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Historic England Research Records

Braughing Roman Town

Hob Uid: 367978
Location :
Hertfordshire
East Hertfordshire
Braughing
Grid Ref : TL3880024200
Summary : A small Roman town at Braughing close by the junction of Ermine Street with Stane Street and two other Roman roads. Its stone-built nucleus is in Wickham Field; together with a surrounding area of timber building, some of which was used for working in iron, bronze and bone. There are a number of substantial buildings, including a bath house and a probable temple, with an orderly laid out pattern of streets. Much of the town is identifiable on air photographs and excavations were carried out between 1969-73. Occupation was continuous from before the Roman conquest to late 4th century, with coins ranging from mainly Tasciovanus (20 BC - AD10) to Arcadius (383-408). The town limits have not been established. Limited excavation during the laying of a water pipe at Wickham showed that the western end of the site lay in an area of deep riverine silt, suggesting a former course of the river. The East end, nearer the modern road revealed a series of ditches and pits dating from the Late Iron Age to Mediaeval Periods.Significantly, finds from the site covered the period from circa 30-45 AD, a period previously thought to have been a break in occupation of the area. Romano-British material extended into the 3rd century AD.
More information : TL 388242 ROMAN TOWN (R) (site of) NAT) (1)

A small Roman town at Braughing close by the junction of Ermine Street with Stane Street and two other Roman roads. Its stone built nucleus is in Wickham Field at TL 388241; together with a surrounding area of timber building of which some had been used for working in iron, bronze and bone. There are a number of substantial buildings, including a bath house at TL 39132428 and a probable temple at TL 38972424, with an orderly laid out pattern of streets (see plan). Much of the town is identifiable on air photographs and four major excavations were carried out by the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments, prior to proposed road works, between 1969-73. Prior to this only minor excavations and chance finds were made. Occupation was continuous from before the Roman conquest to late 4th century, with coins ranging from mainly Tasciovanus (20 BC - AD10) to Arcadius (383-408). The town limits have not been established, but a postulated line of defence was suggested by John Holmes in 1955
(see plan).

Proposed modern road works have been re-routed to avoid disturbing this settlement. (2)

Summary and excavation reports of work carried out at Braughing from 1968 to 1973. The paper includes reports on the excavation of the bathhouse (TL 39132428), the railway station site (TL 39002413), the Wickham Hill Nursery site (TL 389238) as well as a note on Samian stamps found in the River Rib. For excavations of two cemeteries see TL 32 SE 33; for excavation at Ralph Sadlier Middle School, Standon, see TL 32 SE 29 and for excavation of a cemetery at Ford Street, see TL 32 SE 7. The line of defences suggested by Holmes has been tested in two places, in both cases with negative results. (3)

Named on OS 1st edition 1" as AD FINES, but there is no reliable evidence for this name which is based on the forged Itinerary of Richard of Cirencester. (4-6)

Limited excavation during the laying of a water pipe from E-W across the scheduled area at Wickham Kennels in May 1982, (centred at TL39062435, derived from site location plan), showed that the western end of the site lay in an area of deep riverine silt, suggesting a former course of the R. Rib. The East end, nearer the modern road, (B1368, thought to lie on the route of Ermine Street), revealed a series of ditches and pits dating from the Late Iron Age to Mediaeval Periods.
Finds from the LIA occupation included fragments of three coin moulds containing traces of gold alloy. Significantly, finds from the site covered the period from ca.30-45 AD, a period previously thought to have been a break in occupation of the area. Romano-British material extended into the C3rd AD. A rubbish pit was cut in the C11th-C12th.(7)

General discussion of the origin and status of the Braughing complex. The site cannot be properly described as an oppidum in the currently accepted sense, although there is some evidence to support its status as a royal centre, an entreport, or a regular market in the pre-Conquest period.(8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1960
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The "small towns" of Roman Britain : papers presented to a conference, Oxford 1975
Source details :
Page(s) : 13, 37, PLANS, 139-157
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 15
Source Number : 3
Source : Hertfordshire archaeology
Source details : (C Partridge et al)
Page(s) : 22-68, 90-8, 103-8, PLANS, ILLUS, PHOTOS
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 5, 1977
Source Number : 4
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : OS 1st Edn 1" 1835
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Hertfordshire, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 108-110
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Hertford, volume four
Source details :
Page(s) : 150-2
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Hertfordshire archaeology
Source details : (C Partridge)
Page(s) : 40-59
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8, 1980-2
Source Number : 8
Source : Hertfordshire archaeology
Source details : (S Trow)
Page(s) : 156-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 10, 1988

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Iron Age
Display Date : Late Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -100
Monument Type : Oppidum
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Town, Bath House, Temple
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Period : Late Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Oppidum
Object Type : COIN MOULD
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HT 75
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 87
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1099
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 6189
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 4221
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 6519
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 6434
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 4671
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1903
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 32 SE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1044742
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WICKHAM FIELD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1949-01-01
End Date : 1949-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ERMINE STREET (DRAGE'S MEAD)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, B1368 ROAD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1961-01-01
End Date : 1961-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ERMINE STREET (PUMP'S MEAD)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1961-01-01
End Date : 1961-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WICKHAM HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1969-01-01
End Date : 1969-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GRIGGS BRIDGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1969-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BRAUGHING STATION
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ERMINE STREET (PUMP'S MEAD)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WICKHAM HILL, BRAUGHING
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WICKHAM HILL NURSERY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WICKHAM KENNELS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 11 BUNTINGFORD ROAD,PUCKERIDGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BRAUGHING
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WICKHAM KENNELS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MENTLEY LANE EAST, PUCKERIDGE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31