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Historic England Research Records

Durobrivae

Hob Uid: 364291
Location :
Cambridgeshire
Huntingdonshire
Water Newton
Grid Ref : TL1100097000
Summary : Durobrivae was the centre of the largest industrial complex known in Roman Britain. It began as a small five-acre fort which was built shortly after AD 44, at the point where Ermine Street crossed the River Nene. Gradually a town grew up to serve the needs of the fort and of travellers on Ermine Street, and was enclosed by ramparts in the late 2nd century. At least three other roads joined Ermine Street at or near the town, and the River Nene was navigable. This meant that Dvrobrivae was within easy reach of London, East Anglia, the Midlands, and the North. The main industries carried on here were ironworking and, most importantly, pottery making. The industrial complex grew up on both sides of the river, but mainly on the north bank at Normangate Field, and eventually covered a much larger area than the town itself. Elaborate and expensive villas have been found, especially at Castor, indicating the success of the pottery industry. Dvrobrivae probably became a civitas capital - the civitas Corielsoliliorum. The area was extensively excavated by in the early 19th century, but since that time, no large scale excavation has taken place and most investigation has been done in advance of development. Air photography, however, has increased knowledge of the area and revealed many new sites, most important of which is the first century fort. The settlement declined rapidly at the beginning of the 5th century and Anglo-Saxon settlement appears to have been away from the Roman town.
More information : Dvrobrivae was the centre of the largest industrial complex known in Roman Britain. It began as a small five-acre fort
(TL 19 NW 60) which was built shortly after AD 44, at the point where Ermine Street (RR 2 b,c) crossed the River Nene. Gradually a town grew up to serve the needs of the fort and of travellers on Ermine Street, and was enclosed by ramparts in the late 2nd century (TL 19 NW 62). At least three other roads (RR 26, 250, 570, 571) joined Ermine Street at or near the town, and the River Nene was navigable. This meant that Dvrobrivae was within easy reach of London, East Anglia, the Midlands and the North. The main industries carried on here were ironworking and, most importantly, pottery making (TL 19 NW 64 ). The industrial complex grew up on both sides of the river, but mainly on the north bank at Normangate Field (TL 19 NW 76), and eventually covered a much larger area than the town itself. Elaborate and expensive villas have been found, especially at Castor (TL 19 NW 63), indicating the success of the pottery industry. Dvrobrivae probably became a civitas capital - the civitas Corielsoliliorum (2,3).

The area was extensively excavated by E T Artis, a local antiquarian, in the early 19th century, (see map diagram) (6). Since that time, no large scale excavation has taken place and most investigation has been done in advance of development. Air photography, however, has increased knowledge of the area and revealed many new sites, most important of which is the first century fort (TL 19 NW 60).

The settlement declined rapidly at the beginning of the 5th century and Anglo-Saxon settlement appears to have been away from the Roman town.

The name "Dvrobrivae" is attested by potter's stamps on mortaria found in the area. It is also listed in the Antonine Itinerary and the Ravenna Cosmography. The name means the "fort at the ford" (1) or the "walled town with the bridges" (7). It presumably applied in the first instance to the five acre fort and later embraced the town and finally the whole complex as the settlement expanded.
See map diagram.

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ro in Nene Valley (J P Wild)
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Towns Ro Brit 1975 (J Wacher)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Small Towns Ro Brit BAR 15 1975 (eds Rodwell & Rowley) 9-10 (D R Wilson)
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Civitas Caps 1966 21-30 (J Wacher)
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Arch J 131 1974 140-170 photo plans (J P Wild)
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Durobrivae of Antoninus 1828 (E T Artis)
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 1 1970 72-3 (K Jackson)
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cambridgeshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1877
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CB 127
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CB 130
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cambridgeshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1901
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 19 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 364363
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 364409
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 364304
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 364385
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 364475
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Associated Monuments : 1035135
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Associated Monuments : 364369
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Associated Monuments : 361348
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Associated Monuments : 364099
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Associated Monuments : 364488
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Associated Monuments : 364448
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 364464
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 364465
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 364477
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Associated Monuments : 364436
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Associated Monuments : 364460
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Associated Monuments : 364479
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Associated Monuments : 364403
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Associated Monuments : 364298
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Associated Monuments : 364478
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Associated Monuments : 364439
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Associated Monuments : 364463
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Associated Monuments : 364476
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Associated Monuments : 364469
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Associated Monuments : 364342
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Associated Monuments : 364470
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Associated Monuments : 364366
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Associated Monuments : 364468
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Associated Monuments : 364445
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Associated Monuments : 364454
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, SITE 2, BILLING BROOK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SITES 3,4, KATE'S CABIN FARM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DUROBRIVAE,EXTRA-MURAL SETTLEMENT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1958-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DUROBRIVAE
Activity type : SYSTEMATIC FIELDWALKING SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST. KYNEBURGHA'S CHURCH (TIME TEAM)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31