This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Site of Romano-British town of Magna

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Site of Romano-British town of Magna

List entry Number: 1001768

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: County of Herefordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Kenchester

County:

District: County of Herefordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Stretton Sugwas

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: HE 29

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Roman small town 280m west of Magna Castra Farm.

Reasons for Designation

Five types of town are known to have existed in Roman Britain: coloniae, municipia, civitas capitals, Roman provincial capitals and Roman small towns. The first four types can be classified as `public towns' because each had an official status within the provincial administrative system. Roman small towns are settlements of urban character which lack the administrative status of public towns, but which are nevertheless recognisably urban in terms of morphology, features and function. They tend to lack the planned rectangular street grids, public buildings and well-appointed town houses of the public towns and instead are generally characterised by mainly insubstantial timber or half-timbered structures. Some small towns possess an enclosing wall, while others have masonry or earthwork defences. Additional features include temples, bath houses, ovens, kilns and cemeteries. Roman small towns began to emerge in the mid-first century AD. However, the majority of examples appeared in the later first and second centuries, while the third and fourth centuries saw the growth and development of existing establishments, together with the emergence of a small number of new ones. Some small towns had their origins in earlier military sites such as fort-vici and developed into independent urban areas following the abandonment of the forts. Others developed alongside major roads and were able to exploit a wide range of commercial opportunities as a result of their location. There are a total of 133 Roman small towns recorded in England. These are mainly concentrated in the Midlands and central southern England. Some examples have survived as undeveloped `green field' sites and consequently possess particularly well-preserved archaeological remains.

The Roman small town 280m west of Magna Castra Farm survives well and will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, strategic importance, social organisation, trade, industry, domestic arrangements, layout, economy, agricultural practices, abandonment and overall landscape context.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 May 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument, which falls into three separate areas of protection, includes the Roman small town of Magna or Magnis situated on low lying ground close to a tributary of the Yazor Brook. The town survives as an irregular hexagonal platform defined by a marked scarp of up to 2.1m high on all except the south western side where it has been cut slightly by a modern road, there are at least two sections of upstanding masonry wall forming part of the stone built outer defences and a buried outer ditch. Within the town all the structures and deposits including buildings and streets are preserved as buried features.

The subject of frequent periods of excavation starting with antiquarian descriptions by Stukeley and continuing in 1912-13, 1924-25, 1956-62 and 1977-79 the town is known to have had a number of gateways but none on the eastern side. The defences were initially earthen ramparts but by the 2nd century these were beginning to be replaced by stone walls, gateways, bastions and ditches and this replacement and improvement continued until the 4th century. Excavations have shown that occupation of the town continued into the 5th century and this research has concentrated on the defences, streets and houses. Two Roman roads met beside the town and one leads on to important Roman centres in Wales. There were ‘military’ finds indicating that a possible 1st to 2nd century camp or fort was present within the town and there have been reports of a bath house as well as industrial activity and human cremations. The masonry defences were still allegedly standing in the 18th to 19th centuries.

Selected Sources

Other
PastScape 868007, 868023 and 108086, Herefordshire SMR 121

National Grid Reference: SO 43930 42686, SO 44051 42777, SO 44134 42622

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1001768 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2017 at 11:08:30.

End of official listing