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Historic England Research Records

Venta Belgarum

Hob Uid: 230572
Location :
Hampshire
Winchester
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SU4820029300
Summary : The site of an Iron Age oppidum and a Roman town. Though probably not densely occupied at the time of the Claudian invasion, the Oram's Arbour enclosure was located at a junction of routes which were in active use at this time. The area was important to communications and possibly as a centre for trade and other activities. Little is known about the earliest Roman settlement, although the relationships between some elements of the Iron Age enclosure and the circa 75 AD defences implies that the location remained important. One or more 'chalk islands' existed on the valley floor during the early Roman period and were occupied, and the main channel of the river Itchen flowed farther west than today. Considerable engineering operations were apparently undertaken by about AD 100 to provide a well-drained site in the valley bottom. This work may have been intrinsic to the construction of the forum and basilica, and the establishment of a street grid. It is possible that diversion of part of the main channel of the river and the construction of a complete circuit of defences to the west of the new channel, were the final stages in the development of the plan of the Civitas Capital, completed by the end of the 2nd century. It is possible that an early river channel, running northeast to southwest, provided the alignment seen in disparate parts of Roman Winchester.
More information : (SU 48202932) VENTA BELGARVM (R) (1)

VENTA. (2)

VENTA BELGARVM (Winchester) is mentioned by Ptolemy and the Ravenna Cosmography as a Civitas Capital. Its origin lies in a Belgic settlement, evidence for which is only coming to light now (SU 42 NE 121). The wall, which encloses an area of some 138 acres, was built c. AD. 200 partly on a pre-existing bank; the street plan of earlier date is now being revealed and the outer system suggests four gates at the cardinal points perhaps succeeded, as was the wall, by medieval gates. 'Turrets' mentioned by 18th c. and 18th c. writers, may refer to 4th c. bastions but evidence is still lacking. (3-6)

It always assumed that the Venta and its state weaving works of the Notitia Dignitatum referred to Winchester, but a recent article suggests that Caistor by Norwich (Venta Icenorum) may be the Venta in question. (7-8)

The continuing work of the Winchester Excavations Committee is produced in the form of 'Interim Reports' in Antiquaries Journal. (9-10)

For details of the Ro. wall, buildings, street plan etc. and Iron Age Pre-Roman sites see Map Diagram. (11-13)

Name 'VENTA BELGARVM' accepted for 4th edition R.B.Map.
Excavations at Winchester have continued in various parts of the city since 1968. The course of the Iron Age enclosure at Oram's Arbour (SU 42 NE 1.15) is now known on the north, west and south sides. The line of the Roman wall in the south-west corner has been shown to protrude as a salient from the line of the west side; the medieval castle wall followed it. Major cemeteries have been located at Lankhills (SU 43 SE 44), Hyde Street (SU 42 NE 1.1) and Chester Road to the east of the town. Roman buildings have been found at Wolvesey Castle (SU 42 NE 1.20), Lower Brook Street (SU 42 NE 1.19) and Cathedral Yard, as well as other sites and finds in and around the Roman town.
See map diagram and component cards.
Iron Age and Roman Winchester.
Tabular material omitted. (14)

SU 480 298. Oram's Arbour. Listed in gazetteer as a univallate hillfort covering 20ha. (15)

Report on excavations at Winchester in 1971. (Assize Courts North; Castle Yard; Winnall; City Road and Lankhills School). Contains conjectural plan of Oram's Arbour enclosure. (16)

Though probably not densely occupied at the time of the Claudian invasion, the Gram¿s Arbour enclosure was located at a junction of routes which were in active use at this time. The area was important to communications and possibly as a centre for trade and other activities. Little is known about the earliest Roman settlement, although the relationships between some elements of the Iron Age enclosure and the c 75 AD defences implies that the location remained important. One or more `chalk islands¿ existed on the valley floor during the early Roman period and were occupied, and the main channel of the river Itchen flowed farther west than today. Considerable engineering operations were apparently undertaken by about AD 100 to provide a well-drained site in the valley bottom. This work may have been intrinsic to the construction of the forum and basilica, and the establishment of a street grid. It is possible that diversion of part of the main channel of the river and the construction of a complete circuit of defences to the west of the new channel, were the final stages in the development of the plan of the Civitas Capital, completed by the end of the 2nd century. It is possible that an early river channel, running northeast to southwest, provided the alignment seen in disparate parts of Roman Winchester. (17)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1965
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : O.S. Southern Britain in the Iron Age
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Winchester Excavs 1965 in Antiqs J 46 1966 pp308-332 (Biddle)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 1967 p203 (S S Frere)
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Antiquity 40 157 1966 pp60-2
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 CDA 17-SEP-81
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : British Hillforts: an index
Source details :
Page(s) : 211
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 62
Source Number : 16
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : Vol 55 1975 (M Biddle)
Page(s) : 96-106
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 17
Source : Roman towns : the Wheeler inheritance: a review of 50 years' research
Source details : 'Roman Winchester', contribution by K E Qualmann
Page(s) : 66-77
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 93
Source Number : 3
Source : A history of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 285-93
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proc Hants Field Club 11 1930 pp169-188 (Hawkes)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Ancient Defences of Winchester 1952 (F Cottrill)
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proc Hants Field Club 22 1962 pp51-81 Winchester City Wall (B Cuncliffe)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Winchester Excavations 1949-60 1 (Cuncliffe)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Winchester Excavs 1961 in Archaeol J 119 1964 pp150-194 (Biddle & Quirk)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Winchester Excavs 1962 in Antiqs J 44 1964 pp188-219 (M Biddle)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Winchester Excavs 1964 in Antiqs J 45 1965 pp230-264 (Biddle)
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 247
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 42 NE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1911-01-01
End Date : 1911-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 42 NE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1918-09-17
End Date : 1981-09-17
Associated Activities : Primary, ST MARTIN'S CLOSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1930-01-01
End Date : 1930-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST MARTIN'S CLOSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1930-01-01
End Date : 1930-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1930-01-01
End Date : 1931-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE BLACK SWAN
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1935-01-01
End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WESTGATE CARPARK/COUNTY COUNCIL OFFICES
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1950-01-01
End Date : 1951-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, COLEBROOK STREET (TRENCHES 1,2 & 3)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1951-01-01
End Date : 1951-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MIDDLE BROOK STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1953-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PERRY'S GARAGE, ST GEORGE'S STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1953-01-01
End Date : 1953-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 5 MIDDLE BROOK STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1953-01-01
End Date : 1953-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WOOLWORTHS, ST GEORGES STREET (REAR)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1953-01-01
End Date : 1953-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST RUEL'S CHURCH, ST GEORGE'S STREET (SITE OF)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1954-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 8-9 ST GEORGE'S STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1954-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 8-9 ST GEORGE'S STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1954-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CURNOW'S STORE, ST GEORGE'S STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1954-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WESTGATE CARPARK/COUNTY COUNCIL OFFICES
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1955-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE GEORGE HOTEL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GEORGE HOTEL (GH56)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 82 HYDE STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1955-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 79 HIGH STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1955-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ROYAL OAK, ST GEORGE'S STREET (BRO 56)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PLUMMER RODDIS, 103-104 HIGH STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MIDDLEBROOK & WESTONS,ST GEORGES STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ALBISTON'S, ST GEORGE'S STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTH WALLS WEST OF DURNGATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1959-01-01
End Date : 1959-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FREDERICK PLACE, TOWER STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SHERIFF & WARDS, MARKET STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, STAPLE GARDENS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NUN'S WALK, SAXON ROAD (SITE 722)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1961-01-01
End Date : 1961-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTH WALLS POLICE STATION
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1961-01-01
End Date : 1961-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RUSSELL & BROMLEYS, 102 HIGH STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1962-01-01
End Date : 1962-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CATHEDRAL GREEN
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1962-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TEAGUE & KING, ST CLEMENT'S STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SAINSBURYS, SILVER HILL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HIGH STREET WEST
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WOLVESEY PALACE/WOLVESEY CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ASHLEY TERRACE/ORAM'S ARBOUR
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, STATION HILL (SITE 1294)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST THOMAS' PARISH HALL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK, 105 HIGH STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 118 HIGH STREET (WOOLWORTH'S EXTENSION)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LOWER BROOK STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ORAM'S ARBOUR/W OF ST PAUL'S HOSPITAL, (TRENCHES II-III)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ORAM'S ARBOUR, CLIFTON ROAD (TRENCH 1)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER STREET RESCUE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HEAD POST OFFICE, MIDDLE BROOK STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 41 HIGH STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ORAM'S ARBOUR, CLIFTON ROAD, (TRENCHES V-VII)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1966-01-01
End Date : 1967-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE YARD, WINCHESTER
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ASSIZE COURT,THE GREAT COURTYARD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE BLUE BOAR, 24-25 ST JOHN'S STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SOUTHGATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MARKS & SPENCER, HIGH STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, VICTORIA ROAD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1977-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HYDE STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1980-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NEW ROAD/STATION ROAD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 26 ST SWITHUN STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TRAFALGAR HOUSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 107-107A HIGH STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1975-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTER ROAD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1980-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 22-34 ROMSEY ROAD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1977-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HYDE STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1978-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CENTRAL CAR PARK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1978-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTH WALLS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1979-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MAGDALEN ALMSHOUSES
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1980-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, VICTORIA ROAD
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 1 ST JOHN'S STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST JOHN'S STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MAGDALEN ALMSHOUSES
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, STAPLE GARDENS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER HOUSE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HERMIT'S TOWER MOUND
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST MARTIN'S CLOSE, WINNALL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 27 JEWRY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HENLEY'S GARAGE, ST SWITHUN STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CROWN HOTEL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CARFAX, SUSSEX STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINNALL ALLOTMENTS
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SOUTHGATE HOTEL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 15 NORTH WALLS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 8 HIGH STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THEATRE ROYAL, JEWRY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OPPOSITE 56 TOWER STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST PAUL'S HOSPITAL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST PAUL'S HOSPITAL/ORAM'S ARBOUR ENCLOSURE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE DRILL HALL, HYDE CLOSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LANKHILLS SPECIAL SCHOOL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ORAM'S ARBOUR PARK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTH WALLS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GRANVILLE HOUSE, ST PETER STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31