Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British settlement on Bullocks Haste Common

A Scheduled Monument in Cottenham, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.3102 / 52°18'36"N

Longitude: 0.1493 / 0°8'57"E

OS Eastings: 546622.655871

OS Northings: 270186.26593

OS Grid: TL466701

Mapcode National: GBR L65.2LB

Mapcode Global: VHHJQ.J6TB

Entry Name: Romano-British settlement on Bullocks Haste Common

Scheduled Date: 26 February 1971

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006897

English Heritage Legacy ID: CB 66

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Cottenham

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Cottenham All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Romano-British settlement including a complex series of associated dykes and field systems. The monument is situated on flat ground on Bullocks Haste Common to the north west and south east of Willow Farm. In the area to the south east of Car Dyke the earthworks denoting the field system with trackways and house platforms survive up to 1m high. The rest of the area has been ploughed but the buried remains are clearly visible on aerial photographs where ditched drove-ways and small enclosures are apparent. A small area of the site was investigated by J.G.D. Clark in 1947and produced pottery from the 2nd to 4th centuries as well as some masonry, and a bronze bust identified as the Emperor Commodus.
NMR TL47SE4; Mon No 372111; Cambs HER 5330

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the Roman period, particularly during the second century AD, the Fenland silts around the Wash and areas on and close to the margins of the peat fens were extensively and often densely occupied and farmed. Rural settlements were small, comprising individual farmsteads or, more often, groups of several farmsteads organised in small villages which, with their associated field systems, were aligned along droves. The earliest of such settlements, which are dated to the later first century AD, are generally very small and differ little in general appearance from certain settlements of the preceding Iron Age, although Iron Age settlements in the Fenland region are not so numerous or widespread. During the second century, when small and large-scale engineering projects, including the construction of roads and canals, were carried out widely in the Fens, the size and complexity of the settlements tended to increase and the layout of droves and fields to become more regular. Numerous Roman settlements of this type, with their associated field systems, have been recorded in the Fens, particularly through air photography, and they serve to illustrate both the nature of small-scale farming during the period of the Roman occupation and the ways in which a local population adapted to and exploited a particular environment. Many of the sites have, however, been reduced by medieval and later agriculture, and very few remain with upstanding earthworks, with a varied range of identifiable features and/or evidence for the survival of
environmental remains. Consequently, all sites which survive as earthworks or
which have a varied range of identifiable features are considered to be of national importance.
The Romano-British settlement on Bullocks Haste Common is a well preserved example. The earthwork and cropmark features indicate the level of survival of significant archaeological deposits as well as the diversity of the remains. The juxtaposition of Car Dyke and the settlement provides an important physical relationship which will increase our knowledge and understanding of the structure of Romano-British settlement and the infrastructure which supported it both locally and in the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England

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