Researching Roman Southwell

A community-led project to uncover more information about Southwell’s Roman past.

101.9% Funded
£4,280 Pledged
£4,200 Goal

About the Project

Are you interested in local archaeology? Would you like to know more about Southwell’s Roman past? Or would you fancy being involved yourself? Well, here is your chance!

The Researching Roman Southwell project is an exciting, community-led project that aims to uncover valuable information about this important part of our local history. Professionally led by MBArchaeology, the project seeks to investigate the town’s Roman past while providing training and hands-on experience, help local people to become involved in their local heritage, and provide a platform for both social and mental wellbeing. It aims to show that archaeology is fun, stimulating, educational, rewarding and, most importantly, accessible to all.

The Background

The town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire has previously revealed tantalising glimpses of its Roman past, including a large villa with bath house and mosaic floors, evidence of a Roman road, several find spots of pottery and coins dotted throughout the town, and even the head of a Roman statue from the Westhorpe area.

However, these exciting discoveries have done little to give us any accurate dating evidence, and our understanding of Roman Southwell remains slight.

Over the last year, however, a group of local people have been undertaking documentary research, map work, landscape surveys and practical work to collate all the known information on the Southwell region in the Iron Age and Roman periods. Details of our work can be found on our website

Now, the group are trying to raise money to undertake a community excavation on Harvey’s Field, where they hope to dig a series of test pits and create an accurate section through the landscape from the edge of Farthingate down to the Potwell Dyke. Preliminary exploration in the summer of 2014 revealed thick tufa deposits (a geological formation that occurs in waterlogged areas) and what appeared to be chronological, in situ archaeological deposits that contained a couple of Roman pot sherds. This is extremely exciting as it means we can obtain undisturbed data that has so far not been found within the town.

The Project

In order to fund the archaeological dig we need to raise enough money to cover the professional support and community training, as well as the finds specialists and a full written report of the dig. The full programme of activities is planned to take place between May – December 2015.

In order to raise this money, we are embarking on a fundraising campaign that will see local activities and events take place over the coming months. We are also looking to secure donations from local people and businesses!


I want to support the campaign - what do I do?

Pick a benefit level, click on the green ‘Support Now’ button in the column on the right, and purchase!

Can I support the campaign as a gift?

Yes of course! We all know someone who loves the Romans and would be happy to help uncover some amazing history, right? Or people who might fancy getting dirty themselves! We will be happy to help you sort out your special gift.

I’ve bought a Roman Reward – what next?

We will send you an email thanking you for getting involved and confirming your purchase. Then, nearer the time, we will send you updates on the project preparation and, once we get underway, email updates of our progress. If you opt to take part in the fieldwork, we will be in touch to finalise arrangements beforehand. At the end of the project, you will receive an electronic copy of the report (with your name in the acknowledgements section!) and, if you have signed up for the Gladiator package onwards, your hard copy and celebration event ticket will be sent out to you.

How do I get in touch with the Researching Roman Southwell team?

You can email us directly at,and you can also find us on Twitter and Facebook. All contact details will be sent out to you directly once you sign up for a Roman Rewards package.

How can I find out more about the project?

We’ll be putting plenty of updates on our website, where you can keep up to date with our latest news. Click here for more information!

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