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Romano-British Biddenham

Roman pottery found in Biddenham recorded in the WI scrapbook 1956 [X535/6]
Roman pottery sketched in the Biddenham Women's Institute scrapbook of 1956 [X545/6]

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. Two Romano-British occupation sites have been identified in Biddenham. One was a well, perhaps from a villa site north of Bromham Road [HER 330]. The well, which was stone lined, was found during quarrying in 1857. It contained fragments of an altar and a sculpture “presumably from a high status building in the vicinity” the sculpture was identified as a bird, possibly an owl, and a male torso identified as Dionysus; they were built into an outside wall at Bromham Hall. The well was twelve metres deep and also contained a human skeleton as well as pottery, animal bones, the sole of a shoe and a large quantity of burned stone. North of the church [HER 323] is an area occupied from the Romano-British period into the late Middle Ages and beyond. Roman pottery, coins and metalwork have all been found. An excavation in 2005 south of the area these were found confirmed Roman occupation as well as Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Medieval.

A number of Roman finds have been made elsewhere. A pottery and a ring [HER 14806] have been found south-west of Church End. They were thought to be Roman but “this is not clear and the finds in question have since been lost”. Two bronze coins were found at Church Farm [HER 15953]. They were very dissimilar in dates, one being a dupondius of Antonia (41-54AD), the other a follis of Constantius II (337-340). A Roman coin found in 1946 [HER 2849] in Main Road was too badly damaged to be positively identified but may have been a coin of Hadrian (117-138).