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Historic England Research Records

Durocornovium

Hob Uid: 221858
Location :
Swindon
Covingham, Wanborough
Grid Ref : SU1938085350
Summary : Excavations uncovered the site of a possible Roman small town on Ermine Street - which has been identified as 'Durocornovium', though doubts exist about this place-name. It is visible as earthwork platforms. The site was occupied from the mid-1st century, though the coin evidence suggests that the period AD 244-367 was the main period for occupation. Courtyard buildings, strip buildings and part of Ermine Street have been uncovered. A late 2nd century coin hoard was found here in 1689, it consisted of 1600-2000 coins, none later than Commodus, AD 180-192.
More information : (SU 19308540) Roman Town (R) (Site of) (NAT) Roman Settlement (R) (1)

In the 17th c. Aubrey mentioned many ruined houses, black earth pottery etc. and a coin hoard found in a pot in 1689. This contained 1600-2000, coins, none later than Commodus (2nd c.) Hundreds of chance finds of coins have been made, mostly AE ranging throughout the Roman period with emphasis c. 244-367. Another hoard is recorded in 1873. Dozens of brooches and occupation debris have been unearthed and also casual interments, though no cemetery has been found. Hoare conjectured that it was Nidum, but is now generally accepted to be Durocornovium on the road from Corinium to Spinis and at the junction of the road to Cunetio. The area is flat, low lying, and on clay drained by a couple of minor streams. The extent of the settlement is undefined but it is approximately 1300m. N-S., and 500m E-W. Field clearance proceeded from Hoare's time onwards and there are now now surface indications of the settlement. Housing development has resulted in excavation by local societies and the MoPBW. MoPBW: Excavation at SU 19488521 in 1966 revealed Ro. road with wagon ruts. In 1967 a four roomed building was partly excavated and it may have more rooms and a flagged corridor. Three road surfaces were revealed; Ermin Street, a side road, and a 1st. c. road beneath the building at SU 19408526. Finds included over 200 coins, brooches, implements, and a stone statue of Mercury. A further building was found at SU 19408529. (Further work is intended). In this field five interments are said to have been found in recent years. In N. of same field Swindon Arch. Soc. excavated a side road and building structure at approximately SU 19308538 in 1967. (2-15)

Excavation in advance of housing development in 1966-8 showed that Ermine Street here (SU 19488521 ?) was constructed in the late 1st century to a width of 75 feet, and that a cambered stone surface 15 feet wide was built upon it in the 3rd century. Soon after the first metalling had been laid one of four buildings found was built upon it (SU 19408526 ?) which perhaps survived to the end of the 2nd century. Possibly a century later heavy metalling was laid over its west side leading to a semi-circular building, in a foundation trench of which was a statuette of Mercury. In the angle between a side street leading NE and Ermine Street (SU 19308538 ?) was a 3rd-4th century house of five rooms. (16)

Several more side streets to Ermine Street, SU 194854, were found in 1970 (17) and a number of strip-like buildings, presumably shops, were found in 1969 on each side of the main road, besides at least two courtyard houses. The earliest material found up to 1969 was of Nero-Flavian date (18) but in 1970 pre-Flavian finds pointed to an earlier settlement lying to the southeast (19). A possible cemetery site at SU 19338522 yielded five adult burials, three of children and at least two early 2nd century cremations (20). (17-20)

Scheduled WILTS 888. (See extent map).

Visited 27.8.75. (21)

DUROCORNOVIUM. Roman settlement at Nythe Farm, Wanborough. Though some Neronian 'terra Sigillate' has been found, excavation has not revealed an early Roman fort. (22)

The identification of Durocornovium as Wansborough is based upon Rivet's correction of a suspected error in the Antonine Itinerary, but on name evidence Ekwall was firmly of the opinion that the name was no more than an alternative to the Corinium Dubunnorum of the Ravenna Cosmography, and that both names refer to Cirencester. (23)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 25"
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Source Number : 1a
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1961
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Source Number : 10
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 275-6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 46
Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ancient Wilts. Roman Era 1821 R.C. Hoare
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Source Number : 12
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Mss. Note. A.D. Passmore. Devizes Museum.
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Source Number : 13
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Inf. E. Greenfield MoPBW.
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Inf. P. Broomfield, Swindon. Arch. Soc. Aug. 1968.
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Source Number : 15
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Inf. B. Phillips: Swindon Public Libraries Arch. Soc. Aug. 1968.
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Source Number : 16
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 201
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Vol(s) : 58, 1968
Source Number : 16a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Inf. E. Greenfield.
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Source Number : 17
Source : Council for British Archaeology : Group 12 (Wessex) & Group 13 (South West) : Archaeological review
Source details : (B. Phillips, Swindon Museum)
Page(s) : 30
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Vol(s) : 5, 1970
Source Number : 18
Source : Council for British Archaeology : Group 12 (Wessex) & Group 13 (South West) : Archaeological review
Source details : (J. Wacher)
Page(s) : 50
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Vol(s) : 4, 1969
Source Number : 2
Source : A history of Wiltshire: volume 1, part 1
Source details :
Page(s) : 117
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 19
Source : Council for British Archaeology : Group 12 (Wessex) & Group 13 (South West) : Archaeological review
Source details : (J. Wacher)
Page(s) : 30
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 5, 1970
Source Number : 20
Source : Council for British Archaeology : Group 12 (Wessex) & Group 13 (South West) : Archaeological review
Source details : (Swindon Museum)
Page(s) : 45
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Vol(s) : 7, 1972
Source Number : 21
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE (IAM) Record Form & Map, 1.9.75
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Source Number : 22
Source : The place-names of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 350
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Source Number : 23
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : (ALF Rivet)
Page(s) : 57
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1970
Source Number : 23b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Dictionary of English Place Names 1936 (Ekwall)
Page(s) : 108
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Source : SU 18 NE 8 (1968)
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Source Number : 3
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 122, 134
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Vol(s) : 7
Source Number : 4
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 344
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 11
Source Number : 5
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 155
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 14
Source Number : 6
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 344
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Vol(s) : 9
Source Number : 7
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 277-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 41
Source Number : 8
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 312
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 39
Source Number : 9
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 207
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 45

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 199
Monument Start Date : 180
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 399
Monument Start Date : 54
Monument Type : Settlement, Town, Road, Inhumation Cemetery, Cremation
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : COIN HOARD
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 300
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 888
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 301
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 18 NE 8
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1238201
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, NYTHE FARM LOWER WANBOROUGH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1966-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NYTHE FARM, LOWER WANBOROUGH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1969-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LOWER WANBOROUGH PLAIN
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LYNCROFT ESTATE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NYTHE FARM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NYTHE FARM LOWER WANBOROUGH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1975-01-01
End Date : 1975-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NYTHE FARM, LOWER WANBOROUGH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, COVINGHAM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, COVINGHAM, SWINDON
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1987-01-01
End Date : 1987-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, KINGFISHER DRIVE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SWINDON EASTERN VILLAGES
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND OFF STANLEY CLOSE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WANBOROUGH ROMAN TOWN
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND OFF STANLEY CLOSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31