Caistor St Edmund (Venta Icenorum) from the A140

Caistor St Edmunds from the A140
Caistor St Edmund from the A140

To Norwich, to saunter in the sunshine and the humidity.  One pleasure of approaching the city from the south, up the A140, is the sudden view across the valley to the right.  There to the east in the distance is a rectangular field bordered by what look very like ramparts.  (Click on the image above to get the full-size picture)

And ramparts they are, with stone still peeping out, white against the grass.  For this is the site of the Roman city of Venta Icenorum, Caistor St Edmund as it is known today.  In the top right corner stands a medieval church, surrounded by trees in the churchyard.  No doubt the first church was built in Saxon times, sheltering in a corner of the old city.  In the middle of the near side is a gap in the bushes, and indeed a gap in the rampart, for this is the west gate of the city.  Aerial photographs in the dry season caused a sensation, revealing the street layout.

On the way back I stopped the car and took a couple of photographs.  Here’s a cropped version of one of them.  The view is actually better on the other side of the road, which is higher, but the A140 is very busy and I took enough of a risk stopping as it was, even for you, dear reader!

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