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Historic England Research Records

Durnovaria

Hob Uid: 1057450
Location :
Dorset
Dorchester
Grid Ref : SY6920090700
Summary : Dorchester (Durnovaria) was founded in the first decades of the Flavian period. The sites of the amphitheatre and bath house are known but the position of other public buildings is uncertain. Fortifications in earth built in the late 2nd century were replaced in stone in circa 300 AD. Cemeteries have been investigated at Poundbury and Fordington and a range of town houses and industrial areas identified. A well preserved aqueduct provided water for the town. There is evidence of sporadic occupation into the 5th century. It was probably also the site of a Roman Fort. Although the name is not recorded with a tribal suffix, Durnovaria, which by the mid 2nd centry covered 70-80 acres, must be pesumed from its size and position to have been the tribal capital of the Durotriges, a 3rd-4th century division of the canton has been postulated based on Durnovaria and Lindinis. The existence here of a fort of the early conquest period, guarding a crossing of the Frome, has been suggested, based upon the situation at a nodal point in the Roman road system, and on the discovery of Claudian coins, pottery and military equipment. Frere suggests that the headquarters of the II Legion may have been set up at Dorchester or been divided between it and Exeter. Both towns were linked with harbours thought to have been used in the south-west advance under Vespasian. No structural remains of early date or military type have been idenctified, but the most likely site for a fort would have been in the south-west corner of the town.
More information : SY 692907 Dorchester (Durnovaria) was founded in the first decades of the Flavian period. The sites of the amphitheatre and bath house are known but the position of other public buildings is uncertain. Fortifications in earth built in the late C2nd were replaced in stone C 300AD. Cemeteries have been investigated at Poundbury and Fordington and a range of town houses and industrial areas identified. A well preserved aqueduct provided water for the town and has been investigated recently. There is evidence of sporadic occupation into the C5th. (1)

Durnovaria. Cantonal capital, and probable site of Roman Fort. Although the name is not recorded with a tribal suffix, Durnovaria, which by the mid 2nd centry covered 70-80 acres, must be pesumed from its size and position to have been the tribal capital of the Durotriges. a 3rd-4th century division of the canton has been postulated based on Durnovaria and Lindinis. The existence here of a fort of the early conquest period, guarding a crossing of the Frome, has been suggested, based upon the situation at a nodal point in the Roman road system, and on the discovery of Claudian coins, pottery and military equipment. Frere suggests that the headquarters of the II Legion may have been set up at Dorchester or been divided between it and Exeter. Both towns were linked with harbours thought to have been used in the south-west advance under Vespasian. No structural remains of early date or military type have been idenctified, but the most likely site for a fort would have been in the SW corner of the town. (2-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Wacher J 1995 The Towns of Roman Britain BCA London (323-35)
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of historical monuments in the County of Dorset. Volume two : south-east [in three parts]
Source details :
Page(s) : 531-3
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Wacher JS, 1966, Civitas Capitals, 41 and map 33
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Frere SS, 1967, Britannia 75-6
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Town, Civitas Capital, Bath House, Cemetery, Aqueduct, Amphitheatre
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SY 69 SE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

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