Lincoln: Newport Arch and lorries

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1971

The Newport Arch forms the northern gateway of the Roman colonia of Lincoln. It is one of the most important pieces of extant Roman architecture in Britain. However it does seem to be vulnerable to lorries. A feature on the excavations at Lincoln appeared in a special number of Current Archaeology (May 1971; Christina Colyer, ‘Lincoln, pp. 67=71), and the cover showed the damage in 1964. The gate has been struck again today.

Local authorities need to restrict access to these important parts of our heritage.

Goldsborough Roman Signal Station

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Goldsborough Roman Signal Station looking south towards Whitby © David Gill

Goldsborough lies to the north of Whitby in Yorkshire. It was one of a series of Roman signal stations constructed along this piece of coastline.

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Goldsborough Roman Signal Station looking north © David Gill

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Goldsborough Roman Signal Station © David Gill

Other known signal stations lie at (from north to south): Huntcliff near Saltburn; Goldsborough; Ravenscar; Castle Hill at Scarborough; and Carr Naze at Filey.

There is an inscription from Ravenscar (RIB 721) that shows that the fort (turrem et castrum) was constructed by Vindicianus who is described as magister, a later rank. The overall commander was Justinianus. Anthony Birley dates the inscription to the 4th century.

Coins from Huntcliff suggest a date from c. 370 to c. 390.

John A. A. Goodall in his discussion of the signal station at Scarborough suggests two theories: a series of signal stations constructed in the wake of the ‘Barbarian Conspiracy’ of 367 (supported by William Hornsby through his excavations); or to the period of Magnus Maximus (383-388).

Bibliography

Bell, T.W. A Roman Signal Station at Whitby. Archaeological Journal 155 , 1 (1998), 303-22.

Hornsby, W., et al. The Roman Fort at Huntcliff, Near Saltburn. The Journal of Roman Studies 2 (1912), 215–32, www.jstor.org/stable/295958.

Hornsby, William, and John D. Laverick. The Roman Signal Station at Goldsborough, Near Whitby. Antiquaries Journal 89, 1 (1932), 203-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00665983.1932.10853589

Ottaway, Patrick, Richard Brickstock, John Carrott, H. E. M. Cool, Keith Dobney, Renée Gajowski, Sandra Garside-Neville, G. D. Gaunt, Allan Hall, Michael Issitt, Deborah Jaques, Frances Large & Jason Monaghan. Excavations on the Site of the Roman Signal Station At Carr Naze, Filey, 1993–94. Archaeological Journal 157, 1 (2000), 79-199.

Southern, P. Signals versus Illumination on Roman Frontiers. Britannia 21 (1990), 233–42, www.jstor.org/stable/526297.

Cadw Visitor Figures for 2015

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Tretower Court © David Gill

The 2015 visitor figures for Cadw sites are now available (for 2014 see here). (2014 numbers are in brackets.)

  1. Conwy Castle: 204,172  (184,758)
  2. Caernarfon Castle: 195,352 (175,216)
  3. Caerphilly Castle: 93,421 (107,887)
  4. Harlech Castle: 89,038  (75,512)
  5. Beaumaris Castle: 82,368 (86,854)
  6. Tintern Abbey: 70,808 (67,520)
  7. Castell Coch: 69,004 (69,418)
  8. Raglan Castle: 66,058 (59,385)
  9. Caerleon Roman Baths and Amphitheatre: 60,192 (55,977)
  10. Chepstow Castle: 59,463 (56,976)
  11. Criccieth Castle: 45,715  (43,528)
  12. Kidwelly Castle: 31,686 (29,359)
  13. St David’s Bishop’s Palace: 24,308 (24,646)
  14. Blaenavon Ironworks: 29,107 (22,467)
  15. Rhuddlan Castle: 25,872 (20,701)
  16. Plas Mawr: 23,658 (24,738)
  17. Carreg Cennen Castle: 23,345  (21,776)
  18. Cilgerran Castle: 19,416  (17,894)
  19. Laugharne Castle: 12,209  (15,807)
  20. Tretower Castle and Court: 13,587  (11,537)
  21. Denbigh Castle: 10,154 (12,584)
  22. Valle Crucis Abbey: 7,355  (8,117)
  23. White Castle: 7,682 (8,603)
  24. Oxwich Castle: 6,336  (6,070)
  25. Strata Florida Abbey: 5,280 (6,391)
  26. Dolwyddelan Castle: 4,645  (5,768)
  27. Lamphey Bishop’s Palace: 3,220  (2,856)
  28. Rug Chapel: 2,674 (3,387)
  29. Weobley Castle: 2,071  (2,495)
  30. Margam Stones Museum: 139  (438)

 

 

 

The Tomb of Classicianus

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Tomb of Classicianus, British Museum © David Gill

Two parts of the inscription from this funerary monument of Classicianus were found reused in the bastion of the Roman wall just to the north of the Tower of London in 1852 and 1935 (RIB 12). The bolster from the top of the tomb was found in the same location. This suggests that the monument was erected on the eastern side of the Roman settlement. The Roman wall dates to the 3rd century AD.

G. Iulius Alpinus Classicianus is described as the procurator of the Roman province of Britannia. He was appointed in AD 61, as a successor to Catus Decianus, in the wake of the revolt by Boudicca (Tacitus Annals xiv.38). Classicianus seems to have originated in Gaul. It appears that he died in office.

The monument was erected by Classicianus’ wife Iulia Pacata, daughter of Indus. Julius Indus is noted as a key person who countered the revolt of the Treveri in AD 21 (Tacitus Annals iii.42).

A revised reconstruction of the tomb and reconstruction is presented by Grasby and Tomlin.

Bibliography
Hawkes, C. F. C. “The Sepulchral Monument of Julius Classicianus.” The British Museum Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 2, 1935, pp. 53–56., www.jstor.org/stable/4421794.
Grasby, R. D., and R. S. O. Tomlin. “The Sepulchral Monument of the Procurator C. Julius Classicianus.” Britannia, vol. 33, 2002, pp. 43–75., www.jstor.org/stable/1558852.

London: monument to Claudia Martina

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Monument to Claudia Martina, Museum of London © David Gill

The hexagonal base of the funerary monument to Claudia Martina was found in 1806 on the site of the London Coffee House on Ludgate Hill (RIB 21). This implies that it came from the cemetery to the west of the Roman settlement of Londinium. There is a dowel hole on the top, perhaps for mounting a statue. The find included a lifesize female head, perhaps to be associated with this monument.

The inscription gives the age of Claudia Martina as 19. The monument was erected by her husband, Anencletus, ‘the slave of the province’.

The monument features in Anthony Birley, The People of Roman Britain (London, 1979), 145, and pl. Birley suggests that Anencletus was associated with the council , concilium provinciae, associated with imperial worship in the province. He reminds us that Claudia Martina was freeborn.

The inscription was published by Charles Roach Smith, Illustrations of Roman London (1859), 23 [online].

Londinium: tombstone of Vivius Marcianus

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Vivius Marcianus, London © David Gill

The tombstone of Vivius Marcianus was found during the rebuilding of St Martin’s Church on Ludgate Hill in 1669 (RIB 17). (The church itself had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.) The gravestone was then placed in the Ashmolean Museum (that opened in 1683); it is now displayed in the Museum of London (since 1974). It is likely that this came from the cemetery outside (and to the west) of Ludgate.

Vivius Marcianus is described as a centurion of the II Augustan Legion. He is shown in the relief holding the centurion’s stick, vitis, in his right hand. The legion was based at Caerleon in south Wales. There is a possibility that he was attached to the staff of the governor.

The monument was set up by Januaria Martina, his wife.

The hunters of Banna

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Inscription, Birdoswald © David Gill

An inscription found at Birdoswald in 1821 is now displayed in the small site museum (RIB 1905). It had previously been displayed in the undercroft at nearby Lanercost Priory (and where it features in Charles M. Daniels, Handbook to the Roman Wall 13th ed.).

The altar was dedicated to the ‘holy god’ Silvanus, and the dedicators were the venatores or hunters of Banna. Banna is almost certainly Birdoswald, and is a name also known from the Rudge cup found at Froxfield in Wiltshire (for the replica, now in the British Museum) that shows some of the forts along Hadrian’s Wall.

It has been suggested that the inscription should be dated to the 3rd century (supported by David Breeze in his Handbook to the Roman Wall).