Chedworth Woods Roman temple
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003348
Date first listed: 18-Aug-1948
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cotswold (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 06114 13297
Romano-Celtic temple 805m south east of Hutnage.
Reasons for Designation
Romano-Celtic temples were built to meet the spiritual needs of the communities they served by venerating the god or spirit considered to dwell in a particular place. The temple building was regarded as the treasure house of its deity and priests rather than as a congregational building and any religious activities, including private worship, communal gatherings, sanctuary and healing, took place outside. Romano-Celtic temples included the temple building and a surrounding sacred precinct or temenos which could be square, circular, rectangular or polygonal in ground plan. The temple building invariably faced due east and was the focus of the site, although it did not necessarily occupy the central position in the temenos. It comprised a cella or inner temple chamber, an ambulatory or walkway around the cella and sometimes annexes or antechambers. The buildings were constructed of a variety of materials, including stone, cob and timber, and walls were often plastered and painted both internally and externally. Some temenoi enclosed other buildings, often substantial and built in materials and styles similar to those of the temple; these are generally interpreted as priests' houses, shops or guest houses. Romano-Celtic temples were built and used throughout the Roman period from the mid first century AD to the late fourth/early fifth century AD, with individual examples being used for relatively long periods of time. They were widespread throughout southern and eastern England, although there are no examples in the far south west and they are rare nationally with only about 150 sites recorded in England. They are both rare and important for contributing to our understanding of the complete picture of Roman religious practice including its continuity from Iron Age practices.
Despite partial early excavation the Romano-Celtic temple 805m south east of Hutnage will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, development, religious practices, social significance, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 September 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.
The monument includes a Romano-Celtic temple situated on the southern valley slope of the River Coln. The temple survives as a rectangular building platform which measures approximately 16.5m long by 16m wide with upstanding limestone built walls in the south western and south eastern corners of up to 0.8m high. It was first discovered and partially excavated in 1864 when work on the neighbouring quarry revealed the building platform. Further excavations in 1926 revealed the true extent of the building and produced large quantities of scattered finds including hexagonal roof tiles, some complete with nails, hypocaust tiles, tesserae of glass, altars, a carved niche, bronze brooch and Samian ware. It was thought that a priest’s dwelling had possibly been attached to the temple in the south west corner. The temple is thought to date from the 2nd to 4th centuries. Finds from the temple are on display at the Chedworth Roman villa museum.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: GC 205
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