Mole hill yields important historical discovery in Hilgay

A-level students help to survey the remains of a Roman farmstead in Hilgay

A-level students help to survey the remains of a Roman farmstead in Hilgay

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A chance discovery in a mole hill has helped to prove that a series of lumps and bumps in a Hilgay field was actually once a wealthy Roman farmstead.

A-level students joined members of West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeology Society to survey the remains of the farmstead on land at Rose Farm on Sunday.

Although the site, which is a listed scheduled monument, was discovered in the 1980s, this is the first survey to be completed for some time.

But while the team were busy surveying the earthworks, they found some posh pottery within a mole hill.

The discovery of the Samian pottery has proved that some of the people living at the site were quite wealthy.

Dr Clive Bond said: “This pottery is made in Gaul and is a very important tableware.

“The moles had gone into a dump area close to the mound and brought out this posh pottery.

“This type of pottery is important as it shows the people who were living there were quite wealthy.”

The site has a series of raised platforms which could have been used for animal pens, hay storage and buildings.

The team on Sunday measured the rise and slope of the earthworks, which were found to be in very good condition.

They also discovered flaked core fragments, a small flake and burnt flint during a walk along an adjacent field.

The survey was conducted as part of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership.

There is a series of events being organised in the Hilgay area over the summer as part of this project, which received £2,000.