A history of Halesworth, Suffolk, UK, through the ages.


Volume 1

east anglia

Roman Remains in this Locality

Although settlements and market towns built up, the majority of the population were small farmers living in villages or in isolated farmsteads. Very little, other than their pottery has survived and much of this was home made. Until the 2nd century AD, they were not influenced by Roman culture, and sherds of Roman course grey pottery have been found, pieces of vessels for cooking, storage as well as for tableware. Fragments of a finer Samian ware have also come to light, for while it was generally imported from Gaul (France, Belgium & Germany) a local version was made at Colchester.

A Roman statuette was found near Blyford Bridge, it was a 15cm image of the Goddess Venus, but with its left hand missing. Field walking at Wenhaston also produced a large collection of Samian ware, brooches, nails, glass, coins and Roman tiles. The Samian ware and Roman tiles point to a reasonably well-to-do dwelling house, and on one field, aerial photographs have shown lines which could mean the outline of a house. Yes the Romans were in the area, for at Blythburgh there is evidence of their presence between 55 BC and 40 AD, while at Walberswick sherds of pottery were found in the fields. At Dunwich an earthenware pot containing gold and silver coins was excavated and over a period of years, other coins, vessels for domestic use and a scabbard have been found there.

Excavations indicate the outlines of timber buildings for this period, rubbish pits, hearths for working metals and kilns for pottery are found. The construction of roofs was sometimes timbers covered with tiles, often two flat tiles laid side by side, linked by semi-circular tiles which fitted between the raised lips of the flat tiles. Where villas existed they were often larger and well built farmhouses, owned by the richer landowners. The more prosperous ones were floored with tesselated pavements, warmed by underfloor heating and served with a bath house.

halesworth area

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