NGRef: TG5112
OSMap: LR134
Type: Town
None identified

Bronze Plaque Dedicated to the God Mercury


"Aurelius Atticianus willingly and deservedly fulfils his vow to Mercury."

(RIB 214a; bronze plaque; Britannia xix (1988), p.485, no.1; RIB 2432.2)

Communication With Caister in Roman Times

Although there are no known roads in the neighbourhood, there may have been overland communication to Venta Icenorum (Caistor by Norwich) to the west, and Brampton in the north-west; and equally, there may have been some sea-borne communication with Gariannum (Burgh Castle) which lay only a few miles further south down the coast.

The road to Venta Icenorum would have run west c.19 miles overland, crossing the River Yare in the region of Norwich. The River Yare itself would have given another supply route, but the journey would be lengthened to c.28 miles due to the meandering course of the river. The postulated road to Brampton would have run overland for some twenty miles, while the journey along the River Bure would have taken about twenty-four miles to reach Horstead, from which the river journey would have been a further four miles to Brampton or a mere two and a half miles by road.

Considering the possible Roman road to Brampton, there is an obvious alignment of modern roads to the north of the River Bure, some of which may have a Roman Foundation. The alignment follows the modern A1064 from Caister through Filby, and continues via a minor road crossing the B1152 just north of Clippesby, passing within yards of the Ashby Hall Rectory. Therafter, traces are lost in the area of Thurne village to the east of the Thurne - Bure confluence, though there is a conspicuously-named "Cold Harbour", lying about a mile south of Ludham, and St. Benet's Abbey on the north bank of the Bure also invites further investigation. Continuing to the west of the confluence of the River Ant with the Bure, there is a short alignment of road (named "Up Street" ?) between Ludham Bridge and Horning, which lies on our line, but following that, traces are unclear. The Roman road may have continued to Coltishall through Hoveton St. Peter, or followed the River Bure more closely, (following "Up Street") through Hoveton St. John. Coltishall stands on the north-eastern bank of the Bure, and the site of the Roman marching camp at Horstead lies opposite, on the south-western bank. It is possible that the Bure was forded at this point, and the overland route continued on the western side of the river the last three miles to Brampton, though the suspected east-west Roman road of "Low Street" crossed the Bure two and a half to three miles further north.

The Caister - Venta Icenorum road possibly crossed the Bure near Stokesby, though it is unknown whether the road ran through Mantby and Thrigby or took the more southerly route via Runham. The line of the road then must have followed the route of the modern A47 from Acle, through North Burlingham and Blofield to cross the River Yare near Norwich.

Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: CAISTER ON SEA"