Writing our History:Digging our Past
Connected Communities

Linking stakeholders

Interaction with the community and partnership with outside organisations is central to The University of Nottingham's project at Caistor St Edmund in Norfolk, which is focused on investigation of the Roman town of Venta Icenorum and its hinterland. Venta Icenorum is one of only three Roman regional capitals in the UK that does not lie beneath a modern town and the project aims to chart its origins, development and eventual decline. 



Caistor Roman Town

The research project directly feeds into the presentation of the site, both at the site itself and in gallery displays at Norwich Castle Museum.

Partnership arrangement

The project represents a partnership between the University, the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (who own the site), South Norfolk Council (who manage the site) and Norfolk's cultural heritage community.

The partner organisations have provided both financial and practical assistance for the project, which is combined with research funds raised through the University. Other sponsors include The British Academy, The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, The Roman Research Trust, The Foyle Foundation, The South Norfolk Alliance, The John Jarrold Trust, May Gurney Ltd, A-Plant and Mr Michael Salter

The management, use and future development of the site for cultural heritage purposes are guided by the Caistor Joint Advisory Board (JAB) comprising representatives from Norfolk Archaeological Trust, South Norfolk Council, Norfolk County Council, the Parochial Church Council and Caistor Parish Council. Members of Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service and English Heritage also sit on the JAB in an advisory capacity.  The project PI (Will Bowden) reports regularly to the JAB in order that the results of the research inform management and interpretation strategies at the site

Project Officer Group

The project is overseen by a Project Officer Group comprising

  • Will Bowden (The University of Nottingham)
  • John Davies (Chief Curator - Norwich Castle Museum)
  • David Gurney (Principal Archaeologist - Historic Environment Service, Norfolk County Council)
  • Peter Wade-Martins (Chairman - Norfolk Archaeological Trust)
  • Will Fletcher (Inspector of Ancient Monuments - English Heritage)

Volunteer opportunities

From the outset volunteers from the Caistor region have played an important role in the research project. Participation has included:

  • field survey work
  • working on the British-Academy sponsored geophysical survey and excavation
  • cataloguing the finds from the original 1930s excavations, together with the finds from the new research.
  • managing the project website
  • establishing a charitable body (Caistor Roman Project Ltd) to support voluntary participation in the project.

Site presentation

Caistor represents a valuable educational and cultural resource for East Anglia. The results of the research project are being used to develop new ways of presenting the site to visitors and to enhance the information that is given to visitors to the site.



Writing our History: Digging our Past

For more information and how to get involved in our project please see:


Project news

Staff research - Caistor AR app has now been launched

A new edition to Will Bowden's Caistor research project is a app that reconstructs ancient Venta Icenorum

Caistor Roman Town Roadshow report

Notes from the meeting held at the Forum in Norwich 24 May 2012.

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Project events

Details for project events not currently available.

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Interested in study?

  • Undergraduate Archaeology (BA, BSc)
  • Postgraduate Archaeology (MA, MSc, PhD)

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