HeritageGateway - Home
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:MDV62749
Name:Pomeroy Wood Fort, Gittisham

Summary

Roman military base and a Romano-British civil settlement. The military base was probably founded in the AD 60s and may have been abandoned in the AD 80s. The sites of both the fort and settlement extend north and south of the A30. The fort is small with an internal area of about 0.3 hectares and is perhaps better referred to as a fortlet. Its location, astride a major Roman road suggests that its function was connected in someway with the road.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 131 993
Map Sheet:SY19NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGittisham
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGITTISHAM

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Pomeroy Wood Fort. Roman fort and Romano-British settlement south east of Nag's Head Farm

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY19NW/202

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FORT (I to Roman - 1 AD to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

Horner, B., 1997, DAP/ABX, 5-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135887.


Horner, B., 1998, DAP/ABZ, 1-15 (Aerial Photograph). SDV336530.


Horner, B., 1998, DAP/ACA, 1-14 (Aerial Photograph). SDV336531.


Fitzpatrick, A. P., 1998, Prehistoric and Roman Sites on the New A30, 4-5 (Article in Serial). SDV336534.


Horner, W., 1998, Slides (Aerial Photograph). SDV336532.


Unknown, 1998, Unknown, 1-2 (Article in Serial). SDV336533.


Fitzpatrick, A. P. + Butterworth, C. A. + Grove, J., 1999, Prehistoric & Roman Sites in East Devon: The A30 Honiton-Exeter Improvement, 223-385 (Report - Excavation). SDV100627.

Pomeroy Wood excavation in 1997-1998 prior to the A30 improvement scheme revealed seven phases of activity from prehistoric through Roman to post-medieval and modern. The main features are a Roman military base and a Romano-British civil settlement. The military base was probably founded in the AD 60s and may have been abandoned in the AD 80s. The defences consisted of two continuous parallel ditches 1.5-2m apart defining an area 75m x 10m. There was no indication of an entrance or gateway on the excavated south side of the fort. An interval tower and grain dryer were subsequently added along with a large outwork or annexe ditch to the west. Two wells were recorded within the base dating to the 1st century AD. Four pits wihtin the base and one between the two ditches are thought to have been dug during the military occupation but their use is not clear. Artefacts recovered from this phase of the site include a socketed hook, a small oak disc, a small quantity of iron slag, whetstones, querns, a small amount of glass and a wide range of pottery sherds. Environmental analyses studied insect and plant remains, pollen and charcoal, mainly from the wells.


Keppie, L. + Fitzpatrick, A. + Hassall, M. + Tomlin, R. + Burnham, B., 1999, Roman Britain in 1998, 381 (Article in Serial). SDV361752.

Pomeroy Wood, Honiton (SY1325 9930). Two conjoining sherds from the shoulder of a black-burnished (BB1) jar probably 3rd or 4th century in date found 1998. Scratched after firing; VIIA[…], perhaps VII la[nuari], '7' and '(property) of lanuarius'.
Excavated by Wessex Archaeology, phase 4ii, later settlement on the site of the annexe to a 1st century military base on the Roman road from Dorchester to Exeter. Andrew Fitzpatrick provided period details and sent the sherds to RSOT.
VEIA[…] might be read, as part of the rare name Veiatus. But a line has been scratched under VII, which is on a slightly different alignment from that of IA[…], and the forward slope of II differs from that of I, which is vertical. Therefore, since lanuarius is such a common name, we prefer to read VII as a numeral.


Reed, S. J. + Collings, A. G., 2000, Archaeological assessment of SWW Chineway to Roundball mains renewal, Honiton, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV117622.


Substrata Ltd, 2004, Gradiometer Survey at Honiton Showground, Honiton, Devon (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV336490.


Best, J. E., 2005, Archaeological Recording at the Honiton Showground, Honiton, Devon (Report - Excavation). SDV336489.

Archaeological survey and recording during the construction of a new access track at the Honiton Showground revealed evidence for Roman activity on the north side of the A30. Magnetometer survey along the eastern 200m of the proposed trackway revealed a number of features including the north west corner of a double-ditched fort, the southern part of which was exposed during works on the A30 Honiton to Exeter Improvement Scheme at Pomeroy Wood in 1997, together with two possible outer enclosures and linear anomalies which could represent the Roman road. These and other features were subsequently exposed during groundworks. Ditch 530 possibly represents part of the inner ditch of the base and features 522 and 526 coincide with what appears to be the north west corner of the outer ditch. During excavations in 1997 to the south, a ditch on a similar alignment was found to have formed part of an annexe to the base. This boundary remained important throughout the civial phases of activity and was recut several times during 2nd to 4th centuries. Ditches 522 and 526 may represent a continuation of this boundary.
Most of the remaining features consisted of north west-south-east aligned ditches whose alignment and distribution corresponds to a series of enclosures and compounds laid out as part of the civil settlement, to the west of the military base at Pomeroy Wood (See PRN 62750).
Ditch 503, the only feature to be hand excavated, had a V-shaped profile and flat base. The fill contained an amphora sherd and a sherd of Samian ware of mid to late 2nd century date and 12 sherd of Black Burnished Ware dated to the 3rd/4th century. It may represent the western boundary of the civilian settlement.
Two curvilinear features, 518 and 520, appear to represent the remains of a former structure to the north west of the base.
Finds recovered from feature surfaces and excavated ploughsoil included prehistoric flint, Roman coins, a fragment of brooch, nails, tiles, pottery and part of an iron socketed tool.


Watts, S., 2006, Polygonised area (Personal Comment). SDV336535.

Please note that the digitised polygon only covers the approximate area of the double-ditched fort. The annexe and civilian settlement covered a more extensive area.


Willis, S., 2011, Samian Ware and Society in Roman Britain and Beyond (Article in Serial). SDV361509.


Salvatore, J. P., 2011, The Roman Military Base at Pomeroy Wood. Further Comment arising from the Archaeological Investigations North of the A30 (Article in Serial). SDV359821.

Excavations by Wessex Archaeology in 1996-1999 in advance of improvements to the A30 revealed the remains of a Roman military base. Subsequent proposed minor road works in fields to the north of the A30 in 2004 led to a geophysical survey and archaeological recording by Exeter Archaeology which enabled its northern extent to be established.
The fort sat astride a major Roman road leading west to Exeter and could thus monitor the movement of goods, livestock and peoples along this section of the road. However, it did not have the capacity to hold a sizeable garison. Its internal area was only about 0.3 hectares and it is perhaps better termed a fortlet rather than a fort. No evidence for barracks was found in the small area excavated by Wessex Archaeology, although timber post buildings of unknown function were found in the intervallum behind the rampart, although this area is usually reserved for ovens and other such fire hazards. Nor was there any evidence for a via sagularis, the street that runs around the inside of the rampart of a standard fort. Although the internal organisation of the fortlet and the nature of its garrison and function is unclear, it was clearly linked in some way with the Roman road. A controlled decommissioning by the Roman army is implied by the backfilling of the defensive ditches with rampart material and the apparent deliberate burning of some internal structures.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV100627Report - Excavation: Fitzpatrick, A. P. + Butterworth, C. A. + Grove, J.. 1999. Prehistoric & Roman Sites in East Devon: The A30 Honiton-Exeter Improvement. Wessex Archaeology Report. 16. A4 Bound. 223-385.
SDV117622Report - Assessment: Reed, S. J. + Collings, A. G.. 2000. Archaeological assessment of SWW Chineway to Roundball mains renewal, Honiton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 00.66. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV135887Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1997. DAP/ABX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-7.
SDV336489Report - Excavation: Best, J. E.. 2005. Archaeological Recording at the Honiton Showground, Honiton, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 05.18. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV336490Report - Geophysical Survey: Substrata Ltd. 2004. Gradiometer Survey at Honiton Showground, Honiton, Devon. Substrata Report. R-HON04-1804. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV336530Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1998. DAP/ABZ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-15.
SDV336531Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1998. DAP/ACA. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-14.
SDV336532Aerial Photograph: Horner, W.. 1998. Slides. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV336533Article in Serial: Unknown. 1998. Unknown. Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. 70. A4 Stapled. 1-2.
SDV336534Article in Serial: Fitzpatrick, A. P.. 1998. Prehistoric and Roman Sites on the New A30. Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. 71. A4 Stapled. 4-5.
SDV336535Personal Comment: Watts, S.. 2006. Polygonised area. Not Applicable.
SDV359821Article in Serial: Salvatore, J. P.. 2011. The Roman Military Base at Pomeroy Wood. Further Comment arising from the Archaeological Investigations North of the A30. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 69. Paperback Volume.
SDV361509Article in Serial: Willis, S.. 2011. Samian Ware and Society in Roman Britain and Beyond. Britannia. 42. Paperback Volume.
SDV361752Article in Serial: Keppie, L. + Fitzpatrick, A. + Hassall, M. + Tomlin, R. + Burnham, B.. 1999. Roman Britain in 1998. Britannia. 30. Digital. 381.

Associated Monuments

MDV72687Related to: Honiton Showground, Flint Scatter (Monument)
MDV62752Related to: Pomeroy Wood, Flint Scatter (Monument)
MDV62753Related to: Pomeroy Wood, Prehistoric Pottery (Find Spot)
MDV62751Related to: Pomeroy Wood, Roman-British Iron Working (Monument)
MDV62750Related to: Pomeroy Wood, Romano British Settlement (Monument)
MDV104585Related to: Roman Military Establishment, to the north of St Loyes, Exeter (Monument)
MDV67998Related to: Roman Military Site in Topsham (Monument)
MDV1875Related to: Roman Road from Exeter to Honiton (Monument)
MDV62754Related to: SETTLEMENT in the Parish of Gittisham (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV796 - FLAKE (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FDV795 - TOOL (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FDV789 - AMPHORA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV793 - BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV794 - COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV792 - NAIL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV783 - QUERN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV788 - SHERD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV785 - SLAG (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV791 - TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV790 - TOOL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV786 - VESSEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV784 - WHETSTONE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV787 - WORKED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV3964 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV3965 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV937 - ABX
  • EDV938 - ABZ
  • EDV939 - ACA
  • EDV940 - Unnamed Event

Date Last Edited:Sep 14 2018 1:52PM