Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005736
Date first listed: 26-Feb-1964
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Mar-2019 at 23:31:45.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North Warwickshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 31902 96612, SP 31983 96736, SP 32120 96621
Parts of a series of Roman vexillation fortresses surrounding Mancetter Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Roman vexillation fortresses are rectangular enclosures with rounded corners which were occupied on a temporary basis by a campaigning army of between 2500 to 4000 men comprised of varying proportions of legionary and auxiliary troops. They were constructed as part of Roman military strategy immediately after the conquest in AD 43, when the army had not yet established the boundaries of its occupation, and continued to be involved in campaigns to increase and establish its control. All sites were probably abandoned by about AD 90. Vexillation fortresses are defined by a single rampart of earth or turf, usually revetted at the front and rear with turf or timber and surrounded by one or more outer ditches. Originally a breastwork and a wall-walk of timber would have crowned the rampart, possibly with corner and interval towers. Only 14 examples of vexillation fortresses have been recorded in England. As one of a small group or Roman military monuments which are important in representing army strategy, vexillation fortresses are of particular significance to our understanding of the period and all examples with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be of importance. Despite development, the presence of a grave yard, roads and other buildings much is already know through partial excavation about the parts of a series of Roman vexillation fortresses surrounding Mancetter Farm and they will retain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their layout, construction, longevity, military, political, strategic and social significance as well as the chronological interrelationships, adaptive re-use and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 June 2015. 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
This monument, which falls into three areas, includes parts of a succession of Roman vexillation fortresses and other camps on different alignments situated on slightly raised ground on the western valley side of the River Anker. The fortresses and camps survive as entirely buried structures, layers and deposits covering a total area of at least 9ha. First recorded by Stukeley in 1723 several periods of excavation from 1955 to 1997 have indicated the layouts of at least three successive vexillation fortresses which seem to reduce in size over time together with other camps and military features on different alignments which all indicate an extensive and prolonged military history. Close contemporary documentary references in the Antonine Itinerary and Tacitus indicate that this area represented the front line in military strategy during the early years of the Roman occupation of Britain. This is confirmed archaeologically by the dates from retrieved artefacts of pottery (which includes very early Samian) and other finds which range from 45-71 AD. The presence of timber buildings such as barrack blocks and granaries has been confirmed along with a kiln or furnace and latrines for example. The documentary evidence indicates at least one of the fortresses was connected with Boudicca’s last battle in 60 AD. Some of the military sites have also indicated medieval re-use as part of a manorial complex.
Further areas of Roman activity are scheduled separately.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WA 124
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Warwickshire HER 8267
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