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Historic England Research Records

Combretovium Roman Settlement

Hob Uid: 388704
Location :
Suffolk
Mid Suffolk
Baylham, Coddenham
Grid Ref : TM1120052900
Summary : The site is a 60 hectare open settlement, with occupation from the late Iron Age and Claudian periods through to the mid 4th century. Traces of a Roman road running to a ford on the river at Sharnford were identified. Numerous finds were made in the vicinity of the road, including 1st to 4th century coins, a bronze mirror, a cinerary urn, pottery, slag, building debris and a wall 30 yards long and 2 feet thick. There were also 1st century hut circles associated with drainage gullies and rubbish pits. This level was sealed by 2nd to 3rd century occupation debris, including footings of a rectangular timber building. To the south-west of this area a Roman Conquest-period enclosure ditch was excavated, while to the east there was a 1st century cremation cemetery. Two 2nd century pottery kilns, and a late 1st or 2nd century enclosure ditch with a gateway complex was uncovered. Rubbish pits and ditches were abundant and a timber-lined shaft 9.25 metres deep was also excavated, which contained pottery, a La Tene III brooch and a silver coin of the Iceni. In the absence of any sign of ritual, it was presumed to be a well. Although occupation of this marginal part of the settlement was clearly never substantial, the quantity of finds was taken by the excavators to indicate the importance of the main settlement which lies under pasture nearer the river. Extension northwards is shown by the discovery of ditches and finds in Pool Fields. Roman burials have also been discovered in fields near the Sheepwalk. Two Roman forts are known. The larger encloses about 14.5 acres (5.8 hectares) and its defences include a triple ditch system. The smaller fort of 5.3 acres (2.1 hectares) lies within this and is surrounded by a set of four ditches. The Roman Road form Colchester to Caistor passes through both sites and its positioning suggests that the small fort was the earlier, replaced by the larger fort.
More information : (TM 114529) Combretovivm Romano British Settlement (R) (site of). (1)

Fort at Coddenham, dating from the Boudiccan revolt. (2)

Baylham House - Combretovio of the Antonine Itinerary and Peutinger Table. (3)

Drainage work at Coddenham in 1823 between the River Gipping and the turnpike road (A140) revealed traces of a Roman road running to a ford on the river at Sharnford (RR 3c/3d). Numerous finds were made in the vicinity of the road, including 1st to 4th century coins, a bronze mirror (now in the British Museum), a cinerary urn, Samian and other pottery, slag, building debris and a wall 30 yards long and 2 feet in thickness. Moore (5) states that a building was excavated here in the early 19th century, and that field work revealed the extension of the site both north and south of Baylham Mill on thee east side of the river. Excavations from 1953 to 1956 by the Ipswich School Barclay Head Society in the area TM 113530 revealed Samian and other Roman pottery, two gold coins of Nero and Vespasian, and two 2nd century fibulae. Smedley and Aberg (9) report air photographs showing a "Roman camp crossed by road". Cutting of a water-main on Baylham House Farm in 1958 revealed pits with early Roman pottery, and one containing a pagan Saxon inhumation burial, with fragments of a skull resting on a wide-mouthed jar (11).

Clark (12) refers to refuse pits and traces of timber buildings indiicating Romanization between AD43 and AD60, and to the construction of a temporary fort after the Boudiccan revolt. Both he and Scarfe (13) mention the suggestion that Coddenham may have been the administrative centre for the canton of the Trinovantes. They also refer to a possible shrine or temple, based on the discovery of a statue to Nero. Excavations and observations in 1973, in advance of road works at TM 118528 on the eastern periphery of the site, described as a 60 hectare open settlement, revealed occupation from the late Iron Age and Claudian periods to the mid 4th century. A scatter of Mesolithic flints was found over the stripped area, also ;neolithic and Bronze Age flints and material. Belgic finds included a series of brooches and a gold plated stater of Dubnovellannus. Cut into the gravel were 1st century hut circles associated with drainage gullies and rubbish pits. This level was sealed by 2nd to 3rd century occupation debris, including footings of a rectangular timber building. To the SW of this area a Conquest-period enclosure ditch and a late Iron Age gully were excavated, while to the east a 1st century cemetery yielded cinerary urns and two broches. Two 2nd century pottery kilns were found, and a late 1st or 2nd century enclosure ditch with a gateway complex was uncovered. Rubbish pits and ditches were abundant, and finds included a series of Roman brooches. At TM 1169 5281 was a timber-lined shaft 9.25 metres deep, containing pottery, a La Tene III brooch and a silver coin of the Iceni. In the absence of any sign of ritual, it was presumed to be a well. Although occupation of this marginal part of the settlement was clearly never substantial, the quantity of finds was taken by the excavators to indicate the importance of the main settlement which lies under pasture nearer the river. Extension northwards is shown by the discovery, recorded by Brown 815), of ditches, Samian ware etc in Pool Fields (centred TM 110534). Moore (5) notes Roman burials from fields near the Sheepwalk (TM 118530). One of the pottery kilns and numerous finds are in Ipswich Museum.

Name 'COMBRETOVIVM' accepted for 4th. edition R.B.Map.

Aerial observation revealed three sides of a double or triple ditched rectilinear enclosure of at least 4.5ha, the north side being about 230.0m long. Within this are two sides of a double-ditched rectangular enclosure. Both could be Roman forts. (4-18)

Ancient Monument No.89. Scheduled area extended to include the whole of the Roman fort complex. (19)

Two Roman forts are known. The larger encloses about 14.5 acres (5.8ha) and its defences include a triple ditch system. The smaller fort of 5.3acres (2.1ha) lies within this and is surrounded by a set of four ditches. The Roman Road form Colchester to Caistor (RR3C) passes through both sites and its curiously sinuous course may have been determined by pre-existing features. From the S. the road bends slightly to cross the quadruple ditch system and then runs straight through the small fort, beyond which it bends NE and forks; the western branch passes through the gate of the large fort but the eastern branch is cut by the fort's ditches and had clearly become obsolete whe they were dug. It is possible therefore that the small fort is earlier and was replaced by the larger fort.
(20-21)

COMBRETOVIUM - The Roman settlement at Baylham House, Coddenham Suffolk. (22)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1971
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : S S Frere, 1967. Britannia, 91
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
Source details : Smedley & Owles
Page(s) : 91
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28, 1958-60
Source Number : 12
Source : A gazetteer of early Anglo-Saxon burial sites
Source details :
Page(s) : 226
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : E Anglia 1960 112 114 117 230 (R R Clarke)
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Suff Landscape 1972 62-3 (N Scarfe)
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
Source details : Loughlin, Moss & Lawson
Page(s) : 95-7
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 33, 1973
Source Number : 16
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : S West
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 17
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Corr 6" (B Brown 1.10.50)
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 18
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 448
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 9, 1978
Source Number : 19
Source : Council for British Archaeology Group 6: Bulletin
Source details :
Page(s) : 50
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28-Aug-83
Source Number : 20
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Roman Britian from the Air 1983 92-4 photos (S S Frere & J K StJoseph)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : Iter IX (A L F Rivet)
Page(s) : 52
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1970
Source Number : 21
Source : Aerial archaeology : the journal for air photography and archaeology
Source details : R H Farrands
Page(s) : 86
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1978
Source Number : 22
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Place Names of Roman Britain 1979 313-4(A L F Rivet & C Smith)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Suffolk, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 303
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
Source details : I E Moore
Page(s) : 166
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 24, 1946-8
Source Number : 6
Source : Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
Source details : S E West
Page(s) : 53
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 26, 1952-4
Source Number : 7
Source : Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
Source details : Smedley & West
Page(s) : 42
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 27, 1955-7
Source Number : 8
Source : Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
Source details : Smedley & Jarvis
Page(s) : 113
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 27, 1955-7
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : SE Rigold (MOW)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
Source details : Smedley & Aberg
Page(s) : 179
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 27, 1955-7

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Mesolithic
Display Date : Mesolithic
Monument End Date : -4000
Monument Start Date : -10000
Monument Type : Lithic Scatter
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Artefact Scatter
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Artefact Scatter
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Late Iron Age
Display Date : Late Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -100
Monument Type : Unenclosed Settlement, Cremation Cemetery, Shaft
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Fort, Settlement, Temple, Inhumation Cemetery, Town
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early Medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Inhumation
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SF 89
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Suffolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 3
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Suffolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 9
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TM 15 SW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1044461
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1044476
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM ROMAN SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1823-01-01
End Date : 1823-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM ROMAN SITE, CODDENHAM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1926-01-01
End Date : 1926-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM ROMAN SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1935-01-01
End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM ROMAN SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1952-01-01
End Date : 1952-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM ROMAN SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1952-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM MILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1953-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM ROMAN SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM HOUSE FARM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1958-01-01
End Date : 1958-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GIPPING VALLEY ROAD SCHEME: COMBRETOVIUM
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM ROMAN SITE (COMBRETOVIUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM ROMAN SITE (BAYLHAM HOUSE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GIPPING VALLEY ROAD SCHEME: KETTING LANE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, VALLEY FARM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT PIPPS FORD
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CEDARS PARK, CODDENHAM
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CEDARS PARK-BAYLHAM PUMPING STATION
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYLHAM RARE BREEDS FARM
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31