Archaeology Collections

The Dacorum Heritage Trust cares for its own archaeological collection, as well as finds and documentation from other local societies including Berkhamsted and District Archaeological Society (BDAS) and the Dacorum Borough Council.

Types of finds from the local area have included:

Examples of pottery from the Aldbury Excavation
Skull and reconstructed face of Ophelia
Bronze Colchester type brooch from Aldbury
Animal footprint captured in a tile from Gadebridge Roman Villa
Fragments of wall plaster from Boxmoor Roman Villa

Decorated pottery from Cow Roast and Aldbury

Human remains -“Ophelia”

Jewellery – brooches from Cow Roast and Aldbury

Architectural features – roof and floor tiles and wall plaster

Early man made tools – found at Gaddesden Row


Major sites excavated in the Dacorum area include:


The site of a 1st Century AD Cremation Cemetery was discovered on a small holding in Aldbury in the 1940s and was excavated by students from Aldbury School. Ceramic vessels and jewellery were discovered. More information can be found via the link below.

Boxmoor Roman Villa

This site was first excavated by John Evans (LINK) in 1882. They found an early timber structure from late 1st Century AD and subsequent villa built on top of it. Fragments of wall plaster were discovered. More information can be found via the link below.

Cow Roast

The Berkhamsted and District Archaeological Society began excavating several sites in Cow Roast from 1972. The Romano-British settlement found yielded many finds including architectural elements, objects made of iron, bronze and pottery and large quantities of animal bones. The most surprising discovery was that of a female skeleton (known affectionately as Ophelia) thought to date from the Roman era. More information can be found via the link below.

Gadebridge Roman Villa

This Roman site was discovered in 1962 after masonry was found by workers constructing the Leighton Buzzard Road. The site was first excavated in 1963, when young local archaeologist David S. Neal was assisting and twenty-seven year later re-excavated by, the now, Dr Neal. Extensive remains of the building were uncovered along with other domestic items. More information can be found via the link below.

Kings Langley Palace

Originally the site of a substantial palace built by Eleanor of Castile wife of King Edward I in 1276, later used by Edward III as the Seat of Government and favoured property of Richard II, where he was initially buried. It was excavated in the 1970s and uncovered elements of the building. More information can be found via the link below.

Northchurch Roman Villa

This site was excavated in 1973, prior to the re-development of the area for new housing. Elements of the building were uncovered and gave insight into the use of the land for mixed farming during the Roman period. More information can be found via the link below.

Related articles for sites can be found here

The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd.

The Museum Store, Clarence Road, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 3YL

Telephone/Fax 01442 879525   Email

Registered in England No. 2851313 | Registered Charity No. 1026161 | Accredited Museum No. 1594 | Status: Fully accredited museum.