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Historic England Research Records

Stonea Roman Settlement

Hob Uid: 870039
Location :
Cambridgeshire
Fenland
Wimblington
Grid Ref : TL4480093600
Summary : A Romano-British settlement site at Stonea, excavated in 1980-85. Some evidence was found for Late Iron Age/early Roman activity, but the settlement itself appears to have been essentially a new foundation of circa 130-150AD. Within the excavated area, the settlement divided into two distinct zones. The western half was dominated by a substantial rectangular building, the strong foundations of which suggest some height - at least three storeys are proposed. The building featured a hypocaust, and had walls decorated with painted plaster; designs included red and white panels, landscapes and figured scenes, and other geometric motifs plus imitation marbling. Architectural fragments include abundant tile and window glass. The eastern half comprised a settlement of timber buildings arranged on a gridded street pattern. The substantial building and its complex seems to have ceased to function in the early 3rd century AD, while the settlement inthe eastern half continued, but with a gradual reduction in size and indications of less control over its layout and functions. Activity certainly continued well into the late 4th century, and the excavators suggest the possibility that there was no hiatus in occupation between the late Roman period and the establishment of an Anglo-Saxon settlement on the site. The Roman site was also connected by a curving gravel road to the nearby temple site.
More information : TL449937. The Roman settlement at Stonea may have been the establishment of a procurator, based in the tower, or principia, (TL49SW22), or it may have been planned as a forum, ie a town with a market and bureaucratic role. However, demolition of the tower ca.200 AD suggests that the settlement failed to attract the private wealth necessary for its success. The archaeological evidence suggests that a planned street grid with intervening blocks of land was laid out ca.130 AD. Building remains were found including foundation trenches as well as building stone, roof, wall and floor tiles. Wells and clusters of rubbish pits were all encountered. The tower, or principia, was the main building in this complex, and a massive pit was found to the South of it. Later Roman activity was represented by discontinuous beam-slot buildings.(1-3)

Further evidence for C3rd and later occupation was found.(4)

A Romano-British settlement site at Stonea, excavated 1980-85. Some evidence was found for Late Iron Age/early Roman activity, but the settlement itself appears to have been essentially a new foundation of circa 130-150AD. Within the excavated area, the settlement divided into two distinct zones. The western half was dominated by a substantial rectangular building, the strong foundations of which suggest some height - at least 3 storeys are proposed. The buildingfeatured a hypocaust, and had walls decorated with painted plaster, designs including red and white panels, landscapes and figured scenes, and other geometric motifs plus imitation marbling. Architectural fragments include abundanttile and window glass. The eastern half comprised a settlement of timber buildings arranged on a gridded street pattern. The substantial building and its complex seems to have ceased to function in the early 3rd century AD, while the settlement inthe eastern half continued, but with a gradual reduction in size and indications of less control over its layout and functions. Activity certainly continued well into the late 4th century, and the excavators suggest the possibility that there was no hiatus in occupation between the late Roman period and the establishment of an Anglo-Saxon settlement on the site (see TL 49 SW 41). The Roman site was also connected by a curving gravel road to the nearby temple site TL 49 SE 35. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Fenland research
Source details : (Potter TW and Jackson R)
Page(s) : 27-31
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1983-4
Source Number : 2
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : (Rankov NB)
Page(s) : 365-6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 13, 1982
Source Number : 3
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : (Frere SS)
Page(s) : 299-300
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 15, 1984
Source Number : 4
Source : Fenland research
Source details : (Potter TW and Jackson R)
Page(s) : Oct-15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1984-5
Source Number : 5
Source : Excavations at Stonea, Cambridgeshire 1980-85
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Iron Age
Display Date : Late Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -100
Monument Type : Pit, Gully
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Settlement, Building, Tower
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Period : Late Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Pit, Gully
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 49 SW 29
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1331766
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 870040
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1331795
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1331861
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1331890
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1331934
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 372473
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, STONEA GRANGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1980-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31