Traces of Roman occupation
Fragments found by builders or in field surveys
In addition to a network of pre-Roman and Roman trackways and roads passing through Harpenden, evidence of Roman occupation has been found at various sites throughout the area, in the form of tesserae, pot sherds, tiles and other artefacts. These include:
- a villa on the banks of the Ver, near Harpendenbury
- indications of habitation on Black Croft Field, Great Knott Field and Hoos field, on the Rothamsted estate
- the footings of a mausoleum or shrine at Collye Grove on the Rothamsted estate, which was excavated in the early 1930s – see illustrations and the Comment below.
- fragments of a ‘mortarium’ in Moreton End Lane
- Roman pottery on the site of Roundwood Park school
- Romano-British burial mound alongside Coldharbour Lane (see our page on Burial Mound in Lea Valley)
- A Roman oil lamp in the embankment of the former railway line near Coldharbour
- Carved fragments and half columns incorporated in The Granary, (former Top Street farm, Crabtree Lane) – which had been rebuilt in 1650 (demolished in the 1950s). Further details in our page on Burial Mound in Lea Valley.
- pieces of Roman pottery and roof tiles unearthed by work on a housing development off Crabtree Lane (Holly Walk, Weybourne Drive, Glemsford Drive), from what was thought to be a Roman villa overlooking the Lea Valley, as reported in the Herts Advertiser of 26 August 1938 – see illustration
- shrines at Friars Wash – excavated by Time Team
- burial and villa at Turner’s Hall Farm, Marshalls Heath, Wheathampstead (see illustration)
There are likely to be more traces of the past under our feet, or our gardens - but modern building methods, with heavy plant, are likely to destroy evidence.