The Roman Villa at Norton Disney

10th February 2021

Our local Roman Villa, its importance, up to date findings and the threat that it faces.
A Zoom presentation by Richard Parker

Richard is secretary of the Norton Disney History and Archaeology group. A long-term resident of the area, his interest in the villa site had developed in the last three years. He told us that the Potter Hill site, which stretches across the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire border has revealed numerous artefacts from the Iron Age through to the Romano-British period, which are now held in places as diverse as Lincolnshire, Newark Museum, possibly Oxford and the British Museum. The history of the 1930’s discovery of the first tesserae and investigation of the Roman Villa was described. Its relationship to the surrounding landscape, with evidence of extensive iron smelting, was explained. (Read more in Irregular 5) The L shaped Villa is a Scheduled Ancient Monument of National importance but it is unlikely to be excavated again as the process is so damaging. Modern techniques such as Geo-Phys and LIDAR can reveal much that is hidden from view, and neither metal detectors nor digging are allowed within the field boundary.

Lincolnshire Proteins now owns the field and the neighbouring farm, so their second planning application to build a rendering plant so close to the site is of great concern. Richard asked that we tell other people about the importance of the whole site, look at the Lincolnshire County Council heritage assessment (HER) and, most importantly, write letters of objection, as appropriate so we can help to protect this important historical area.

[In our March Newsletter entitled ‘Time for Action’ we outlined the proposal, its heritage impact, our objection and how people could object. There are also items on the villa in our journal ‘Irregular 5’ (November 2020).]

After the talk, Richard answered several of our questions and was intrigued to hear a couple of anecdotes about the area.

The talk was recorded and can be viewed on our Recorded Presentations webpage.