Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

David Rudling, author and Academic Director of the Sussex School of Archaeology, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘Roman-period Settlements in the Sussex Ouse Valley’.

The Ouse Valley is on what was the eastern edge of Romanised Sussex, extending inland from Newhaven.  An early Roman villa has been dug at Newhaven.  Others have been excavated at Bishopstone, Beddingham and Barcombe.  Each of these 3 villas occupy sites which have yielded evidence of earlier roundhouse farmsteads with flint tools dating back to Neolithic times.  They appear to have been occupied by Romano-British farmers rather than Roman settlers.  As they prospered, the villas were extended with added rooms, bath-houses and religious shrines.  They were destroyed by the early Saxons after the Roman Army withdrew.

Each site has produced finds of Samian pottery, Roman coins and burials of ritual items like animal bones.  Materials were transported up the Ouse and produce from the villas shipped down the river.  The work of the Sussex School of Archaeology has now moved on to excavations at Plumpton Roman Villa, where Roman tiles and pottery have been found.


Roman-period Settlements in the Sussex Ouse Valley