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Historic England Research Records

Wall Mansio

Hob Uid: 304414
Location :
Staffordshire
Lichfield
Wall
Grid Ref : SK0981606598
Summary : The Roman guest house (mansio) at Wall (Letocetum), built to serve couriers of the imperial post system (cursus publicus) as they passed along Watling Street. It is likely that other officials and private citizens would also have been allowed to stay there, and the buildings may also have had some administrative purposes. The guest house had bedrooms, offices, an overseer's suite, dining room, kitchen, and guest rooms above. The guest house (and bath house with which it would have once formed a complex) are not aligned with Watling Street, and were situated on the hillside alongside a route running to the forts on the hilltop, a route which may have had an Iron Age origin. There were three phases of the mansio, with the first two phases built of timber and comprising rooms laid out around an open, inner courtyard. Phase 1 was built in circa 80 AD; Phase 2 was built between 110 and 120 AD following destruction of the original guest house in a fire. Phase 2 included a large well in the middle of the courtyard and excavations retrieved many artefacts from it, including painted plaster. The well may have held some kind of religious significance. The third and final phase was built in the 170s AD, and the remains visible at the site today relate to this period; it was partly constructed of re-used stone from an earlier Romano-British shrine/temple. This final phase of stone guest house was destroyed in the early to mid 3rd century AD, and the site was not used after this time. Visitors henceforth presumably lodged in private houses, and the lack of a mansio probably highlights the difficulties in raising money from the local tribes to maintain the imperial infrastructure.
More information : (NAME: SK 09720667) The Butts (Remains of Roman Buildings found) (NAT) (1)

A Roman courtyard building discovered in 1873, excavated in 1912 - see plan. (2-3)

Excavations in progress by A A Round, revealing wall foundations.
Surveyed at 1:2500 at SK 09830660. (4)

Excavations are continuing. Almost the entire building planned in 1912 is now revealed. The walls, averaging 0.9m in width are being left exposed to an average height of 1.0m. National Trust Property.
Surveyed at 1:2500 on MSD. (5)

ST 8 Group of Roman buildings west of Forts at Wall, including baths (SK 00 NE 2) and building formerly described as a villa or mansio. 'The Butts', a large area north of these buildings, is also scheduled. (6)

The Roman guest house (mansio) at Wall (Letocetum), built to serve couriers of the imperial post system (cursus publicus) as they passed along Watling Street. It is likely that other officials and private citizens would also have been allowed to stay there, and the buildings may also have had some administrative purposes. The guest house had bedrooms, offices, an overseer's suite, dining room, kitchen, and guest rooms above. The guest house (and bath house with which it would have once formed a complex) are not aligned with Watling Street, and were situated on the hillside alongside a route running to the forts on the hilltop, a route which may have had an Iron Age origin.
There were three phases of the mansio, with the first two phases built of timber and comprising rooms laid out around an open, inner courtyard. Phase 1 was built in circa 80 AD; Phase 2 was built between 110 and 120 AD following destruction of the original guest house in a fire. Phase 2 included a large well in the middle of the courtyard and excavations retrieved many artefacts from it, including painted plaster. The well may have held some kind of religious significance. The third and final phase was built in the 170s AD, and the remains visible at the site today relate to this period; it was partly constructed of re-used stone from an earlier Romano-British shrine/temple. This final phase of stone guest house was destroyed in the early to mid 3rd century AD, and the site was not used after this time. Visitors henceforth presumably lodged in private houses, and the lack of a mansio probably highlights the difficulties in raising money from the local tribes to maintain the imperial infrastructure. (7)

Scheduled. (8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1921-38.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeological Society
Source details : (J N Bagnell)
Page(s) : 38-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 4, 1873
Source Number : 3
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : (C Lynam)
Page(s) : 360
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 71, 1914
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DJC 25-FEB-74
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 DJC 24-SEP-76
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 173
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : no.1
Source Number : 7
Source : Wall Roman site, Staffordshire
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Lichfield.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Phase 2
Monument End Date : 120
Monument Start Date : 110
Monument Type : Mansio, Courtyard, Well, Shrine
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Phase 3
Monument End Date : 179
Monument Start Date : 170
Monument Type : Mansio, Courtyard
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Destroyed by early/mid C3rd
Monument End Date : 250
Monument Start Date : 200
Monument Type : Mansio, Courtyard
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Built circa 80 AD
Monument End Date : 85
Monument Start Date : 70
Monument Type : Mansio, Courtyard
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ST 15
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Staffordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 33
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 356
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SK 00 NE 3
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 304407
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 304404
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, BUTTS FIELD (LETOCETUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1912-01-01
End Date : 1914-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BATHS (LETOCETUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 00 NE 3
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-02-25
End Date : 1974-02-25
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 00 NE 3
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1976-09-24
End Date : 1976-09-24