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Historic England Research Records

Chesters Vicus

Hob Uid: 1012583
Location :
Northumberland
Humshaugh
Grid Ref : NY9110070000
Summary : The site of the remains of the Roman vicus associated with Chesters Roman Fort. It was found by excavation and features are visible as parchmarks. A Roman Altar was also found nearby. The vicus is probably in excess of 15 hectares, excluding the outlying cemeteries. The main concentration is to the south-east and south, with survey evidence of some settlement in the south-west. There appears to be a more irregular clustering of smal buildings to the south of the fort, more than one phase being discernible. To the south-east, the buildings are more regularly aligned north-south. More sructures can be seen lining a road running north-west, as far as the gardens of Chesters mansion. Air photographs also show structures as far south-west as the western boundary of the present Chesters estate. The location of the bath-house south-east of the fort may indicate that this area had semi-official status.
More information : (Previously recorded by the Ordnance Survey as NY 97 SW 5.5)

(Area NY 910 701) Civil settlement. (1)

Slight surface irregularities are apparent in the area, but no intelligible remains. (2)

An extensive vicus lies around the South of the fort. It is known largely from air photographs and there are few earthworks in the area except for broad ridge-and-furrow. A trench excavated by Clayton across the line of the road 100m S of the fort (3a) is still open and is the most prominent feature in the area. The parch marks of the vicus, which were first transcribed in 1965 (3b), are all to the S of Hadrians Wall on the relatively level ground to the E and S of the fort. A second transcription by RCHME in 1991 added a large amount of detail to that previously published and this is described in the archive account accompanying the RCHME 1:1000 survey of 1992-3. An altar has been found on the riverbank (3c) and a fragment of architectural masonry was found, also on the riverbank, in the course of the RCHME survey. (3)

Scheduled. (4)

Details of the surveys, documentary, and air photographic evidence for the extent of the vicus. (5)

A Roman vicus is visible as cropmarks on air photographs centred at NY 9110 7000. The 1991 RCHME Photogrammetric Survey (as described by authority 3) was digitised as part of the Hadrian's Wall WHS Mapping Project. The vicus lies to the south of the fort and the parchmarks cover an area of approximately 3.6ha. Two principal roads run from NY 9112 7006 to NY 9100 6992 and NY 9092 7013 to NY 9116 6996. Other more fragmentary roads are also visible dividing the vicus into insulae. Extensive cropmarks of buildings and other linear features are visible within these insulae.
(6-7)

A geophysical survey was undertaken in 2001 and 2003. The survey to the north and north-east of the fort showed few significant features. Evidence of possible enclosures or field systems indicates that agricultural activity took place prior to the construction of the fort, or on the fringes of the vicus during its occupation. (8)

Located on the English Heritage map of Hadrian's Wall 2010. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Birley, E 1959 Chesters Roman Fort. Ministry of Works.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 D Smith 15-OCT-67
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Hadrian's Wall 1999-2009
Source details :
Page(s) : 108-110
Figs. : 27
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall, 1:25,000 scale
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Mark Bowden and Humphrey Welfare/22-JAN-1993/RCHME: Chesters Roman Fort Survey.
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Wallis Budge, EA 1903 An Account of the Roman Antiquities Preserved in the Museum at Chesters. Gilbert and Rivington Ltd. London.
Page(s) : 120
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3b
Source : The frontier people of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 77-81
Figs. :
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Source Number : 3c
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details :
Page(s) : 115-26
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 5th series 7
Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 14-Jul-97
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : The Roman fort of Chesters and its environs
Source details :
Page(s) : 23-Jul
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Chesters Fort, vicus/ink AP transcription
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : CUCAP (RC8 HB 233) 30-Jul-1984
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Vicus, Altar
Evidence : Cropmark, Sub Surface Deposit, Earthwork, Find

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Hadrian's Wall Project Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 9169/13
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Hadrian's Wall Project Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 9170/26
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ND 28(17)
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 26051
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Northumberland)
External Cross Reference Number : 9337
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 97 SW 99
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1012587
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 19107
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, VALLUM SE AND SW OF THE FORT, CHESTERS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1903-01-01
End Date : 1903-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: HADRIAN'S WALL PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1993-08-01
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: CHESTERS ROMAN FORT SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-05-27
End Date : 1993-01-22
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: HADRIAN'S WALL WHS MAPPING PROJECT, NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31