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CHER Number:11665
Type of record:Monument
Name:Roman settlement, Tort Hill (East), Sawtry

Summary - not yet available

Grid Reference:TL 172 847
Parish:Sawtry, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire

Monument Type(s):

  • SETTLEMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • OVEN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • YARD? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BOUNDARY (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WALL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds:

  • DAGGER (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SHERD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Events:

  • Assessment, pipeline east of Tort Hill, Sawtry, 1994 (Ref: SAW PL 94)
  • Evaluation at Tort Hill, Sawtry, 1993 (Ref: SAWAITH 93)
  • Excavations at Tort Hill, 1996
  • Evaluation at Tort Hill East, Sawtry, 1996 (Ref: THE 96)

Full description

1. An evaluation located evidence of a probable Roman roadside settlement to the east of the A1. No structural remains were identifed, but quantities of building material were recovered. A number of occupation related features were revealed, with pottery dating from the first-fourth centuries AD.

2. Assessment along an easement stripped to accommodate a pipeline before widening the A1 at Sawtry revealed a number of ditches containing Roman pottery, iron objects, coins and other domestic refuse. Cobbled areas and two ovens of Roman date were also identified. The area probably represents plots to the rear of the roadside settlement along Ermine Street. A number of prehistoric ditches containing fragments of pottery were also revealed.

3. Pipeline evaluation, E of Tort Hill - assessment found ditches and postholes with Roman & prehistoric pottery, iron objects, slag, coins etc. Cobbled areas, ovens & hearths were also found. The area is suggested to represent plots to the rear of the Roman roadside settlement along Ermine Street.

4. Trenching at Tort Hill East batching plant revealed several features, including a ditch and pit containing Romano-British pottery and a linear alignment of stone and concrete blocks, possibly the remains of a Roman wall.

5. The BUFAU excavation of 1996 largely confirmed the character of the Roman settlement, finding remains from post-Conquest to 4th century occupation, including boundary ditches, pits, surfaces, and ovens. It is believed that the settlement is a continuation of the Roman settlement on the West side of Ermine Street (MCB13711).

6. Enclosures and trackways probably related to the Roman settlement described above are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs extending to the north east from the line of Ermine Street. The cropmarks consist of three enclosures linked by a trackway. Features are visible inside the enclosures, possibly internal divisions or smaller enclosures which relate to different phases in the development of the settlement. Fragmentary field boundaries are located immediately to the south of the settlement and are probably associated with it. These features were recorded from EH Reconnaissance aerial photographs of 2011.


<1> Welsh, K., 1994, Iron Age and Roman Settlement Remains near Tort Hill, Sawtry (Unpublished report). SCB1840.

<2> Roberts, J., 1995, Further Excavations at the Roman Settlement Site East of Tort Hill, Sawtry (Unpublished report). SCB2.

<3> Albarella, U., 1997, Iron Age and Roman animal bones excavated in 1996 from Norman Cross, Tort Hill E, Tort Hill W & Vinegar Hill, Cambridgeshire (Unpublished report). SCB17628.

<4> Sterenberg, J. and Hughes, G., 1996, A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough DBFO Scheme. An archaeological evaluation at Stilton golf course and further archaeological work at Tort Hill East (Unpublished report). SCB20541.

<5> Ellis, P., Hughes, G., Leach, P., Mould, C. and Sterenberg, J., 1998, Excavations alongside Roman Ermine Street, Cambridgeshire, 1996. The Archaeology of the A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough Road Scheme (Monograph). SCB17996.

<6> English Heritage, 2011, NMR 27067_007-014 29-JUN-2011 (Aerial Photograph). SCB65466.

Sources and further reading

<1>Unpublished report: Welsh, K.. 1994. Iron Age and Roman Settlement Remains near Tort Hill, Sawtry.
<2>Unpublished report: Roberts, J.. 1995. Further Excavations at the Roman Settlement Site East of Tort Hill, Sawtry.
<3>Unpublished report: Albarella, U.. 1997. Iron Age and Roman animal bones excavated in 1996 from Norman Cross, Tort Hill E, Tort Hill W & Vinegar Hill, Cambridgeshire.
<4>Unpublished report: Sterenberg, J. and Hughes, G.. 1996. A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough DBFO Scheme. An archaeological evaluation at Stilton golf course and further archaeological work at Tort Hill East.
<5>Monograph: Ellis, P., Hughes, G., Leach, P., Mould, C. and Sterenberg, J.. 1998. Excavations alongside Roman Ermine Street, Cambridgeshire, 1996. The Archaeology of the A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough Road Scheme.
<6>Aerial Photograph: English Heritage. 2011. NMR 27067_007-014 29-JUN-2011.

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