Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Roman House Found at Leicester

A large house dating from the Roman period has been found during excavations at Leicester.

This is the second major find in the city recently. Look back through the Journal for a few weeks and you will find an entry headed "Huge Mediaeval Cemetery Discovered at Leicester".

It was the largest English mediaeval cemetery discovered outside London, and contained the remains of 1300 people.

Excavations are taking place in association with the planned 350 million extension to The Shires shopping centre, and its flagship John Lewis department store.

The Roman house was found in Vine Street. Richard Buckley, director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services, said that the team had been surprised to find such a major discovery. “The good thing is”, he comments, “that it remains in good enough condition for a good analysis.”

It is believed that the house might have been a hotel for visiting Roman officials, as it shows signs of quite luxurious living.

A second building has been found nearby, and it is suspected that this was used as a warehouse.

There have already been calls for this exciting find to be preserved underneath the new development, as a tourist and heritage attraction.

Leicester was an important town in Roman Britain. Known as Ratae Corieltauvorum, it was a tribal capital and at first a garrison town. The Fosse Way ran through Leicester on its way from Lincoln to Exeter, and the Via Devana led to Colchester. The Jewry Wall is the largest piece of civil Roman building still standing in Britain.

Leicester is one of the oldest and most historic towns in the country, and these latest discoveries are certainly underlining the point.