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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 444022

Hob Uid: 444022
Location :
Devon
West Devon
North Tawton
Grid Ref : SX6611099870
Summary : Earthwork remains of a Roman fort. In 1974 it was visible on the 450 ft contour on a slight west slope. It is 220.0 metres long, 165.0 metres wide and encloses approximately 2 hectares; the earthen bank is up to 0.9 metres high and the surviving ditch now only 0.4 metres deep. Of the two entrance gaps on the shorter sides one is clearly defined but the other is only vaguely discernible. Two opposing gaps "at thirds" along the longer sides can still be traced. An annexe on the west side of the main work has a strong bank and ditch on its south side and a poorly defined scarp and ditch on the north, both terminate at steep natural slopes. The suggested bath-house complex may have been located within this annexe or alternatively may have been sited on a level floodplain (centred at SX 65879982) beside the river. The latter would agree with the "burnt patch" description but there is nothing visible on the ground to substantiate either siting. The earthwork has been damaged by ploughing; by hedging (in the south-east corner); and by desultory surface digging (possibly for building stone). Now under permanent pasture; nothing has been found on the site in recent years. This fort is probably the Nemetostatio of the Ravenna Cosmography the suffix 'statio' implying that it became a tax-collecting centre. The root 'nimet', a Celtic word for a sanctuary or grove, shows that it was a sacred place in the Iron Age.
More information : (SX 66119987) ROMAN STATION (R) (1)

Probably an auxiliary fort, judging by its position beside a Roman road (?), the size (660 feet by 425 feet over the rampart crests), the dimensions of the rampart, curvature of angles and the presence of an annexe on the west rampart. There is a central gate in each of the shorter east and west sides, and a single gate in the south side. Of three gaps in the north rampart, only the middle one is likely to be original. (2)

Deep ploughing on the earthwork in 1958 revealed fragments of Roman coarse pottery, roofing tiles, and boxed flue tiles. The latter came from a burnt patch near the river, suggesting a bath-building furnace outside the main enclosure. None of the finds, now in Plymouth Museum, is of late Roman type, nor is there anything pre-Flavian. A mortarium fragment appears to be late 1st century. (3)

Undated Roman fort. (4)

Rectangular earthwork with annexe, of the right proportions for a 6 1/2 acre fort - sited to control a crossing of the Taw. This fort is probably the Nemetostatio of the Ravenna Cosmography (Arch 93 1949 42) the suffix 'statio' implying that it became a tax-collecting centre. The root 'nimet', a Celtic word for a sanctuary or grove, shows that it was a sacred place in the Iron Age. (5)

A probable auxiliary fort situated on the 450 ft contour on a slight west slope. It is 220.0 metres long, 165.0 metres wide and encloses approximately 2 hectares; the earthen bank is up to 0.9 metres high and the surviving ditch now only 0.4 metres deep. Of the two entrance gaps on the shorter sides one is clearly defined but the other is only vaguely discernible. Two opposing gaps "at thirds" along the longer sides can still be traced. An annexe on the west side of the main work has a strong bank and ditch on its south side and a poorly defined scarp and ditch on the north, both terminate at steep natural slopes. The suggested bath-house complex (3) may have been located within this annexe or alternatively may have been sited on a level floodplain (centred at SX 65879982) beside the river. The latter would agree with the "burnt patch" description (3) but there is nothing visible on the ground to substantiate either siting. The earthwork has been damaged by ploughing; by hedging (in the south-east corner); and by desultory surface digging (possibly for building stone). Now under permanent pasture; nothing has been found on the site in recent years (a).
Surveyed at 1/2500. (6)

Name 'NEMETO STATIO'? accepted for 4th. edition R.B.Map.

NEMETO STATIO (?) - Probably the Roman fort at North Tawton, Devon. A Roman temporary camp (SS 60SE 18) lies some 500m north of the fort at North Tawton. (7-8)

(See SS 70 NW 5 for an alternative location of Nemetostatio).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1963
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details : (JK St Joseph)
Page(s) : 98
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 48, 1958
Source Number : 3
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details : (Woolner and Ledger)
Page(s) : 174-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 91, 1959
Source Number : 4
Source : Britannia : a history of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 74
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : South-West England, 3500BC-AD600
Source details :
Page(s) : 164, 182
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 29-JUL-74
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Mr Dunn The Barton North Tawton
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : The place-names of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 424-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Roman frontier studies 1979: papers presented to the 12th International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 297-309
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : S71 (i)

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Shrine
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 69 NE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 69 NE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-07-29
End Date : 1974-07-29