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Historic England Research Records

The Castles

Hob Uid: 364460
Location :
Cambridgeshire
Huntingdonshire
Chesterton
Grid Ref : TL1210096900
Summary : Roman enclosed settlement - part of larger complex of Dvrobrivae. Late 2nd century. Strengthened for artillery AD 370. Burial mound - late or post Roman. Scheduled.
More information : (TL 121969) The Castles (NAT) DVROBRIVAE ROMAN TOWN (R)
(TL 12159676) Mound (NAT)

Durobrivae was a Romano-British market town which grew up to supply
the needs of the soldiers at the nearby fort (TL 19 NW 60) and of
travellers on Ermine Street (RR 2b,c) (4). The town lies on an
exceptionally long straight stretch of Ermine Street which runs
through the town on a prominent agger, transfixing it "like a skewer
through a rissole" (5) (see St Joseph air photograph AU 48).
Settlement probably began as an unplanned ribbon development and
was enclosed at a later date, giving rise to the irregular street
pattern visible on air photographs.

The defences are built in the shape of an irregular hexagon and
enclose about 44 acres (17.3ha) (3). They were erected in the
late second century and comprised a clay bank with a stone wall
that was probably contemporary (3,7). No trace of the stone wall
now exists, but Stukely noted traces of masonry and recorded the
discovery of a south east gateway of stone in 1739. Other gateways
were situated at the north corner and midway along the south west
side. The walls were strengthened for artillery about AD 370 (4).
By the fourth century it had been promoted to civitas status (10).

Air photographs have revealed a complex pattern of streets with
closely packed buildings of timber and stone and indicate repeated
rebuilding of these structures (3,10). Artis (9) excavated within
the town and appears to have located 22 buildings but details of
these are scanty. The buildings included hypocausts walled with
herringbone masonry and were, in at least one case, lined with
slabs of Alwalton marble and white tesserae (2). Near the town
centre, south of Ermine Street but not aligned on it, lies a large
courtyard house which may have been a public building and could
be a mansio (3,6).

The mound within the town walls was found to contain skeletons
representing at least twenty bodies, thrown in haphazardly at the
same time. A few late Roman sherds in the earth of the mound
suggests late Roman or post Roman date (2).

For application of name "Dvrobrivae" and details of the extra
mural settlement, see TL 19 NW 1, 63, 64, 76.

Published survey (1:2500) revised.

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1958
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Huntingdonshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 52-4,56
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JB 05-NOV-68
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : J P Wild
Page(s) : 145-7
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 131, 1974
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Romans in the Nene Valley 4-5 10 (J P Wild)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : British Archaeological Report (BAR) British series
Source details :
Page(s) : 9-10,23,25,58
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 15, 1975
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Civitas Caps Ro Brit 1966 25-6 photo (J S Wacher)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 139-40
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 48, 1958
Source Number : 8
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : St Joseph AU 48 J 76 JG 25
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Durobrivae of Antoninus 1828 (E T Artis)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Durobrivae 7 1979 19-21 plan (D Mackreth)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Barrow, Inhumation Cemetery, Enclosed Settlement
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Possibly Early Saxon
Monument End Date : 649
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Barrow, Inhumation Cemetery
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CB 130
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cambridgeshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1877
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 19 NW 62
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1031813
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 1035135
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, DUROBRIVAE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1820-01-01
End Date : 1827-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SITE 1, DUROBRIVAE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 19 NW 62
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-11-05
End Date : 1968-11-05