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Title:Roman Fort and Later Romano-British Settlement at Woodbury Farm
Originator:English Heritage
Summary:Site scheduled in 1988. Scheduled area includes Roman fort with a second century and later settlement overlying it and extending W, and an associated stretch of the Fosse Way. The fort survives as a square area defined by a ditch up to 18m wide and 1.6m deep. The ditch is visible around the entire circuit of the fort apart from the area in the immediate vicinity of Woodbury Farm where it has been infilled. The interior of the fort measures 144m NE-SW by 132m NW-SE, giving an area of 1.9ha. Within the fort 2 elongated mounds standing up to 0.3m high may represent building rubble. In the S half of the fort slight ridges oriented approximately E-W represent the site of a former orchard. Excavations carried out in the NE corner of the fort in 1981 revealed a number of early Roman features including a pond which had been deliberately backfilled in places with large quantities of rubbish including much 3C and 4C Roman pottery. 1984 photographs revealed a substantial stone building which has since been interpreted as a Mansio. Traces of other associated buildings were also noted in the NW part of the fort. Ploughing of this field in recent years has produced Roman artefacts including pottery and metalwork. A pipeline trench cut through the area to the N & W of the fort in 1990 revealed roman deposits up to 0.6m deep. An early Roman ploughsoil 0.2m deep was overlain by a later Roman level up to 0.4m thick which sealed a variety of Roman features including pits, 2 roads and boundary ditches. A large number of Roman artefacts including pottery wasters were recovered suggesting that Woodbury may have been a production centre during the 3C. A further pipeline trench excavated in 1992 in the area of the N ditch of the fort and extending in a SW direction across the field W of the fort, confirmed the presence of Roman features, including a road and buried soils within 50m of the fort. In 1993 and 1994, 2 programmes of geophysical work within the fort and the field to the W further demonstrated the presence of archaeological remains. Within the fort the features identified on the earlier aerial photograph were all noted, whilst in the area to the W a system of parallel linear boundaries was demonstrated. In the later Roman period the settlement would have ranked as a small town lying at the junction of the 2 most important roads in the region. The site is thought to be the town of Moridunum. The site was abandoned by the end of the 4C and later reverted to cultivation. The farm buildings, service poles, the slurry pit, fence posts and modern metalled surfaces are excluded from the scheduling but the ground below is included.

Associated Monuments (2)

MDV14185Roman Fort at Woodbury Farm, Axminster (Monument)
MDV42536Roman Settlement at Woodbury Farm, Axminster (Monument)