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Historic England Research Records

Dubris

Hob Uid: 467771
Location :
Kent
Dover
Dover
Grid Ref : TR3183041310
Summary : The Roman fort of the Classis Britannica, near Albany Place. The Classis Britannica (the Roman fleet in Britain) adopted Dover as its major base on the British Coast for much of the second century AD, where it constructed a fort, harbour installations and two lighthouses. A vicus or civilian settlement developed to the north of the fort. The fort, two-thirds of which has been excavated, was occupied for three main periods in the second century, and was subject to rebuilding and repair in each period. Initial activity in the area of the fort, consisting of an open military settlement covering 0.5 ha, has been dated to circa AD 117. In AD 130-140 a fort covering 1 ha was completed for a garrison of 600-700 men, comprising a stone defensive wall, ditched on three sides, and a variety of internal buildings. This was abandoned circa AD 154-155. A second phase of occupation has been dated to AD 163-165 to AD 180, when substantial repairs and rebuilding works were carried out to the fort. A final phase of occupation dating to AD 190-200 to circa AD 208 also involved rebuilding works, perhaps to form a Saxon Shore fort. This monument is sited in the largely unexcavated south-western part of the fort, where it is considered that the most complete and undisturbed remains of the fort exist. It is probable that the principia, or headquarters building of the fort, and further barrack blocks exist here. Trial trenches at Albany Place were cut in 1980, and revealed a variety of important remains including burials, occupation deposits and the fort wall and south gate. Scheduled.
More information : Dover, the Dubris of the Antonine Itinerary and of the Notitia Dignitatum, has long been accepted as being a Saxon Shore fort and a probable base of the Classis Britannica but positive proof was not obtained until the 1970 excavations made on behalf of the MPBW. Partly underlying the Saxon Shore fort and to the south (centred TR 319413) was identified an earlier fort of which over 35 metres of wall, 1.17 metres thick, with a slight V-shaped ditch, was exposed. Six major buildings divided by at least four roads were found. Finds included more than 40 fragments of tile stamped: "CLBR". The discovery of the Classis Britannica fort proves the existence of a major naval base at Dover during at least the 2nd century AD, the earlier fort being largely or entirely superseded in the 3rd century by the "Saxon Shore" fort but the dates have not yet been clearly established. (1-3)

Three superimposed forts are known at Dover and the final excavation report on the two earliest forts has now appeared. Both are thought to be associated with the Classis Britannica. The earliest fort was apparently abandoned perhaps circa 117 AD before it had been completed. A second fort enclosing circa 2.5 acres (1hectare) was then built on the same site in about 130-140 AD and finally abandoned circa 210 AD. A Saxon Shore fort is the latest military occupation of the site. (4)

Further excavation of the forts and an early waterfront was undertaken by Brian Philp in 1982 within the Market Hall, Dover. (5)

DUBRIS - possibly the place was sometimes called PORTUS DUBRIS. Identified with the Roman fort at Dover. NOVUS PORTUS - source Ptolemy. The name is Latin, `new harbour' and almost certainly represents Dover as recorded in an early coastal survey. (6)

The fort of the Classis Britannica was situated to the south and west of the Saxon Shore fort and must have been in ruins at the time of its construction since the wall for the late 3rd century fort cuts through the barrack blocks of the earlier one. (See illustration cards). (7)

See illustration card. (8)

Notes on excavations in progress. (9)

Notes on excavations in progress. (10)

Structures found associated with the 2nd century fort. (11)

Rescue excavations in the town centre have discovered Roman buildings. (12)

Discovery of a military bathhouse outside the Classis Britannica fort and close to the Painted House. (13)

Details of a lecture given by B Philp. (14)

Report on further discoveries at Dover. (15)

Discovery of the fort of the Classis Britannica reported. (16)

More notes on the buildings of the fort of the Classis Britannica. (17)

Details of the Excavations. (18)

Further details of the excavations. (19)

Notes on the discovery of the east wall of the Classis Britannica fort and finds of the Saxon Shore fort. (20)

Mention of Dover as a naval base. (21)

At the Warehouse south site part of a chalk-built barrack block of the Classis Britannica Fort was found to have three construction periods. A number of hearths were found. The barrack had been cut by the south wall of the Saxon Shore fort. Information from Mr and Mrs Philp. (22)

A substantial masonry structure was found outside the north gate of the Classis Britannica Fort. It was probably a walled yard attached to the bath house excavated to the north in 1973. Other details of finds are provided. (23)

Notes on the defences of the Classis Britannica Fort. (24)

South-western section of the Roman fort of the Classis Britannica, near Albany Place, Dover. Scheduled. (25)

Saxon Shore fort bastion, Quen Street. Scheduled. (26)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : Amos and Wheeler
Page(s) : 47-58
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 86, 1929
Source Number : 2
Source : Kent archaeological review
Source details : B Philp
Page(s) : 74-86
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 23, 1971
Source Number : 11
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 424
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8, 1977
Source Number : 12
Source : Kent archaeological review
Source details : H Davies
Page(s) : 100
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 34, 1973
Source Number : 13
Source : Kent archaeological review
Source details : H Davies
Page(s) : 132
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 35, 1974
Source Number : 14
Source : Colchester Archaeological Group annual bulletin
Source details : B Philp
Page(s) : 16
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 16, 1973
Source Number : 15
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 322
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 4, 1973
Source Number : 16
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : BJ Philp
Page(s) : 234-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 87, 1972
Source Number : 17
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 351
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 3, 1972
Source Number : 18
Source : Archaeological excavations
Source details : B Philp
Page(s) : 48
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1973
Source Number : 19
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 366
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 12, 1981
Source Number : 20
Source : Kent archaeological review
Source details : E Mynott
Page(s) : 196
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 37, 1974
Source Number : 3
Source : Kent archaeological review
Source details : H Davies
Page(s) : 162
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 36, 1974
Source Number : 21
Source : Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 52, 56, 214
Figs. :
Plates : 58
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 22
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 471
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 9, 1978
Source Number : 23
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 376
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 7, 1976
Source Number : 24
Source : The Roman military defence of the British provinces in its later phases
Source details :
Page(s) : 6,9,12,13,14,17,20,25,29,52,53,137
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 101
Source Number : 25
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 31-Jul-86
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 26
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 12-Mar-90
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : The excavation of the Roman forts of the Classis Britannica at Dover, 1970-1977
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 3
Source Number : 5
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : SS Frere
Page(s) : 334-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 14, 1983
Source Number : 6
Source : The place-names of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 341, 428
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : The Roman forts of the Saxon Shore
Source details :
Page(s) : 10-12,51-3,65,68-9,99-102,104,109,115
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : The Saxon Shore
Source details :
Page(s) : 20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : no.18
Source Number : 9
Source : Archaeological excavations
Source details : B Philp
Page(s) : 20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1971
Source Number : 10
Source : Current archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 336
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1970

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Built AD 130-140
Monument End Date : 140
Monument Start Date : 130
Monument Type : Fort, Military Base, Naval Dockyard, Bath House
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Abandoned AD 154-5
Monument End Date : 155
Monument Start Date : 154
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : AD 163 to AD 180
Monument End Date : 180
Monument Start Date : 163
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : AD 190 to AD 280
Monument End Date : 280
Monument Start Date : 190
Monument Type : Saxon Shore Fort
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 12610
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : KE 315
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TR 34 SW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 468070
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, NEAR ST MARY'S CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1778-01-01
End Date : 1778-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHURCH STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1945-01-01
End Date : 1945-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHURCH STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1947-01-01
End Date : 1947-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, QUEEN STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PLAYGROUND SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CAR PARK SITE, QUEEN STREET (NORTH SIDE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SCHOOL YARD SITE, QUEEN STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAST LANE (LAST LANE/ADRIAN STREET)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, YORK STREET ROADWORKS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BATTLE OF BRITAIN HOMES SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CAUSE IS ALTERED SITE, PRINCES STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DURHAM HILL NORTH SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DURHAM HILL SOUTH SITE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1971-01-01
End Date : 1971-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, QUEEN STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BMW SITE, TAVENOR'S LANE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DADORNE HOUSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BARWICK'S YARD SITE, MARKET STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BACON FACTORY SITE, MARKET STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1977-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MARKET SQUARE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1977-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, COWGATE HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1977-01-01
End Date : 1977-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ALBANY PLACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1980-01-01
End Date : 1980-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MARKET STREET (EAST SIDE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHITE CLIFFS EXPERIENCE SITE, DOVER
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ALBANY PLACE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TIME AND TIDE THEATRE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SOUTH CRESCENT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHITE CLIFFS CENTRE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, UNITARIAN CHURCH, YORK STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, YORK STREET WATER MAIN
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND OFF COWGATE HILL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT MARKET SQUARE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT 1-7 COWGATE HILL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31