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HER Number:MSH318
Type of Record:Monument
Name:Bitterne Manor - Site of Gateway
Grid Reference:SU 4346 1332
Map:Show location on Streetmap


In 1770 Speed described and illustrated "the remains of a Stone Gateway" which lay towards the north end of the bank inside the inner ditch of Clausentum at Bitterne Manor. He thought the gateway was of Roman date. In 1800 Englefield mentioned the gateway along with other apparently post-Roman remains; it lay just north of what is now Bitterne Road. By 1805 the gateway had been demolished. It is therefore uncertain whether the gateway was built to serve the Roman fort/settlement of Clausentum, or the medieval Bitterne Manor. A wall found during a watching brief on the north side of Bitterne Road in 1999 (SOU 914) may have been part of this gateway (see MSH2659).

Protected Status: None recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • HER backup file (new series): MSH314/315/318  
  • Old Southampton SMR No/Backup file: SU 4313 SW 81  

Monument Types

  • TOWN GATE (Roman - 43 AD? to 409 AD? (between))
  • GATE (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD? (between))

Full description

[1] (1770): The "present Remains of Clausentum" are described by Speed. Towards the north end of the bank inside the inner ditch, adjoining to the south of an old Barn, "are the remains of a Stone Gateway, which consisted of two Arches, one within the other, and was, I suppose, the Entrance into the Fort, by means of a Drawbridge over the Ditch; there was a Room over this Gateway, for at the end of the Barn there is a Door Case that leads to the top of the Gate."

[3] (1770): Speeds's 1770 plan of Bitterne (originally included with the manuscript copy of [1]), shows/labels the "Barn" and "The old Gateway". Both are shown apparently in the inner ditch (but see below). (See also [2], a copy of [3].)

[4] (1770): This rough plan of the Bitterne Manor peninsular, shows various features including some structures on the western edge of the inner ditch, identifiable as the barn, gateway and segments of wall in [1]. Some architectural details of the barn and gateway are shown. (IP 4/9/03).

[5] (1800) (reprinted in [6]): Englefield mentions the barn and gateway along with other "more modern" (that is post-Roman) remains on the Bitterne Manor peninsular. The part of the gateway that was still standing was considered to be the same date as some windows in the west front of the barn, and of equally good work (one of the windows is illustrated).

[6] (1805): Some notes (pages 145/6) accompanying the plan in this source state "between the barn and the new road was a gateway, now destroyed". The gateway is marked but not labelled on the plan. (The "new road" was Bitterne Road - IP.)

IP 4/9/03: This record refers to the gateway; see separate record for the barn. The representation of the inner ditch, barn and gateway on plan [3] is rather odd and conflicts with the text of [1]. Speed [1] thought the gateway was of Roman date, but Englefield [5] seems to have considered it to be post-Roman (?medieval). As far as I know, the styles of the barn windows and gateway have not been dated by a more recent authority.

[7]: Discussion concerning the gateway and barn. A limestone wall found during a watching brief on a service trench on the north side of Bitterne Road in 1998 (SOU 914) was thought to be possibly part of this gateway (see MSH2659).

GIS: point placed at approx central position of the gateway as shown historic plans, and using raster versions of 19th century maps. IP 18/9/03.

Sources / Further Reading

[1]SSH821 - Bibliographic reference: John Speed (Ed ER Aubrey). c1770 (1909). The History and Antiquity of Southampton with some conjectures concerning The Roman Clausentum. p 145
[2]SSH1620 - Map: John Speed/Miss Ellen Stevens. 1770/1907. Plan of Bitterne shewing remains of the Roman Station of Clausentum - Map probably AD 1770.. Paper.
[3]SSH1621 - Map: John Speed. c1770. Plan of Bitterne (manuscript plan of the remains at Bitterne Manor/Clausentum).. Paper.
[4]SSH1622 - Unpublished document: John Speed. c1770. Rough annotated plan of the Bitterne Manor peninsular, showing the Inner and Outer Ditch and some structures..
[5]SSH1135 - Article in serial: HC Englefield and others. 1800. Ancient Clausentum, or Modern Bitterne (continued from the first volume) (& Account of Roman Coins found at Bitterne).. Hampshire Repository, Vol II, 1799, pp (288?)291--301. p 299
[6]SSH782 - Bibliographic reference: Englefield. 1805. A Walk Through Southampton (Second Edition). (Considerably augmented: To which is added, Some Account of the Roman Station, Clausentum.). p 115, plan and pp 145/6.
[7]SSH436 - Archaeological Report: AD Russel. 2000. Report on the Archaeological Watching Brief at Bitterne Road, Bitterne Manor, Southampton.. SOU 914. p 6

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESH1366 - Rough Field Survey of the Roman Remains at Bitterne Manor in 1770
  • ESH1368 - Surveys and Descriptions of the Bitterne Manor peninsular between 1798 and 1800

Related records

MSH297Child of: Bitterne Manor - site of the Roman settlement (possibly known as Clausentum)
MSH2659Peer (All Groups): Bitterne Road West (just east of the park entrance) - Remains of Limestone Wall

Associated Links: None recorded

If you have any feedback or new information about this record, please email the Southampton HER (her@southampton.gov.uk).