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Easton Grey Roman Town

Hob Uid: 208581
Location :
Wiltshire
Easton Grey
Grid Ref : ST8894087127
Summary : The Roman town of Easton Grey, referred to in some previous sources as White Walls, is visible as earthworks and cropmarks on aerial photographs. The name 'White Walls' more correctly refers to the Medieval moated site located just to the north (208589). This record now refers to the central area of town earthworks, bounded by Foss Way (1164946) to the east and the River Avon (Sherston Branch) to the south. These earthworks were surveyed by the RCHME. Outlying areas of settlement are described in the following child records: 1522375, 1522384, 1522387, 1522409, 1522413 and 1522416. This site has been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the Cotswold Hills National Mapping Programme.
More information : (ST 890 871) ROMANO-BRITISH SETTLEMENT (G.S.) (Site of) (1)

Referring to the site as the city of White Walls, Collinson mentions a stone wall with four gates enclosing foundations of buildings where many Roman coins, including Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Faustina have been found. (2)

Irregularities of the soil are shown on a plan and Roman coins turned
up by the plough are mentioned, by Colt Hoare in 1821, on both sides
of the Avon in parishes Easton Grey and Foxley (now Norton). He
includes a stone relief and the head of a female stone statue which
were found about 1810 in the stone quarry of a Mr. Smith, who owned
part of the site. Hoare gives the site the fictitious name
Mutuantonis which appeared on O.S. maps until 1923. (3)

In 1931 a trench for a water pipe line cut across the site and
Passmore reported pottery, including Samian, of 1st to 4th century
and coins (some found previously) from Caesar to Constantine.

He also described a section through the Fosse Way with a causeway and
possible bridge abutment - see (5a) for plans and sections. (4-5)

Rectilinear markings are visible in the area ST 88758690 on air-
photographs (6).

Finds in Malmesbury, Devizes and the Ashmolean Musuems probably
include the coins or brooches found at 'Twatley'. (7)

Passmore says the name White Walls more properly applies to the
earthwork to the North (ST 88 NE 4). (2-7)

Visited 15.5.56 with G. Webster. The natural site for settlement
would be the bluff in Park Hill (ST 890 873), the valley bottom being
damp and the ascent on the south side of the river too steep.
The finds of 1931 came mainly from the area ST 8905 8723. (8-8a)

There are no indications of this settlement on the ground; the fields are under pasture and the cropmarks not visible.

The stone statue was re-discovered about 10 years ago and is now in
Devizes Museum. Pottery and other finds from the 1931 excavations
are in Malmesbury Museum. (9)

Nothing visible on the ground or on air photographs. (10-10a)

A rapid examination of air photography (11a) shows a number of linear features, enclosures and trackways around ST 891 872 and ST 888 867, presumably part of the town. (11)

Earthwork survey carried out in October 1997 on the southern part of the site on the bluffs overlooking the River Sherston revealed up to 12 sub-rectangular depressions and a number of terraced platforms lying over `Celtic' fields. These may represent building hollows and accompanying garden plots or parts of domestic compounds.

The Roman road bounds the site in the east, but is degraded by holloways following the same course. On the floodplain the axis by which the road approached the river crossing is obscured, although small hollows in this area may indicate robbing of materials from the road. (12)

The site was intensively fieldwalked by Mike Stone under the auspices of the Swindon Arch Soc in 1975-6, as a result of which it was scheduled. Finds were deposited in Devizes Museum. (13)

Easton Grey Roman town is a roadside settlement along the Foss Way (1164649), and consists of earthworks and cropmarks in several fields. The town measures 1.5 kilometres long, and up to 700 metres wide. For clarity, and as part of the Cotswold Hills National Mapping Programme, this record will be made the parent record, with child records describing different areas of the settlement.

This record describes the part of the Roman town surveyed by the RCHME in 1997. It is bounded by the Foss Way to the east, and by the Avon (Sherston Branch) to the south. A probable building platform defined by a scarp and a pair of probable boundary banks are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. The extensive urban survey report by Wiltshire County Council summarises work on the site up until 2004 (see source 15)

The `rectilinear markings' described above by authority 6 are recorded as 1001421.

A. An area of roadside settlement mentioned above by authority 11 in the vicinity of ST 891 872 has been recorded as (1522375).

B. An area of roadside settlement mentioned above by authority 11 in the vicinity of ST 888 867 has been recorded as (1522384).

C. An area of roadside settlement in the vicinity of ST 890 873 has been recorded as (1522387).

D. An area of roadside settlement in the vicinity of ST 892 873 has been recorded as (1522409).

E. An area of enclosures and possible crofts in the vicinity of ST 888 871 has been recorded as (1522413). These may be Medieval or Post Medieval.

F. A pair of roads or trackways in the vicinity of ST 888 867 have been recorded as (1522416). These may be Medieval or Post Medieval (14-15).



Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" Provisional edition 1955
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Collinson, J 1741 History of Somerset 1 100
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Source Number : 9
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JPalmer/01-FEB-1968/OS Archaeol Division Field Investigation
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Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 JGBarton/23-MAY-1979/OS Archaeol Division Field Investigation
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Source Number : 10a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : APs (OS/76/153/045-046)
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Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Andrew Miller/25-MAR-1993/RCHME: AP Primary Recording Project
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Source Number : 11a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : NMR 824: 7-11, 31, 33-6; NMR 835: 274-7; NMR 1143: 4-7, 14-7; NMR 1165: 137-43; NMR: 1301: 248-53; NMR 2122: 1064-6, 1073-5; NMR 4368: 36A; NMR 4583: 30
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Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : D. Field/Oct-1997/RCHME:FIELD SURVEY EASTON GREY
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Source Number : 13
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Wiltshire Sites and Monuments Record
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR ST 8887/28-29 NMR 23422/04-05 01-MAR-2004
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Source Number : 15
Source : Easton Grey: An Archaeology of Wiltshire's towns: An extensive Urban Survey.
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Source : Easton Grey/ink survey
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Colt Hoare, R 1821 Ancient Wiltshire 2 100-1 plan 99
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Source : Easton Grey
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Passmore, AD 1932-4 WAM 46 270-2
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : VCH Wilts 1 1957 50 68 (L V Grinsell)
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Source Number : 5a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : MSS Devizes WAS Library
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Cambridge University Collection (J K St. Joseph)
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : WAM 33 1904 331-2
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : A L F Rivet A.A.O. 25.5.1956
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Source Number : 8a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : A Lea, Abbey Row, Malmesbury
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Settlement, Town, Building Platform, Boundary Bank
Evidence : Cropmark, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 12046
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 892
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 300
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 88 NE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1522375
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1522384
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1522387
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1522409
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1522413
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1522416
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WHITE WALLS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1968-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 88 NE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-02-01
End Date : 1968-02-01
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 88 NE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1979-05-23
End Date : 1979-05-23
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: AIR PHOTOGRAPH PRIMARY RECORDING PROJECT 1992-1996
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHITEWALLS WOOD
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: EASTON GREY FIELD SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-10-01
End Date : 1997-10-01
Associated Activities : Primary, WHITEWALLS, EASTON GREY
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EASTON GREY WATER MAIN
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE COTSWOLD HILLS (SOUTH COTSWOLDS) NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-10-01
End Date : 2010-10-01