Towns at the edge of empire

Caistor Roman Town (Venta Icenorum): the Roman world beneath our feet

The ruins of the Roman regional town of Caistor (or Venta Icenorum) are located just beyond the outskirts of Norwich. One of only three Roman towns in Britain not built over by later medieval or modern towns, the traces of Romano-British life from the time of Boudicca’s rebellion in AD 60 lie just beneath the surface.

Caistor Roman Town: key features

  • Intact visible remains of the Roman town wall
  • Complete town plan reconstructed from scientific mapping and excavation
  • Excavated evidence for a forum, a basilica, temples, and bathhouse
  • Evidence for later Anglo-Saxon occupation, allowing us to trace British life in the centuries immediately after the departure of the Romans
  • Insights into Romano-British daily life, including such finds as a defixio or ‘curse tablet‘ dedicated to the water god Neptune, found in the River Tas


Caistor Roman Town (Venta Icenorum)
Caistor St Edmund
NR14 8QN

Send a Postcard

postcard caistor roman town

Aerial view of Caistor Roman Town (© Mike Page), and Manga style cartoon of Caistor excavations (Hugo Yoshikawa)


Principal Investigator: Dr Simon Kaner,
Sainsbury Institute, University of East Anglia

Co-Investigator: Dr Sam Nixon
Sainsbury Institute, University of East Anglia


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Towns and empires worldwide

8th Century Fort


The story of empires and their fortified towns is one seen around the world – in Japan, for example, we find the 8th century Taga fort, established by the Yamato state to control northern Japan
Taga fort, JapanTaga fort, Japan

15th – 16th Century Inca Imperial Town

Choquequirao: Peru

The interaction between imported imperial culture and pre-existing local culture seen at Caistor is also mirrored globally, as for example at the 15th-16th century Inca imperial town of Choquequirao in Peru
Choquequirao fortified hilltop town, Peru - Credit: Mi PeruChoquequirao fortified hilltop town, Peru - Credit: Mi Peru