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Copy of Romano-British Odell

Area of Romano-British occupation north of Sharnbrook Road September 2008
Area of Romano-British occupation north of Sharnbrook Road September 2008

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] details all known Romano-British finds and sites in the county. It is now avaliable on-line as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The best documented Romano-British site in Odell was the farmstead which now lies under the lake in Harrold-Odell Country Park. Another occupation site lies at Colworth [HER 2669]. Surface scatters, including 3rd and 4th century Roman coins, Roman pottery, tile and dressed stone indicated the presence of a villa to the east of a moated site. Archaeological excavation in 2008 revealed the remains of a stone building.

The Viatores are a group dedicated to finding parts of the Roman road network surviving in the modern landscape. They have suggested a Roman road [HER 10480] running through the county through Harrold and Odell, to Felmersham and Pavenham, Oakley, Clapham, Bedford, Eastcotts, Haynes, Old Warden, Southill, Chicksands, Campton, Shefford, Clifton, Henlow. Meppershall and Shillington. An agger has also been identified near Grange Farm [HER 5182]. Aggers are long narrow earthworks with ditches on either side - the course of the road running along the crest of the earthwork.

A number of other areas of Roman occupation have been identified from finds and cropmarks:

  • over an acre of Roman occupation lies east of Grange Farm. Pottery, building materials and slag (the waste product from iron working) have all been found [HER 2673];
  • about an acre of Roman occupation has been identified by slag and building stone south-east of Hobbs Green Farm [HER 2675];
  • a scatter of small square cropmarks interpreted as enclosures north of Sharnbrook Road have yielded Roman pottery from one small section [HER 2678];
  • the base of a Roman pottery urn was found on Lord Luke's Odell Castle Estate in 1937 [HER 11301].