The Romans in Epperstone


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I talk a walk from Epperstone village yesterday heading over the hills and farmland towards Thurgarton and return. I've walked and ran this area on a couple of occasions previously but this time decided to make the effort to take a look at the ruins of a second or third century Roman Villa which stands in a small copse in the middle of some farmland.

It was very much worth the small detour and definitely worthy of a visit for those fascinated by these things as I am. The structure has a small stream channelled through it and is carefully crafted in stone. Very prominent in the centre is a large bowl-like stone construction which could maybe have been a well or a washing facility.

I can heartily recommend the general area for walking. It's very quiet and secluded with plenty of wildlife to see. Yesterday we saw a field vole, hares, rabbits, pheasants and evidence of badgers amongst other things. There are some fantastic field mushrooms up there too!

There seems to be little information on the Internet about the Roman ruins at Epperstone and I certainly wish I'd had my camera along yesterday. Does anyone have any further info about it or indeed other Roman sites in the county that they've visited?

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The villa is marked on my 1968 OS Sheet 112 but, surprisingly, not on the 1921 edition...

Due west of Thurgarton between Foxhole Wood and Thistly Coppice.

Was today's A612 a Roman road, feeding down to the Fosse at Margidunum roundabout - via the present day A6097? Seems to be suspiciously straight over most of it's length...

IIRC, there is a Roman site within the grounds of Thurgarton Priory

Cheers

Robt P.

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The former Epperstone Hall is being developed into apartments, I understand. Little progress seems to have been made since the last time I looked in.

I'm not sure about the A612 but I think it's easy to imagine that it was Roman in origin. Rooting around the Net there seems to have been a large quantity of Roman finds in the approximate vicinity of the Trent, many recovered from the river itself. Any information anybody about the Roman finds around East Bridgford?

Thanks for the info re Thurgarton, Priory, Rob.

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  • 1 year later...

For those interested in these Roman remains I took a walk past the site today. I need to do more research on this place as I'm not clear exactly what I'm looking at. It appears that some of the construction is original, some not. I'll just post some of the photos I took and let you draw your own conclusions.

Viewing the site needs a little imagination nevertheless it's quite an evocative scene there up in the hills and dales between Epperstone and Thurgarton.

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The villa is marked on my 1968 OS Sheet 112 but, surprisingly, not on the 1921 edition...

Cheers

Robt P.

Quite clearly it's a 1930's folly then !!!

Seriously though, I don't know how I missed this last time around as I've always had a penchant (Good word that) for all Roman antiquities (Another good word) and to find something like that on your own doorstep , so to speak, is quite amazing !!

Thanks Stu, I know where I'm going next time over with some free time !!

I'll give my interpretation:-

Pictures one, two,four and five is a channel to the clothes washing tub, a wooden 'U' shaped channel would have been put in place to run the water in to the bowl itself, in the last picture is clearly shown the depth of the initial run in channel , note the depth to allow for settlement of sediment. Also of note are the grooves in the walls for 'sluice gates ' to be put in place to completely fill the area to the left of picture one.

The best bit though is the bath in picture three, with a little bowl for keeping your scrapers in and possibly a purpose built seat also.

Again, thanks for sharing Stu

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I didn't realise here were any Roman fans on here, anyone up for a guided tour of Colchester.

You'll be pleased to know that in their infinite wisdom, this week, Colchester Council announced that they are going to preserve the remains of Britains only chariot racing circus. This was discovered a few years ago, mainly under parts of Colchester barracks that were up for re-development. I gather it was considered to be the formula one track of chariot racing in this country and is massive, they still don't know exactly whats under the ground, but it is very significant.

As you probably know, Clau-Clau-Claudius began his invasion of Britain only a few miles from here at Mersea Island, Colchester or Camolodunum was originally set up as the UK capital and as such is Britains oldest town. There are so many Roman antiquities under the ground that any building work is a major archeological achievment.

On top of all that, Caractacus and Buddica carried out their attacks around here, Colchester was razed to the ground at one point and as an out settlement, Braintree suffered it's fair share, who knows who galloped through my garden 2000 years ago.

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Gosh, that`s so interesting. The pictures are amazing. Have the things been excavated/preserved or are they just lying there - if you see what I mean.

I used to go mushrooming in those fields. Intriguing to think that there would once have been Romans living there. Perhaps they used to pick the mushrooms and take them back to have for their breakfast laced with their fishy sauce.

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Beefy, thanks very much for the information mate, that's all very interesting. If you should make a visit it's a toss up which is the easiest access from Hagg Lane at Epperstone or from the pull in at the church in Thurgarton. It's on the OS map but if you need any pointers give me a shout.

Eileen, the remains just stand there by the side of the public footpath, unattended and largely ignored. The below picture shows the footpath which travels over a small bridge over what I presume is the Dover Beck. Just down below to the right are the remains. For anyone wanting to see the construction, now is very much the best time. Not only is it more visible but it's easier to climb down the short bank to get right in it (there are actually steps on one side). During the summer months it gets a little more problematic as it tend to get very overgrown with large nettle beds etc.

As you say, worth a walk for a the mushrooms at that time of year!

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  • 3 months later...

Some more information about the site at Epperstone/Thurgarton.

I have swapped an email or two with the gent who initiated this thread and he has kindly provided me some information about the above featured. Please note that he has a book about local Roman sites scheduled for next Spring. I'm sure that will be an absolutely fascinating read.

Some of the information he provided:

There were two villa-type buildings excavated at this site during the 1950s and '60s. one of the buildings having elaborately painted walls, hypocaust and bath. There were around 300ft apart, one clearly a villa another a large building of type.

He also provided an excellent link which gives a description of what the above pictures in the thread are all about. The area appears to have actually been a sheepwash and nevertheless has a fascinating history all of its own, albeit not Roman.

The second oldest sheep wash bridge in England?

Diagram of the sheepwash bridge

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It's knocked my theories in to a cocked hat then ............LOL

Thanks for the explanation Stu

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amazing pictures ancient history is my favourite subject, i have just got myself a volunteer job based at Nottingham Castle and the Brewhouse Yard and some of the work i will be doing is sorting Roman artifacts it dosent start till the middle of next month So i will mention this and see if anyone has any more information

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Very interesting post you've started there Stu, makes you want to go out and explore for yourself, have you heard anything about the finds from the A46 widening scheme thats going on at the moment? I was told from a contact in the construction industry that the historians are going to have to re-write the history books concerning the Romans in Nottinghamshire there have been that many finds in the A46/A52 area

Rog

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  • 10 years later...

This is so great, we’ve walked past this structure several times in the lockdown times and wondered what it was. Quick search on the internet and now we know! Thanks for the info. 

 

Alex

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