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Historic England Research Records

The Lunt Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 335746
Location :
Warwickshire
Warwick
Baginton
Grid Ref : SP3441075160
Summary : The site of the Roman fort at The Lunt. Excavations have revealed the existence of a fort with three phases of occupation, beginning with its construction in AD 60-64. Some earlier Iron Age remains have also been found. The earliest fort on the site was defended by a bank and ditch on its northern and western sides. The remains of timber buildings, including a number of barrack blocks, granaries, as well as the principia or main administration block which includes a regimental shrine and officers quarters have been found within the fort. Other features including rubbish and latrine pits and wells, and a number of bread ovens have also been found.The second phase saw a rebuilding of these structures on a different alignment and a large 30 metre diameter circular enclosure was built. This is thought to be a `gyrus' or `horse schooling ring'. Evidence for stables and a large number of horse fittings suggest that the garrison of the fort included a large cavalry contingent. The third and final phase saw changes to the southern boundary and a reduction in the size of the fort area There is some evidence that the site was used in the later 3rd century, though this was only short term use or as animal enclosures. Evidence of medieval hearths associated with metal smelting have also been found along with remains of ridge and furrow.In the late 20th century reconstructions of some of the fort buildings have been created on the original foundations. The site is open to public building.
More information : SP 343 752 'The Lunt a 1st c. Roman Fort. A long term research project excavation was begun in June 1966, with the object of providing data for a proposed reconstruction of the defences and internal buildings. (1-2)

Earlier excavations (1960-61) had revealed a double defensive Roman ditch system, the rampart having been removed by the plough, 1st century pottery was found in the ditches. Below was an earlier 'U' ditch containing pottery resembling local IA 'C' ware. Within the rampart the intervallum space contained clay-filled sleeper trenches, ovens and pits. One of the latter contained a group of Samian and 2 coins of AD 64. Finds from the recent excavation suggest the possibility of there having been at least two Roman forts on the site. A 35 ft. section of the turf rampart has now been reconstructed surmounted by a timber and wattle pale and fronted by the excavated and cleared rock out ditch. Both rampart and ditch will now be left for long term study. (The research area is permanently fenced). (3)

Reconstructed rampart surveyed at 1/1250, and probable perimeter of fort (derived from resistivity survey by B. Hobley) also plotted.

The research area is fenced and Coventry Museum hold the key. (4)

Excavations completed in 1973 revealed the existence of a fort with three phases of occupation, evidenced by coin and pottery finds from circa AD 60 to AD 74. The defences of the first period were not ascertained, but the size of the fort as built in Period II was about 500 feet by 350 feet, enclosing 3 1/2 acres, and the many horse trappings, additional granaries and buildings resembling stables, suggest use by cavalry units. An unusual feature, and the cause of the sinuous nature of the eastern defences, was a 107 ft diameter arena of uncertain purpose, but possibly a cavalry training area. A 2nd century ditch on the same alignment as the eastern defences of the Period II fort is suggested to represent an open area retained for the use of the army after the demolition of the fort at the end of Period III, or alternatively part of the defences of another fort, although the lack of 2nd century material indicates that any re-occupation at that time must have been of an ephemeral nature. No evidence of pre-Roman occupation was found on the site, nor any evidence of domestic occupation in the Roman period. Five or six Medieval iron-smelting furnaces were discovered about 4 feet above the Roman level. (5-6)

Final excavation report with conclusions, as above. (7)

The final reoccupation of the fort had originally been dated to the early second century. However a coin securely stratified within one of the post-pits of the final phase of the southern gateway was later identified as that of Gallienus (260-268). The only features attributable to this late third century phase are the gateway and a very wide round-bottomed ditch. (8)

Note on further excavation at the fort.(9)

Additional bibliography.(10)

Note on further excavation at the fort. (11)

Scheduled. Information used to create the summary of this record comes from the scheduled monument description. Please see the online designation record for this site on The National Heritage List for England. (12-13)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : West Midlands annual archaeological news sheet
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 9, 1966
Source Number : 2
Source : West Midlands annual archaeological news sheet
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 3, 1960
Source Number : 11
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 286
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 16, 1985
Source Number : 12
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Schedule amendment 18-JUL-2000
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : English Heritage. 2011. The National Heritage List for England, [Accessed 21-JUL-2011]
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : West Midlands annual archaeological news sheet
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Plates : 4, 1961
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 FDC 25-MAR-68
Page(s) :
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Plates :
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Source Number : 5
Source : Birmingham and Midland Institute, Birmingham Archaeological Society transactions, excursions and reports
Source details : B Hobley
Page(s) : Jul-92
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 85, 1971
Source Number : 6
Source : West Midlands archaeological news sheet
Source details : B Hobley
Page(s) : 13-15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 16, 1973
Source Number : 7
Source : Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society transactions
Source details : B Hobley
Page(s) : Jan-56
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 87 1975
Source Number : 8
Source : Current archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 275-6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 44, 1974
Source Number : 9
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : Frere SS
Page(s) : 295
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 15, 1984
Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Johnson A 1983. Roman Forts 79,129,140,146,191-2,248-9.
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Period : Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Ditch
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WA 126
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Warwickshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 2673
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Warwickshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 00002674/2673
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 30057
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1017245
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 37 NW 25
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, THE LUNT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1961-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE LUNT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1966-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 37 NW 25
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-03-25
End Date : 1968-03-25
Associated Activities : Primary, THE LUNT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE LUNT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE LUNT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE LUNT (CAR-PARK)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 7 COVENTRY ROAD
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31