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Historic England Research Records

Neatham Roman Settlement

Hob Uid: 244074
Location :
Hampshire
East Hampshire
Alton
Grid Ref : SU7400041200
Summary : The site of a Roman settlement at Neatham. The amount of material found indicated an extensive settlement and its position, at the point where the Roman road from Chichester to Silchester crosses the River Wey, 11.5 miles from the mansio at Milland and 14.5 miles from Silchester, suggesting a posting station.Excavations indicated it was probably a small unplanned Roman town, covering about 20 hectares at along the course of the Roman road. Occupation of the site was continuous from the 1st century AD onwards, though the main phase seems to have been 3rd and 4th century. Buildings were mostly of timber, but remains of stone buildings of crude chalk block construction have been found, several apparently used as bronze smelting workshops. A "market" covering about 21 metres by 15 metres was discovered; thought to be a trading area because of the large number of 3rd and 4th century coins in the occupation layers. Limited excavation on the north boundary of the site revealed an aisled timber building of circa AD 270. A cemetery with five cremation burials, all with Samian and coarse ware, was dated to the late 1st/early 2nd century AD.
More information : (`A' SU 73924117) Roman Pottery found (NAT). (1)

Two pits or trenches cut by road contain bones and Roman sherds. (2)

(Area SU 74084110) There is a considerable amount of Romano-British material from Cuckoo's Corner in Alton Museum. All that is known about it is what is written on the accompanying labels, but some seems to come from a sewage trench dug along the main road in the vicinity of `A', i.e.

A rim sherd "found on the trench filling of the sewer on the rising ground just before Cuckoo's Corner (say 50 yds away coming from Holybourne", and about 30 small sherds "from the top of the bank on the north side of the main road between Cuckoo's Corner and the top of the short rise to Holybourne, 1936".

The great majority of the material, however, came from another sewage trench which ran S.W. from Cuckoo's Corner. This includes a tile fragment and 8 small sherds "found on the surface of the now filled in sewer trench between Cuckoo's Corner and the railway, i.e., north of the railway, August, 1935". The field, `B' to which this refers has recently been levelled preparatory to building operations, but nothing was seen there during field investigation: the stratification revealed there is c.3' of gravel overlying the chalk.

The main concentration seems to have been to the south of the railway, for the following material came from the sewer trench there:-

Several hundred sherds (mostly Alice Holt wares) and two fragments of roofing tile "found at a depth of 12-18" south of the railway line near sewer trenches." Animal bones and teeth "dug up...1935, by sewer trench south of railway in company with Roman coins, pottery etc.".

An antoninianus of Tetricus 11 (accession number 401. 33/30) and an AE 3 or 4, prob, of Constantine II, found to "south of railway by trench, 1935".

Other coins from Cuckoo's Corner, but with no indications as to exact site are:-

AE 3 of Constantine the Great, 1935, (Acc. No. 401. 33/45) coin, probably of Tetricus, 1935 (Acc. No. 401 33/28), sestertius of Trajan "found 6' down in a gravel pocket in chalk between Cuckoo's Corner and Neatham 1936". (Acc. No. 401.33/10)

The amount of material found indicates an extensive settlement and its position, at the point where the Roman road from Chichester, to Silchester, (R.R.155) crosses the River Wey, 11 1/2 miles from the mansio at Milland and 14 1/2 from Silchester, suggests a posting station.

Perambulation of the area, now mainly pasture, revealed no certain trace of the settlement; two tiny sherds were found in a mole cast by the side of the river at `C' and few tiny pottery and tile fragments at `D' where the line of the drainage trench cuts across the Roman road. (3)

`E' SU 74034123. I have two Roman coins which I found whilst working in my allotment garden. They have been identified by the British Museum as follows:-

(a) Coin of Constantius II found 1954.
(b) Coin of Constantius I of the Constantinopolis type, 330-7 A.D., found May 1956. (4)

No further information, Mr. G. Harn has moved from the area, and no further finds have been reported. (5)

Small unplanned Roman town covering about 13 hectares at SU 740412, along the course of the Roman road (RR 155); discovered in 1969 during construction of the Alton-by-pass, Occupation of the site was continuous from the 1st century AD onwards, though the main phase seems to have been 3rd and 4th century. Buildings were mostly of timber, but remains of stone buildings of crude chalk block construction have been found, several apparently used as bronze smelting workshops. A "market" covering about 21m. by 15m. at SU 74164097 was discovered; thought to be a trading area because of the large number of 3rd and 4th century coins in the occupation layers, and limited excavation on the north boundary of the site revealed an aisled timber building of circa AD 270. A cemetery, at about SU 74194108, with five cremation burials, all with Samian and coarse ware, was dated to the late 1st/early 2nd century AD. (6,7)

Presumed site of mansio. (8)

Excavations by the Farnham Museum Society have revealed two substantial pre-3rd century ditches, to the north of the main road (A31), forming part of a rectangular enclosure of about 6 1/2 acres (centred SU 73924131) bisected by the Roman road. It may be a fortlet or a posting station, perhaps established by the army in view of the military character of the ditches. A 3rd century building has been discovered in the NW corner of the enclosure (at SU 73854136). (9)

The Roman settlement, at Neatham, on the Silchester - Chichester road (RR 155) was identified in 1970 (a) with `VINDOMIS' (VINDONIUM) of the Antonine Itinerary but this has now been ascribed to the settlement at Wheatsheaf Inn (SU 54 NE 31). Neatham is now included, together with the Roman defended site at Iping (SU 82 NW 2) and the settlement at Nursling (SU 31 NE 20), as a possible location for `ONNA', recorded in the Ravenna Cosmography. (10)

Extension to Scheduled area No 489. Trial trenching has yielded large quantities of Roman pottery at depths up to 0.3m.

Scheduled area no. 584. It occupies the southern part of the Roman town and is crossed from north to south by the Silchester - Chichester Road. East of this trenching has shown traces of Roman terracing on the slope at depths up to 2.0m.

At least one building, next to the railway exists in this area. The town's cemetery which lay under the present bypass may extend into this area. (11)

The settlement at Neatham was a Romano-British `minor town' (probably a market town) about 20 ha., in extent, dominated by a rectangular defensive enclosure 220m. by 160m. (see plan). There is evidence of occupation from the 1st to the 4th century (the main activity being in the 3rd and 4th centuries) and slight pottery and coin evidence of its continuation into the 5th century.

The settlement lies on the Roman Road from Silchester to Chichester (RR 155) and excavations by D. Graham since 1970 have revealed indications of an east-west cross road, just south of the defended area, perhaps a section of a through road from Winchester to Ewell. Along both roads 2nd century timber buildings with foundation trenches were built, which in the 3rd century were replaced by buildings of post construction, later the whole area was cleared out and gravelled and sill-beam structures built.

The enclosure is dated late 2nd or early 3rd century; it has a double ditch and its entrance has been located. No evidence of military occupation was found. A bath-house of the later 3rd century now partly under the railway, was excavated on the southern boundary of the site. It formed part of a major structural sequence and was demolished in the late 4th century.

(Published as a minor settlement on RB4). (12-15)

Full excavation report, 1969-79. (16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1939
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Rev ONB 17
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE Arch Exc 1970 64 (D Graham)
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Source Number : 9
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Oral & plan (G H Cole Farnham Mus Soc 19.7.74)
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Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Place Names of Roman Britain 1979 179 431-2 (A L F Rivet & C Smith)
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Source Number : 10d
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 1 1970 61 (A L F Rivet)
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Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) Record Forms 3 12 1979 map
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Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 6 1975 213-18 278 (M Millett)
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Source Number : 13
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 8 1977 418 (S S Frere)
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Source Number : 14
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Arch in Hants Ann Rep 1979 10 (M Millett & G Cole)
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Source Number : 15
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Current Arch 52 Sept 1975 134-6 plan (M Millett)
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Source Number : 16
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Excavations on the RB small town of Neatham HFC Mono 3 1986 (M Millett and D Graham)
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Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : A H A Hogg
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 VJB 15-MAY-56
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 VJB 19-JUL-56
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Source Number : 4b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Mr G Harn 2 Church Lane Holybourne
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Source Number : 4c
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Descriptions written on envelopes containing coins
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F3 FGA 28-JUL-67
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hants Field Club Newsletter 2 No 3 1972 10 (D Graham)
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Plan (H Cole Farnham Museum Soc 19.7.74)
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 584
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 489
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 74 SW 14
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 74 SW 14
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1956-05-15
End Date : 1956-05-15
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 74 SW 14
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1956-07-19
End Date : 1956-07-19
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 74 SW 14
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1967-07-28
End Date : 1967-07-28
Associated Activities : Primary, CUCKOO'S CORNER, NEATHAM (ALTON BY PASS) (VINDOMI)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1969-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NEATHAM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CUCKOO'S CORNER, NEATHAM
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CUCKOO'S CORNER, NEATHAM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CUCKOO'S CORNER, NEATHAM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1979-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LONDON ROAD/CUCKOO'S CORNER, NEATHAM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CROUCHERS FACTORY SITE, LONDON ROAD
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CUCKOOS CORNER, NEATHAM
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31