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Roman town

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: Roman town

List entry Number: 1005738

Location

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

County: Warwickshire

District: Stratford-on-Avon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Alcester

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 06-Apr-1964

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: WA 128

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

Part of the Roman small town of Alcester 370m north-west of Oversley Green 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 part of the Roman small town of Alcester survives well and will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, layout and development, social, political, economic, strategic and political significance, industry, agricultural practices, trade, commerce, communications, domestic arrangements, decline and overall landscape context.

History

See Details.

Details

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 part of the Roman small town of Alcester situated to the south of the current settlement which bears the same name on the banks of the Rivers Arrow and Alne at their confluence. The town survives as entirely buried structures, layers and deposits the presence of which has been confirmed by chance finds from 1660 onwards, limited excavation, geophysical survey and a study of aerial photographs. The town began as a small military outpost but functioned mainly as a manufacturing and marketing centre and served a large surrounding agricultural hinterland. The exact location of its principal buildings is not known, but residential and industrial areas have been noted to the south and the town defences from early 1st century simple earthen ramparts to later 4th century stone replacement walls with a bastion are known in the north for example. The town was apparently irregularly divided by a series of streets extending from two main Roman roads – Ryknild Street and the Salt Way. The buildings range from simple timber, wattle and daub structures to extensive stone buildings with tessellated floors and painted plaster and cover industrial, manufacturing, commercial and residential functions. Cemeteries have also been located. The town is known to have been extensive and part lies beneath the modern and medieval successors. The scheduling aims to protect those significant areas of the town which have not been subject to sustained successive redevelopment. The Roman town was operating from the 1st to 4th centuries and expanded continuously and remained prosperous until the late 4th century. From this point it declined universally but continued to function until the 5th century.

Selected Sources

Other
PastScape 328440
Warwickshire HER 4495

National Grid Reference: SP 09092 57064, SP 09120 57269, SP 09202 57468

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.
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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 - 1005738 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2017 at 11:28:16.

End of official listing