Margam Stones Museum: guidebook

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1949 (2nd impress. 1967)

The guidebook presents the collection of a Roman milestone, early Christian inscriptions, and later monastic material that were moved into the old School House at Margam in 1932.

The guidebook by C.A. Ralegh Radford starts with a history of the area that allows the material in the museum to be placed in context: The Silures and Glamorgan in the Roman period; the restoration of native rile and the introduction of Christianity; the early Christian memorial stones; the formation of Glamorgan; the Celtic monastery at Margam; the pre-Romanesque crosses; the later history of the kingdom of Morgannwg; the Norman conquest of Glamorgan; the Cistercian abbey of Margam.

The second half includes a description of the pieces, starting with the early 4th century Roman milestone from Port Talbot (RIB 2254).

The guidebook includes a plan of the museum showing how the stone were displayed.

Vindolanda: Roman milestone

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Vindolanda, Roman milestone © David Gill

The Roman milestone on the Stanegate near Vindolanda was placed in State Guardianship (‘Chesterholm Roman Milestone’). The fort was place in State Guardianship in 1939 and also had Ministry signs.

A second milestone lies one Roman mile to the west. It originally carried the inscription, bon[o] reipublic[ae] nato (RIB 2308).

The 1959 Regional Guide notes: ‘The earliest occupation dates from the time of Agricola whose road, the Stanegate, runs past the north gate of the fort and retains, near the burn, a Roman milestone; the base of another (not in the Ministry’s guardianship) stands a Roman mile to the west.’

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Vindolanda, Roman milestone © David Gill

I have a photograph of the milestone from the late 1970s with some of the bushes encroaching on its space and obscuring the line of the road.

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Vindolanda, Roman milestone © David Gill

Roman milestone from Tintagel

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Roman milestone, Tintagel © David Gill

A Roman milestone made of slate is displayed in the parish church of St Materiana at Tintagel (RIB 2231). It was first noted in 1889 on the east side of the churchyard.

The inscription, on the upper part of the column, records the emperor Caesar Galerius Valerius Licinianus Licinius, and should therefore be dated by Collingwood to 308-24.

A second milestone was discovered to the east of Tintagel in 1919 (RIB 2230). It records the names of Gallus and Volusian, and should therefore be dated to 251-53.

It has been suggested that the Roman settlement of Durnocornovium, recorded in the Ravenna list, was located on the north Cornish coast, and that the road on which these stones were markers, served it.