HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV103778
Name:Roman Military Complex at North Tawton

Summary

the Roman military complex around The Barton on the east bank of the River Taw is one of the most important sites in the Roman occupation of the south-west in the period AD50-75. The complex includes temproary camps, a large fort and a smaller base, the latter still standing as an earthwork. There are also a number of prehistoric features in the general area.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 661 002
Map Sheet:SS60SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNorth Tawton
Civil ParishSouth Tawton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH TAWTON
Ecclesiastical ParishSAMPFORD COURTENAY
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH TAWTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILITARY SITE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Full description

Rivet, A. L. F. + Smith, C., 1979, The Place-Names of Roman Britain, 205, 254, 424-425 (Monograph). SDV274733.

The name Nemeto Statio is recorded in the British section of the Ravenna Cosmography, circa 700AD. It is identified as the fort at North Tawton. Nymet and Nemet place names survive in the area, from the Celtic word for sacred grove.


Todd, M., 2002, Roman Pottery from North Tawton (Un-published). SDV354818.

the Roman military complex at North Tawton is one of the most important sites in the Roman occupation of the south-west in the period AD50-75. The complex includes temproary camps, a large fort and a smaller base, the latter still standing as an earthwork.
Six pottery sherds were recovered by the writer from a shallow gully cut into the natural subsoil during examination of the water courses and field ditches following heavy rain and flooding in the autum of 2001. They comprised a bodysherd from an amphora probably of Spanish origin, tow sherds from a flagon probably dated to the first century AD, the rim of a jar in a dark grey, possibly Devon fabric and two sherds of first century Gaulish samian ware. [Exact locatation of gully unknown].


Passmore, A. J., 2003, Archaeological Recording During Gas Main Realignment South of Newland Mill, North Tawton (Report - Survey). SDV219497.


Passmore, A. J., 2005, A Roman Enclosure and Probable Roman Trackway at Newland Mill, North Tawton, 33-41 (Article in Serial). SDV344618.


Exeter Archaeology, 2005, Archaeological Recording on the Site of a Storm Water Storage Pond, The Barton, North Tawton, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV337563.


GSB Prospection, 2006, Roman Marching Camp, North Tawton (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV338954.


Gillard, M., 2009, The Barton, North Tawton, Devon: Results of Archaeological Excavations (Report - Excavation). SDV347928.

Excavation in advance of development comprising a warehouse extension and associated services and access road to the north of the existing commercial buildings showed that the archaeological remains on site had been truncated by ploughing. Nevertheless a number of pits and ditches were uncovered which radiocarbon dating and pottery suggest are early Roman in date. In particular the excavation confirmed the continuation of the western boundary ditch (ditch 164) of the Roman marching camp to the north. Radiocarbon dating is compatible with early Roman military occupation. The excavation also supports the possibility of a further military feature to the north-west (ditch 132) as suggested from aerial photographic evidence. A pair of cooking pits (120 and 220) were uncovered 65 metres to the west of ditch 164. The ceramic evidence from pit 120 is suggestive of an early, pre AD69 date. The radiocarbon dating of charcoal from 220 accords with this. The pits may have been related to but outside the marching camp or, alternatively, within an annexe or another camp of which ditch 132 was the northern boundary. A line of pits in the north-east of the excavated area lies within the known marching camp and are comparable to a line of pits excavated during previous investigations to the south. Plough damage and the lack of artefactual evidence from the pits renders conclusions regarding the function of the pits difficult. However, two sherds of Roman tile within the ploughsoil are suggestive of a structure on the site or nearby. Charcoal samples retrieved from Roman features contained a high percentage of wood that appeared to come from coppiced or managed woodland which has implications for the relationship between the Roman military, the landscape and its inhabitants during the early Roman period.


Gillard, M., 2009, The Barton, North Tawton, Devon: Results of Archaeological Excavations (Report - Excavation). SDV347928.


English Heritage, 2010, Air Photo Mapping (Aerial Photograph). SDV356702.


Stocker, S., 2010, Field Walk Report (Report - Survey). SDV348293.

Site visit 7th February 2010. Earthworks visible on ground coinciding with the location of the small fortlets within the larger double-ditched enclosure. Local ground conditions indicate that the forts were sited on higher and drier ground.


Stocker, S., 2010, Reconnaissance Field Walk, de Bathe Barton Farm (Report - Survey). SDV348292.

Site visit 28th December 2009. Low earthworks visible aligning on the east side of the fort located on the south side of the railway.


English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 118 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Roman forts, marching camps and associated monuments, North Tawton. Generally satisfactory but with significant localised problems. Declining. Principal vulnerability arable ploughing.


English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Roman forts, marching camps and associated monuments. The monument includes a complex of large Roman military enclosures together with a series of smaller enclosures and ring-ditches in fields around The Barton on the east bank of the River Taw. The military enclosures have been identified as two forts and two marching camps. One fort, immediately south of the Okehampton-Crediton railway line, survives as low earthworks, the second is in cultivated fields north of the line and is visible as cropmarks. The marching camps, which lie further north apparently enclosing The Barton, are also visible as cropmarks. The southernmost fort is limited by a low bank 0.4m high and 10m wide enclosing an area of about 2ha. To the south and east traces of a bank are visible. To the west is an extension or annexe of about 1ha. Immediately north of the fort, aerial photography has revealed a Roman roadway running east-west. The extent of the northernmost fort has been determined by aerial photography and survey. It appears to comprise at least two constructional phases and may reach 8-10ha in area, confirming its identity as a vexillation fortress. Three of the ring ditches lie to the north of The Barton, the fourth lies further south, at the north western angle of the northernmost fort. Unusually, three of the four have double concentric ditches, the fourth has a single ditch. They are identified as prehistoric funerary features, although, in view of their proximity to the military complex and their unusual double layout, they may be Roman military works. Additional cropmarks between the northernmost fort and The Barton are identified as prehistoric enclosures and land boundaries.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219497Report - Survey: Passmore, A. J.. 2003. Archaeological Recording During Gas Main Realignment South of Newland Mill, North Tawton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 03.25. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV274733Monograph: Rivet, A. L. F. + Smith, C.. 1979. The Place-Names of Roman Britain. The Place-Names of Roman Britain. Unknown. 205, 254, 424-425.
SDV337563Report - Watching Brief: Exeter Archaeology. 2005. Archaeological Recording on the Site of a Storm Water Storage Pond, The Barton, North Tawton, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 4956. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV338954Report - Geophysical Survey: GSB Prospection. 2006. Roman Marching Camp, North Tawton. GSB Prospection Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV344618Article in Serial: Passmore, A. J.. 2005. A Roman Enclosure and Probable Roman Trackway at Newland Mill, North Tawton. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 63. Paperback Volume. 33-41.
SDV347928Report - Excavation: Gillard, M.. 2009. The Barton, North Tawton, Devon: Results of Archaeological Excavations. Southwest Archaeology Report. 093005. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV348292Report - Survey: Stocker, S.. 2010. Reconnaissance Field Walk, de Bathe Barton Farm. Digital.
SDV348293Report - Survey: Stocker, S.. 2010. Field Walk Report. Digital.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. [Mapped feature: #63273 ]
SDV354818Un-published: Todd, M.. 2002. Roman Pottery from North Tawton. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 118.
SDV356702Aerial Photograph: English Heritage. 2010. Air Photo Mapping. National Mapping Programme. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV55835Parent of: Building within the North Tawton Roman military complex (Monument)
MDV104059Parent of: Cooking Pits to north of The Barton, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV121146Parent of: Cropmark ditches, northeast of The Barton, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV121124Parent of: Cropmark pit at The Barton, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV121137Parent of: Cropmark pit, southeast of Newland Cross, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV104694Parent of: Earthwork within the Roman Military Complex at North Tawton (Monument)
MDV121106Parent of: Earthworks adjacent to North Tawton Roman Fort (Monument)
MDV12035Parent of: FINDSPOT in the Parish of North Tawton (Find Spot)
MDV6843Parent of: FINDSPOT in the Parish of North Tawton (Find Spot)
MDV104064Parent of: Line of Pits in Roman Marching Camp to north of The Barton, North Tawton. (Monument)
MDV21137Parent of: Nemeto Statio, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV6841Parent of: North Tawton Roman Fort I (Monument)
MDV29193Parent of: North Tawton Roman Fort II (Monument)
MDV121139Parent of: Possible enclosure, south of The Barton, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV121122Parent of: Possible field boundary at The Barton, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV104017Parent of: Roman Fortress at North Tawton (Monument)
MDV4525Parent of: Roman Marching Camp north of The Barton, North Tawton I (Monument)
MDV70556Parent of: Roman Marching Camp North of The Barton, North Tawton II (Monument)
MDV121136Parent of: Roman military feature or field boundary, southwest of de Bathe Farm, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV71119Parent of: The Barton, Pits (Monument)
MDV70560Related to: ARTEFACT SCATTER in the Parish of North Tawton (Monument)
MDV1049Related to: Bathe Pool, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV123338Related to: Crossing Point of Taw River, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV55836Related to: ENCLOSURE in the Parish of North Tawton (Monument)
MDV121244Related to: Enclosure, north of Newland Mill House, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV66162Related to: FINDSPOT in the Parish of North Tawton (Find Spot)
MDV73058Related to: Flint Flake found at The Barton, North Tawton (Find Spot)
MDV29192Related to: Ring Ditch to south of The Barton, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV14517Related to: Ring Ditches North of The Barton, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV107141Related to: Roman Road from North Tawton Roman Fortress to Okehampton (Monument)
MDV6863Related to: Roman Road to East of North Tawton Fort (Monument)
MDV104053Related to: Roman Road to south of The Barton, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV122647Related to: Roman Road west of North Tawton Roman Fortress (Monument)
MDV67181Related to: TRACKWAY in the Parish of North Tawton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4129 - Archaeological Recording on the Site of a Storm Water Storage Pond, The Barton, North Tawton, Devon
  • EDV4269 - Geophysical Survey at The Barton, North Tawton
  • EDV4711 - Archaeological Recording During Gas Pipeline Realignment
  • EDV5378 - Excavations at The Barton, North Tawton (Ref: 093005)
  • EDV5670 - Reconnaissance Field Survey at de Bathe Barton Farm, North Tawton
  • EDV5671 - Field Survey South of Newland Mill

Date Last Edited:May 8 2019 3:53PM