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Roman site, Letocetum

A Scheduled Monument in Wall, Staffordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6567 / 52°39'24"N

Longitude: -1.8558 / 1°51'20"W

OS Eastings: 409849.334557

OS Northings: 306567.189446

OS Grid: SK098065

Mapcode National: GBR 3CN.KLV

Mapcode Global: WHCGV.GHH3

Entry Name: Roman site, Letocetum

Scheduled Date: 21 May 1953

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006108

English Heritage Legacy ID: ST 15

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Wall

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Wall St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

Summary

A series of Roman military sites, a staging post and Romano-British small town, known as Letocetum, at Wall.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 June 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument, which falls into four areas of protection, includes a complex of Roman military sites including a temporary camp and series of forts, a settlement site and staging post including a mansio and bath house, and a later fortified settlement. The sites are centred on Watling Street, close to Ryknild Street, within and surrounding the village of Wall. A number of temporary camps associated with Roman military campaigns are known along the line of Watling Street, the north west corner of one of these has been identified from cropmarks to the south of the A5 and village of Wall as two lengths of curving, double-ditched, boundaries.

Excavations have revealed a series of forts situated on the top of the hill which were built from the mid first century to the early second century AD and were of timber construction. The first fort covered an area up to 12 hectares and the final Hadrianic fort covered an area of about 0.8 hectares.

At NGR SK09800658, a mansio and bath house have been partially excavated. Both buildings were in use during the second century and the bath house was in use into the third century. They were part of a staging post serving the numerous travellers and officials travelling along Watling Street. At the mansio site two timber phases were replaced by a two storey stone building in the early second century. This consisted of a group of rooms around a central colonnaded courtyard, among these rooms were a kitchen, well, latrine and sleeping apartments. To the south west of the mansio is the bath house with evidence of up to seven phases of construction and a full array of rooms, structures and features surviving as substantial consolidated mortared walls. It is likely that a substantial small town developed around the mansio and bath house.

Excavations have also revealed cremation burials to the west of the village of Wall centring on SK 0953 0657 and SK 0930 0662, and present north and south of Watling Street dating to the first and early second century. A square walled enclosure, revealed as a crop mark, was excavated in 1955 and 1962/3 and dated to around AD 300. It is situated at the east end of Wall, measures approximately 200m across and Watling Street runs through its centre. It consisted of a stone wall up to 3m thick backed by a turf rampart and fronted by three ditches and may represent a civilian enclosure.

The mansio and bath house complex are in Guardianship. Not all aspects of the multi-complex site have been formally assessed and additional archaeological remains will lie outside the scheduled area.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Letocetum represents the evolution of a site from the early military campaigns to the development of a significant staging post and Romano-British small town. The temporary camps and forts provide an important insight into Roman military strategy and organisation during the period of Roman occupation. Small towns began to emerge in the mid-first century AD. However, the majority of examples appeared in the later first and second centuries, while the third and fourth centuries saw the growth and development of existing establishments. Some small towns had their origins in earlier military sites and developed into independent urban areas following the abandonment of the forts.

The mansio and bath house are the most important buildings in the town and are considered to be the best preserved examples surviving in England. Considerable amounts of archaeological information relating to the many aspects of Roman life at Letocetum are known to survive. The monument represents a very well preserved example of its type and the remains associated with the occupation at Letocetum are of national importance.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Pastscape 304404, 304407, 895538, 304414 and 1164783. HER DST5777.

Source: Historic England

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