Alex Vines and Roman finds




This was undoubtedly a storage or refuse pit, and was filled with earth much blacker, owing to the presence of carbonised material, than the surrounding humus. The earth contained an assortment of broken pottery, animal bones, oyster shells, iron nails and bronze coins. Burnt clay containing wattle impressions was present, which must have been the fabric of the building(s). Imbrex and tiles were uncovered, which would imply a substantial building. This theory is also supported by the two tegulae found on the N E side of the site. The other feature observed is a Roman ditch on the NE side, now destroyed through sea erosion (A2 on site plan below, and Fig III opposite). The ditch was filled up with flints, gravel and a thin layer of soil with carbon content. The soil contained a few pottery sherds from the late third century and a considerable amount of oyster shells.






Not enough has been found to show what type of settlement was situated on this bleak, windswept hillock. The pottery is entirely late-Roman, closely resembling that from other sites on the north coast, especially that from Warborough Hill. These sites suggest a defensive system connected with the signal stations which were essential for the safety of the Romano-British coastal settlements. All the pottery at Gramborough has been dated between 300 and 400 AD, which fits the hypothesis of a Roman defensive site. The system of signal stations was fully established in the third century.


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Val Fiddian 2005