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HER Number:MDV62750
Name:Pomeroy Wood, Romano British Settlement


Occupation levels dated from the 2nd to 4th centuries AD have been found over the defensive ditches of the Roman military base both north and south of the A30. Features include ditches representing compounds and enclosures, round houses, grain dryers, ovens, four-post structures and wells.


Grid Reference:SY 130 993
Map Sheet:SY19NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGittisham
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGITTISHAM

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY19NW/202/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

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.

Well stratified occupation levels occurred over the defensive ditches of the Roman military base at Pomeroy Wood from the 2nd-4th centuries AD. At least eight buildings were identified, mostly at the east end of the site coincident with a greater depth of modern ploughsoil. Only one complete building was excavated which provided extensive evidence for domestic activity in the form of hearths, pits and post-holes. It is likely that the posts were set in the inner ring gully, either earthfast or stone-packed, a construction technique not previously recognised in Devon. Other features included several grain dryers, ovens, four-post structures and wells. Finds included sixteen coins spanning the 1st-4th centuries AD, two copper alloy brooches, three iron weapon points and several iron tools. Items of worked stone included whetstones, querns, mortar fragments and building stone. There were also objects of shale, jet, glass, lead and wood. The Romano-British pottery, spanning the period from 1st-4th centuries AD, was the largest group of Roman pottery, outside Exeter, yet found in Devon. 86% of the assemblage were grey coarseware sherds with 3% representing imported finewares, mostly Samian, and 2% British finewares

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 construction of a new access track at the Honiton Showground revealed evidence for Roman activity to the north of the A30 including the north-western corner of a Roman military base together with other ditches and features representing compounds and enclosures relating to a civilian settlement. Ditch 530 is thought to represent part of the inner ditch of the base and features 522 and 526 coincide with the north west corner of the outer ditch. During excavations at Pomeroy Wood to the south of the A30 in 1997, a ditch on a similar alignment was found to have formed part of an annexe to the base. This boundary remained important throughout the civil phases of activity and was recut several times during the 2nd to 4th centuries. Ditches 522 and 526 may represent a continuation of this boundary.
The location, dimensions and orientation of ditch 503, which has a V-shaped profile with a flat base, seem to match those of ditch 927 at Pomeroy Wood which may have defined the western boundary of the settlement. Finds from the fill included a shed of amohora, a sherd of Samian ware dated to the mid to late 2nd century and 12 sherd of Black Burnished Ware I of 3rd/4th century date.
Cirvilinear features 518 and 520 appear to represent the remains of a former structure to the north west of the military base. The majority of buildings found at Pomeroy Wood were roundhouses and the diameter of 518, at 10m, fits in well with the diameters recorded there. The range of finds, charcoal, fragments of fired clay and slag, is also similar.

Baines, C., 2011, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV346237.

Please note that the digitised polygon represents the extent of 2nd to 4th century settlement revealed by excavation to the south-west of the fort, the full extent is as yet unknown.

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.
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.
SDV346237Personal Comment: Baines, C.. 2011.

Associated Monuments

MDV62749Related to: Pomeroy Wood Fort, Gittisham (Monument)
MDV62751Related to: Pomeroy Wood, Roman-British Iron Working (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV798 - BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV797 - COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV803 - MORTAR (VESSEL) (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV804 - POT BOILER (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV802 - QUERN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV805 - SLAG (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV800 - TOOL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV799 - WEAPON (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV801 - WHETSTONE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV3966 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV3967 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV3968 - Unnamed Event

Date Last Edited:Jan 11 2011 3:37PM