Verulamium's Roman cemetery

Building operations in 1932-4 in the angle between King Harry Lane and the Watford Road, and in the grounds of Halsmede, revealed an extensive cemetery mostly 2nd c. A.D. date.  The Roman cemetery flanks Watling Street and is situated to the south of Verulamium between the South-east Gate and St Stephen’s Church (1).

Both cremation and inhumation burials, mainly the former, were found and an account of the earlier finds is in Victoria County Histories (2) the pottery being preserved in St. Stephen’s Church and in the Herts County Museum at St. Albans.

Most of the burials were by cremation and the bulk of the pottery c A.D. 90-160. A small oblong flint structure, containing at least 18 ins. of burnt material, may have been the crematorium. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the builders. (3)

A detailed report of the excavations was published by the Society (3). A monograph reporting on later excavations was published by English Heritage (‘Verulamium: the King Harry Lane site‘) in 1989.

(1) TL 14130607 of OS 6″ 1937-9.

(2) The Victoria history of the county of Hertford, volume four, 1914, edited by William Page, F.S.A.

(3) “Verulamium” 1936, pp.134-5 (R.E.M. Wheeler)

(4) Transactions 1935, St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society (pp 243-75)

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