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Historic England Research Records

Bremetennacum Veteranorum

Hob Uid: 43639
Location :
Lancashire
Ribble Valley
Ribchester
Grid Ref : SD6500035000
Summary : The earthwork remains of an Agricolan and later Roman fort and vicus. Excavations uncovered granaries, timber buildings, a pottery kiln, a bath house and pottery dating from AD 69 to the 4th century. The fort was probably adandoned in the later 2nd century AD. A Bronze Age enclosed cremation cemetery consisting of 5 urned burials was discovered.
More information : (Centred SD 650350) Ribchester (NAT) Bremetennacvman Fort (R) (1)

See pamphlet. (2)

The only structural remains are the eastern ends of two excavated granaries (see photographs) and the outer ditch on the SW side. The latter, virtually ploughed out, varies from 12.0m to 15.0m in width, and has a maximum depth of 1.0m. At one point a fragment of inner bank may represent the fort wall. (3)

Resurveyed at 1:2500. (4)

Condition of fort unchanged. Rescue excavation in the vicus during 1975 has revealed further evidence of four phase timber buildings associated with the usual domestic finds ie pottery etc.
Private excavation was also undertaken in the bath house in 1967 for which no information is available. The site, which is not under the jurisdiction of the National Trust is still open, but heavily overgrown. Published survey (24") revised. (5)

Name 'BREMETENNACVM VETERANORVM' accepted for 4th edition RB Map. (6)

In 1977 an area immediately N of the bath-house was excavated in advance of road building. Three principal features were discovered: a drainage channel running parallel to the N. wall of the bath-house, which had been filled in by 125 AD; a road linking the centre of the vicus to the bath-house and a small building alongside the road. The building measured 4 to 3m, had clay and cobble foundations and an entrance on the N. side. It produced a shallow platter, probably of Kimmeridge shale. Finds from the site as a whole were almost without exception of 2nd century date (7-10).
In 1978 excavations in advance of sewerage works examined a small area in the SW corner of the fort. At least 2 Flavian phases of buildings showed an arrangement substantially different from the Trajanic ones. Slight impressions representing timber sill-trenches, 3 parallel rows of stake-holes and more substantial wall-trenches over 1m deep were found. These buildings had been replaced by 2 barrack blocks, separated by a small road. Both buildings underwent considerable alteration in the second and third centuries and were finally rebuilt using stone-packed post-holes, perhaps in the early fourth century. The rooms examined in both barracks were probably centurions' quarters.
Fourth century pottery was found within a thick spread of black soil covering the disused barracks. The defences were sectioned. The Flavian defences included a turf and clay rampart resting on a corduroy of oak slats; either this rampart had been later strengthened or two forts are represented. In front were two V-shaped ditches. In the early second century a stone wall had been set into the front of the rampart, much of the front rampart material had been thrown into the two ditches, and another ditch with a palisade was cut further away from the fort wall. These had in turn been replaced later in the second century by a ditch and palisade closer to the line of the wall. Two other v-shaped ditches c.11m from the fort may have been contemporaneous with this. In the fourth century a further, flat-bottomed, ditch was cut 18.5m from the wall, through a long disused road. A further ditch running approx. E-W was located c.25m from the fort (8).
Excavations in 1980 in the vicus showed that the earliest Roman features were pre-Hadrianic pits and ditches associated with industrial processes. A substantial timber building may belong to the same phase. It was replaced in the late Antonine period by pits and gullies filled with domestic debris and slag. The N. limit of the vicus was defined by a timber-laced rampart, palisade and ditch aligned E-W. The rampart was refaced in the third century; later the defences were deliberately levelled. At SD 649350, c 15m north of the known fort, was found a timber-based turf rampart fronted by three large V-shaped ditches. since the rampart heel was cut by one of the fort ditches, these defences must belong to an earlier larger Agricolan fort. After deliberate levelling the area remained open, so that a cordon sanitaire 30m wide separated the fort from the southern limts of the vicus. (9). The place-name Bremetenacum Veteranorum is identified with the Roman fort at Ribchester. The form of the name and its identification is not in doubt as an inscription found at Ribchester on a monument to Apollo Maponus is dedicated for the welfare of the N(UMERI) EQ(UITUM) SAR(M(ATARUM)) BREMETENN(ACENSIUM) (11). (6-11)

SD 649348 and SD 649351. Ribchester. Roman fort, Bremetannacum. Scheduled No. 55. (12)

Evidence for the vicus has been uncovered some 260m north of the fort (SD 65083540), at the junction of Ribblesdale and Blackburn Roads. Excavations at Parsonage Avenue located the extreme edge of the vicus on the north side of the fort. The earliest evidence was of a Bronze Age cremation cemetery, with 5 identified urned burials within a shallow ditch: no evidence of a bank or mound. The vicus here had 2 phases of defences, and may represent a centralised veteran settlement, possibly semi-urban. (13)

Evidence for kiln(s) near Water Street - wasters found. (14)

Excavation report. (15)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:10000 1972
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ribchester The National Trust 1972
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : The place-names of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 277
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) Anc Mons England 1 1978
Page(s) : 33
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : Rural settlement in the Roman north
Source details :
Page(s) : 133-147
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : The pottery kilns of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 425
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 5
Source Number : 15
Source : Bremetenacum Excavations at Roman Ribchester 1980, 1989-1990
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 9
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 EG 28-FEB-58
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 RL 08-JAN-62
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F3 ISS 22-AUG-75
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : R2 DS 14-DEC-76
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 429
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 9, 1978
Source Number : 8
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 291
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 10, 1979
Source Number : 9
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 331
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 12, 1981
Source Number : 10
Source : Contrebis : bulletin of archaeology and local history for Lancashire and the north west
Source details :
Page(s) : 13-15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6, 1978

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Enclosed Cremation Cemetery
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 199
Monument Start Date : 69
Monument Type : Fort, Vicus, Town Defences, Pottery Kiln, Granary, Bath House, Building
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Fort, Vicus, Town Defences, Pottery Kiln, Granary, Bath House, Building
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : LA 55
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SD 63 NE 21
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Associated Activities : Primary, CHURCHGATES
Activity type : EXCAVATION
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Activity type : EXCAVATION
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End Date : 1908-12-31
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Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
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