Geophysics map of a local field
Navenby lies 10 miles south of the city of Lincoln which was one of the first established roman Colonia in Britain. The word 'Lincoln' derives from the roman name for the city - Lindum Colonia which means the 'colony by the lake'. The 'lake' is Brayford Pool in Lincoln from which the Romans dug the very first canal in Britain to join it to the Trent river and thus allow navigation along the river Witham from Boston on the coast all the way inland via the Trent. The old Roman road called Ermine Street runs beside the village and much of it is still in use today. Just a half day's march from the colonia, Navenby would have been a convenient stop and possibly a useful outpost for the colonia.
Evidence from surveys and excavations shows a relatively large concentration of roman buildings and artefacts such as coins and pottery found alongside the road in Navenby. The image at the left is taken from geophysics surveys and indicates the typical, close-packed structures of possible shops and houses at the side of the road.
When the roman occupation ended in the fifth century, the centre of population moved west towards the edge of the ridge - possibly because the spring line at the edge was readily available without roman engineering expertise to pipe water or dig wells at the eastern site. Because of this move many roman sites have never been built over and therefore are accessible for investigation.