Roman Thatcham

Most know that modern Thatcham stems from the Saxons, many know there were people in the area before this so where were they if not in the modern town centre?

The Roman road of Ermin Way is believed to cross the Kennet to the east of Colthrop and cutting across Henwick Field to the west but the exact route remains a mystery. There have been numerous findings in Thatcham, mostly around the Henwick to St Johns Road area. Those finds include wells, coins, pewter plates, tiles, leather shoes and pottery indicating a possible settlement. A hearth was also discovered and along with other finds. The map (yellow shows St Mary's Church) shows where some of the finds have been made (note some are approximate locations).

Perhaps one of the most interesting finds was that of the skeletons of a man and a horse close at Colthrop Mill. In the area of Chamberhouse Farm evidence from an excavation provides evidence of Iron Age and Roman field systems.

Many of the finds are recorded in archaeological excavations, however others are markers on OS maps, or stories in old books, all of which need to be verified. There is also a lack of a cemetery, unlike Newbury which has a Roman cemetery but little else, and the exact course of Ermin Way through Thatcham is not clear.

I have no doubt that there was a settlement in Thatcham during the Roman period. The exact size and nature of the settlement remain uncertain. What is needed is for a review checking all the sources, tracking down items and revaluating, and analysing it all.