Ancient Monuments

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Roman fort called 'Nanstallon Roman fort' 135m south west of Tregear

A Scheduled Monument in Lanivet, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4697 / 50°28'10"N

Longitude: -4.7715 / 4°46'17"W

OS Eastings: 203422.797359

OS Northings: 66989.117114

OS Grid: SX034669

Mapcode National: GBR N0.MXW3

Mapcode Global: FRA 07WT.BY6

Entry Name: Roman fort called 'Nanstallon Roman fort' 135m south west of Tregear

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1986

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007273

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 1097

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Lanivet

Built-Up Area: Nanstallon

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Bodmin

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a Roman fort, situated on slightly raised ground beside a natural ford over the River Camel. The fort survives as a rectangular earthwork enclosure the north, west and south ramparts are fossilised into the existing field boundary banks. The eastern vallum is traceable on the ground as a slight scarp and other structures and deposits are preserved as buried features. First recorded in the 19th century as a Roman fort, it was described then as having wide double ramparts and chance finds of many Roman objects indicated its date. Partial excavations were carried out from 1965 to 1969 and revealed a fort with turf-revetted ramparts, timber angle towers, metalled roads and extremely rare double gates. Although, rather small in size, this auxiliary fort probably housed a detachment responsible for supervising lead and silver extraction. The fort contained a principia of unusual plan which was very wide in proportion to its depth and had long halls present at either side of a courtyard with a recessed entrance and a portico. Four rectangular-plan barrack blocks had no projecting officer's quarters or verandas, although larger rooms were present at the end of each block. The compound which adjoined the praetorium was fenced with timber, metalled and contained lean-to sheds. This has been identified as a possible ablutions block. The interior also contained latrines and the Commander's House. Occupation from approximately AD 65 to 79 was confirmed through pottery finds. There was also evidence for the orderly dismantling of the fort. Flints of possible Neolithic and later date were also recovered during the excavations indicating that there has been considerable use of the landscape throughout time.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-431370

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Roman forts served as permanent bases for auxiliary units of the Roman Army. In outline they were straight sided rectangular enclosures with rounded corners, defined by a single rampart of turf, puddled clay or earth with one or more outer ditches. Some forts had separately defended, subsidiary enclosures or annexes, allowing additional storage space or for the accommodation of troops and convoys in transit. Although built and used throughout the Roman period, the majority of forts were constructed between the mid-first and mid-second centuries AD. Some were only used for short periods of time but others were occupied for extended periods on a more or less permanent basis. In the earlier forts, timber was used for gateways, towers and breastworks. From the beginning of the second century AD there was a gradual replacement of timber with stone.
Roman forts are rare nationally and are extremely rare south of the Severn Trent line. As one of a small group of Roman military monuments, which are important in representing army strategy and therefore government policy, forts are of particular significance to our understanding of the period. All Roman forts with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be nationally important. The Roman fort called Nanstallon Roman fort 135m south west of Tregear survives comparatively well and is extremely rare in Cornwall where very few truly Roman sites are known. It has already produced a considerable amount of information but will contain still further archaeological and environmental evidence.

Source: Historic England

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