The Berkhamsted and District Archaeological Society started excavations at Cow Roast in 1972. Work continued for four years in an orchard near the Cow Roast Inn and for three years at the Marina; then, later, on land adjacent to the Cow Roast Inn.
The site is that of a Romano-British settlement which grew up alongside Akeman Street, a Roman Road running from St Albans, via Tring, to Cirencester, following part of the A41. Remains have also been found on the hillside to the north of the Marina, showing the settlement spread out from, as well as along the Roman road.
The site is now scheduled as an Ancient Monument under the protection of English Heritage and is designated as a Roman town.
Features of the excavations include:
14 well shafts. The number suggests the industrial use of water, certainly for the production of iron.
Iron slag and cinder. More than two tons of iron slag and cinder were found at the Marina site.
Beam slots and post holes from wooden buildings.
Flint masonry walls.
Small finds include objects made from iron, bronze, stone, bone, shale glass and pottery. At the orchard site quantities of animal bone were found including the horn cores of over 40 cows. Other bones found include those of horses, pigs, sheep/goats, dogs, pheasants and ravens; antlers of red and roe deer were also found.
By The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd