Mansio at Weston's Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1015887
Date first listed: 24-Feb-1955
Date of most recent amendment: 31-Jan-1997
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: West Sussex
District: Chichester (District Authority)
National Park: SOUTH DOWNS
National Grid Reference: SU 84395 25988
Reasons for Designation
Mansiones were substantial, mostly masonry, buildings of varying size and plan
providing facilities, including accommodation and stabling, for travellers
associated with the Cursus Publicus (the provincial postal service of Roman
Britain). Constructed on or adjacent to major contemporary roads, they are
usually found in urban contexts or within forts, although some examples lie
between towns on roads which cross the more sparsely settled rural areas. They
are found throughout England. Dating from the second to mid-fourth centuries
AD, mansiones were often amongst the largest buildings of the town. The
largest recorded urban example is at Silchester, where the mansio covers an
area of c.0.4ha. Most examples survive in the form of buried foundations. Few
examples have been positively identified and, in view of this rarity, all
mansiones with surviving remains are considered to be of national importance.
Despite some disturbance, the mansio at Weston's Farm, a large example of this type of monument, survives particularly well as an upstanding earthwork. It will also contain important, buried archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the original layout and use of the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The mansio forms one of a group of three mansiones clustered within West Sussex on major roads leading northwards from Chichester and is one of the few known examples constructed in an isolated rural context.
The monument includes a mansio, or Roman posting station, situated on the
course of a Roman road which ran northwards from Chichester (Noviomagus)
21km to the south. The north west-south east aligned, rectangular mansio,
discovered during aerial reconnaissance carried out in the 1950s, survives as
an uneven, raised area of about 0.9ha, containing the buried remains of
buildings and structures. This is enclosed by a bank 8m wide and up to 1m
high, levelled and partly disturbed in places by the subsequent
construction of Weston's Farm, Weston's Farm Cottage and their associated
gardens and outbuildings. The bank is surrounded by a ditch up to 20m wide and
0.5m deep, flanked by a low counterscarp bank on its north western and south
western sides. A simple gap in the north western ramparts near the north
eastern corner has been identified as the original entrance into the interior.
The construction of the modern Iping-Milland road and the farm track which
cross the monument have partly disturbed the remains of the mansio. A small
part of the south western sector of the mansio, occupied by a modern timber
mill, has been substantially levelled by modern activity and is therefore not
included in the scheduling.
The buildings of Weston's Farm and Weston's Farm Cottages, their associated
outbuildings and barns, all modern fences, gates, walls and garden structures,
the modern surfaces of all roads, tracks, hardstanding, patios and paths, the
roadside bollards, signs and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath all these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 29242
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Magary, I, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Recent Discoveries by the Ordnance Survey of Roman Roads in Sussex, , Vol. 91, (1953), 3
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