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Benwell Roman Temple

Hob Uid: 1156397
Location :
Newcastle upon Tyne
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : NZ2171164672
Summary : The ruins of the Temple of Antenociticus, also known as 'Benwell Roman Temple'. It may have been built soon after the construction of the nearby Roman fort (AD 122-4) and possibly as late as AD 180. It is of simple apsidal type comprising a small rectangle in plan with a south apse. The walls still stand to about half a metre in height and are constructed of sandstone rubble with ashlar facing. The doorway to the temple was situated in the east wall. The apse contains the base of a cult statue, the head of which is now in Museum of Antiquities, Barras Bridge, Newcastle. Antenociticus, represented with curling hair on the statue, was a native god clearly revered by the Romans. The flanking altars are casts of originals in the same museum. The temple was destroyed by fire in AD 196 and was not reoccupied. The site was excavated by G. W. Rendell in 1862. This revealed three burials laid in the apse, after the temple's ruin, which are believed to be post-Roman.
More information : (NZ 2171164673) ROMAN TEMPLE (G.S.C.) (Remains of) (1)

The temple of Antenociticus was of simple apsidal type. Its rectangular body measured 15ft 9ins by 23ft overall and the apse, 5ft across, projected 6ft on the south side. According to Lewis, the temple may have been built soon after the construction of the fort (A.D. 122-4) - a date suggested by the altars, burnt tiles and a charred beam found on the site. It was destroyed by fire in A.D. 196 and was not reoccupied. Three burials laid in the apse, after its ruin, may be post-Roman. (2)

The temple's remains are still visible on the site. (3)

The complete footings of the temple are preserved on view. Two altar casts flank the apse, the originals being in the Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle. See G.P.s (4)

Three altars from the temple descrbed in detail. Nos. 1327-9 inclusive. All are in the Balck Gate Museum, Newcastle. (5)

The Temple of Antenociticus, also known as 'Benwell Roman Temple', was built in around A.D. 180. It is a small rectangle in plan with a south apse. The walls still stand to about half a metre in height and are constructed of sandstone rubble with ashlar facing. The doorway to the temple was situated in the east wall. The apse contains the base of a cult statue of which, the head is now in Museum of Antiquities, Barras Bridge, Newcastle. The flanking altars are casts of originals in the same museum. (6)

Antenociticus was a native god clearly revered by the Romans. The head of the statue shows the deity with curlying hair, two locks of which curve around the crown of the head and possibly depict two stag antlers. There is a torc around the neck. The altars flanking the apse were dedicated to the god from Roman Officers, one from Tineius Longus, thanking him for having been promoted to Quaestor. These date to around A.D. 180 and it is probable that the temple was erected at this time. The relationship of the Vallum to the temple suggests that there may have been an earlier Celtic sarcred site on this spot prior to Roman occupation. (7)

Located on the English Heritage map of Hadrian's Wall 2010. (8)

Scheduled (9)

Basic directions for visitors: Immediately south of A69, at Benwell in Broomridge Avenue, OS Map 88, ref NZ 217 647. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:1250 1959
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Source Number : 2
Source : Temples in Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 72-3
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Bruce J C 1966 Handbook to the Roman Wall 12th ed.
Page(s) : 53
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RWE 04-JAN-68
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Source Number : 5
Source : The Roman inscriptions of Britain, 1. Inscriptions on stone
Source details :
Page(s) : 439-440
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Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : District of Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear: 30.3.87
Page(s) : 48
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Source Number : 7
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : 2008. The Museum of Antiquities Catalogue. http://museums.ncl.ac.uk/archive/old_fotm/old_fotms95/antenoc.html [Accessed 28-JUL-2008]
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Source Number : 8
Source : An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall, 1:25,000 scale
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Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
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Source Number : 10
Source : Heritage unlocked: Guide to free sites in Yorkshire and the north east
Source details :
Page(s) : 81-82,
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Built between A.D. 124 and A.D. 180
Monument End Date : 180
Monument Start Date : 124
Monument Type : Temple
Evidence : Demolished Building, Find, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Post-Roman Burials
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 411
Monument Type : Burial
Evidence : Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Temple
Object Type : ALTAR, STATUE
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : TW 28(12)
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 304438
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB)
External Cross Reference Number : 1327
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB)
External Cross Reference Number : 1328
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB)
External Cross Reference Number : 1329
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 79
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 26 SW 69
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 911986
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1156375
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, TEMPLE OF ANTENOCITICUS, BENWELL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1862-01-01
End Date : 1862-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 26 SW 69
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-01-04
End Date : 1968-01-04