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HER Number:MDV11112
Name:Roman Town at Seaton


Camden originally identified Seaton as the site of Roman settlement known as Moridunum mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary and the Ravenna Cosmography. Stukeley further suggested that the Roman town had been lost to coastal erosion. More recently the site of Honeyditches above the town has been suggested as the site of Moridunum. However, the distances to Exeter and Dorchester as recorded in the Antonine Itinerary challenge this identication.


Grid Reference:SY 24 89
Map Sheet:SY28NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSeaton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSEATON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY28NW/18
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SY28NW14
  • Pastscape: 449521

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SETTLEMENT? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SY28NW14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348466.

Stukeley, W., 1776, Itinerarium Curiosum, 54 (Monograph). SDV120084.

They say there were formerly many great foundations of houses visible nearer the sea than the present town, but now swallowed up, and in all likelihood, there stood the Roman city.

Anonymous, 1949, Untitled Source, 41 (Article in Serial). SDV346110.

Seaton identified as the Roman place name Moridunum in the Ravenna Cosmography.

Rivet, A. L. F., 1970, The British Section of the Antonine Itinerary, 61-62 (Article in Serial). SDV346111.

The name Moridunum should mean 'sea fort' and it has been suggested that it was at Seaton. The distance given between Exeter and Moridunum (15 Roman miles) together with the lay out of the Peutinger Table, which indicates that it was not on the coast to the east of Exeter, and the order of place names given in the Ravenna Cosmography, which also suggests an inland site, leads Rivet to conclude that Moridunum was not at Seaton, nor any other place on the coast.

Miles, H., 1977, The Honeyditches Roman Villa, Seaton, Devon, 147-148 (Article in Serial). SDV120057.

The mileage given in the Antonine Itinerary as 36 Roman miles from Durnovaria [Dorchester] and 15 from Isa Dumnoniorum [Exeter] indicates that Moridunum lies somewhere in East Devon. Miles points out that the majority of places in the itinerary are either towns or military sites and also that Seaton is not on any currently identified Roman road and suggests that the site of Moridunum should be sought further inland.

Maxfield, V. A., 1986, Devon and the End of the Fosse Frontier, 1-8 (Article in Serial). SDV118209.


Holbrook, N., 1987, Trial Excavations at Honeyditches and the Nature of the Roman Occupation at Seaton (Article in Serial). SDV120090.

Holbrook argues that the Honeyditches comples at Seaton may be Moridunum. He cites the presence of a possible fort at Couchill, together with the Honeyditches ?mansio lying less that 1 kilometre from a possible course of the Antonine Itinerary Iter XV, Exeter to Dorchester Road, as prima facie evidence for its identification.

Dixon, T. + Turton, S. D., 1995, Archaeological and Historical Appraisal of the Town of Seaton, East Devon, 4 (Report - non-specific). SDV120095.

Currie, C. K., 2000, An Archaeological Desk Based Assessment of The Underfleet, Seaton, 14 (Report - Assessment). SDV340343.

National Monuments Record, 2011, 449521 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV348467.

Seaton was suggested by Camden to be the site of Moridunum of the Antonine Itinerary, and Stukeley further suggested that the Roman town had been lost by coast erosion. An alternative local siting has been suggested at Honey Ditches. However, Rivet considered the Seaton identification to be incorrect, it being more than the Itinerary's 15 miles from Exeter, also on evidence derived from the Ravenna Cosmography and the Peutinger Table.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV118209Article in Serial: Maxfield, V. A.. 1986. Devon and the End of the Fosse Frontier. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 44. Paperback Volume. 1-8.
SDV120057Article in Serial: Miles, H.. 1977. The Honeyditches Roman Villa, Seaton, Devon. Britannia. 8. Paperback Volume. 147-148.
SDV120084Monograph: Stukeley, W.. 1776. Itinerarium Curiosum. Itinerarium Curiosum. Photocopy + Digital. 54. [Mapped feature: #2705 ]
SDV120090Article in Serial: Holbrook, N.. 1987. Trial Excavations at Honeyditches and the Nature of the Roman Occupation at Seaton. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 45. Paperback Volume.
SDV120095Report - non-specific: Dixon, T. + Turton, S. D.. 1995. Archaeological and Historical Appraisal of the Town of Seaton, East Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 95.69. A4 Grip Bound. 4.
SDV340343Report - Assessment: Currie, C. K.. 2000. An Archaeological Desk Based Assessment of The Underfleet, Seaton. CKC Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 14.
SDV346110Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1949. Archaeologia. 93. Unknown. 41.
SDV346111Article in Serial: Rivet, A. L. F.. 1970. The British Section of the Antonine Itinerary. Britannia. 1. Unknown. 61-62.
SDV348466Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SY28NW14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV348467National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 449521. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV14400Related to: Honeyditches Multiphase Settlement, Seaton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 20 2021 10:38AM