Excavation of the West Defences (1978)

Description of this historic site

The site of a defensive ditch dating to the Roman period which lies 100m west of Mancetter Farm.

Notes about this historic site

1 1978, site 3. Trenches 3A and 3B. It has been conjectured for some time that the west defences of the fort were roughly on the line of the trees and hedgerow which curves in a north-south direction between Quarry Lane and Manor Road. In an effort to prove the defences, machine-dug trenches were made at 3A and 3B. The most noteworthy feature was the geology. At 3A, although mainly hard iron pan was encountered, a change in clay coincided with a ditch feature. At 3B, sandy soil was featured from which at least two ditches and a possible third were recognised. Finds included two nearly complete coarse wares from the ditch at 3A and a few sherds from 3B. The fort appears to have been about 366m wide. This suggests a size of about 10.9 ha, probably ample for half a legion.
2 Plan.
3 The first trench, 3B, produced evidence of three ditches, the central one yielding pottery of c60AD. Further N, trench 3A, only one ditch could be found; it contained 1st century coarse pottery in the primary filling.
4 Noted.
5 Site descriptions.
6 Plans.
7 Noted; 1st century fort; W defences proven, 3 ditch system.

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