora handle fragment and pieces of querns (S1-S3,S5-S7).

March 1987: Fieldwalking for Fenland survey established limits of finds scatter in ploughsoil. Whole area ploughed, levels described as excavated by Kelly probably partially destroyed although no tessera apparent on surface. However, concentration of large deliberately broken flints from same area, ? remains of building. Small fragments of lava quern stone were frequent all over (S8). Full details with Fenland survey archive (S9). Also stamped amphora handle (Cambridge University D56-5) found early in 1956, manufactured in Spain in AD 208-211 (S10). This could be the amphora handle from MNL 066.

1988: Horse & rider enamelled brooch & bronze minim with radiate head, found with metal detector by approx (S4). February & March 1989: Further detecting by ) located part of Hod Hill type brooch from ) approx, an Aesica simplified fantail type from approx and a further coin, barbarous radiate ?Pax type. Details on finds reports.

1990: Area extended into field to North, after further pottery & metal detected finds, including bronze coins of Vespasian (1) and Caurasius (1), a ?Colchester derivative brooch and a Rom terret ring, located (S12).

1991: Unparallelled plate brooch with heart shaped open front over fantail, found metal detecting (S4). 1991: Further metal detected finds include minim and other Rom coins & brooches (no details) (S4, enquiry 902).

Circa 1993-4: Minim hoard metal detected from ditch line. Sold, not seen, finder not named (S13).

1999: Further detector finds of bronze finger ring with intaglio, 5 brooches, pink stud and 6 coins (S13)(S14).

Also Bronze Age record (MNL 770) & Iron Age record (MNL 075)

Copper-alloy male figurine, possibly of Mercury, but abraded and missing its feet (S15). Included in the Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History annual round up of individual finds and discoveries for 2010 (S16).

From NHRE record:
TL 685 796 MILDENHALL, Holywell Drove (Hammond): Wide scatter of sherds, bones, quern fragments, amphora handle from W of drove; nails and pottery from S, 684795-687796 (CAS Procs. 55, 67; inf GB). An amphora handle (K. F. Hartley, Ant. J. 38, 91f; CAEM) dated to AD 208-11, comes from one of the properties seized by Severus in Spain. A sketch-map lent by KFH indicates that it was found at c.686794. (S19)

Further detail in Not to Publish tab for SCCAS staff only.

Sources/Archives (23)

  • <S1> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TL67NE24.
  • <S2> Personal Correspondence: 1987. Chisholm Mrs, per SAU (Pendleton C). Chisholm Mrs, per SAU (Pendleton C), March 1987.
  • <S3> Index: Ipswich Museum. IPSMG card. IPSMG, cards Romano-British, 1959 & RB 1968.
  • <S4b> Museum Record Card: BSEMH. Enquiry 296. BSEMH, enquiries nos 296,765 & 902, February 1988, later (undated) & 1991.
  • <S4a> Museum Record Card: BSEMH. 1988. Enquiry 765. BSEMH, enquiries nos 296,765 & 902, February 1988, later (undated) & 1991.
  • <S4c> Museum Record Card: BSEMH. 1991. Enquiry 902. BSEMH, enquiries nos 296,765 & 902, February 1988, later (undated) & 1991.
  • <S5> Article in serial: Smedley, N. and E. J. Owles. 1959. Archaeology in Suffolk, 1959. XXVIII.2, pp. 161–167..
  • <S6> Bibliographic reference: CBA. 1959. CBA, Group 7, Bulletin 6, 1959, 8.
  • <S7> Article in serial: M. D. Cra'ster, Grace Briscoe, C. F. Tebbutt and D. F. Renn. 1962. Archaeological Notes.. PCAS,.
  • <S8> Cartographic materials: Ordnance Survey. 1973. OS, plan TL 6879 6979, 1973. OS, plan TL 6879 6979, 1973.
  • <S9> Excavation archive: Pendleton C. 1990. Fenland Survey Archive. SAU, Pendleton C, Fenland survey, 1987.
  • <S10> Article in serial: Hartley K. 1958. An amphora stamp found near Mildenhall. Hartley K, An amphora stamp found nr Mildenhall, Antiq J 38, 1958, 91-2.
  • <S11a> Museum Record Card: MIHLM. 1962. card 62-2.
  • <S11b> Museum Record Card: MIHLM. 1962. card 62-2K.
  • <S12> Source Unchecked: West T. 1991. Finds Report?. West T, January 1991.
  • <S13> Finds Report: Plouviez, J.. 1995. SCCAS Finds Record:. King J (MADDC), per SAU (CP), April & February 1998, ill.
  • <S14> Finds Report: Plouviez, J.. 1995. SCCAS Finds Record:. Pooley D (MADDC), per SAU (CP, JP & GT), February 1999.
  • <S15> Digital archive: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. Portable Antiquities Database. SF-7C9CC2.
  • <S16> Article in serial: Brown, A., Martin, E.A. & Plouviez, J.. 2011. Archaeology in Suffolk 2010. XXXXII (3).
  • <S17> Museum Record Card: MIHLM. 1959. card 59-3. MIHLM, card 59-3, 1959.
  • <S18> Article in serial: Brown, A., Martin, E.A. & Plouviez, J.. 2011. Archaeology in Suffolk 2010. XXXXII (3).
  • <S19> Bibliographic reference: Phillips C W. 1970. The Fenland in Roman Times.
  • <S20> Digital archive: Historic England. National Record Of the Historic Environment.

Finds (20)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Dec 17 2020 9:41AM

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