Roman fort on Waddon Hill
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002410
Date first listed: 09-Nov-1972
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Dorset (District Authority)
Parish: Stoke Abbott
National Grid Reference: ST 44944 01517
Roman fort on Waddon Hill.
Reasons for Designation
Roman forts served as permanent bases for auxiliary units of the Roman Army. In outline they were straight sided rectangular enclosures with rounded corners, defined by a single rampart of turf, puddled clay or earth with one or more outer ditches. Some forts had separately defended, subsidiary enclosures or annexes, allowing additional storage space or for the accommodation of troops and convoys in transit. Although built and used throughout the Roman period, the majority of forts were constructed between the mid-first and mid-second centuries AD. Some were only used for short periods of time but others were occupied for extended periods on a more or less permanent basis. In the earlier forts, timber was used for gateways, towers and breastworks. From the beginning of the second century AD there was a gradual replacement of timber with stone. Roman forts are rare nationally and are extremely rare south of the Severn Trent line. As one of a small group of Roman military monuments, which are important in representing army strategy and therefore government policy, forts are of particular significance to our understanding of the period.
Much is already known about the Roman fort on Waddon Hill but despite extensive quarrying and excavation it will retain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, military, political, strategic and social significance and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 February 2016. This 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 includes a Roman fort situated on the summit of a prominent hill which forms the watershed between the valleys of two tributaries to the River Brit. The fort survives as largely buried deposits and structures with part of the northern double bank defences visible as an earthwork with an entrance to the east. The fort originally measured approximately 122m long by 82m wide although a large proportion has been subject to quarrying. The scene of several excavations beginning in 1893 when military equipment including buckles, plume holders and a scabbard guard was found; the main focus for research was from 1959-62 and again in 1969. These later excavations revealed a large number of internal timber buildings including the principia, praetorium, valetudinarium and barrack blocks and suggested a 1st century occupation which ceased after 64 AD.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DO 779
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing