Ancient Monuments

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Camerton Romano-British town and associated Prehistoric and early medieval monuments

A Scheduled Monument in Radstock, Bath and North East Somerset

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Latitude: 51.3053 / 51°18'18"N

Longitude: -2.4507 / 2°27'2"W

OS Eastings: 368678.178735

OS Northings: 156333.297461

OS Grid: ST686563

Mapcode National: GBR JX.Y47T

Mapcode Global: VH89H.GGS7

Entry Name: Camerton Romano-British town and associated Prehistoric and early medieval monuments

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013881

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11509

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Civil Parish: Radstock

Built-Up Area: Radstock

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument comprises the site of a small Romano-British town together with
associated Prehistoric and early medieval remains, located in fields north and
south of the modern A367. Partial excavation between 1926 and 1956 has
provided a detailed account of these remains. Activity in the Neolithic
period (4400-2400 BC) is attested by evidence of isolated features and
dispersed finds. In the Bronze Age (2400-650 BC) two round barrows (burial
mounds) were constructed on the hilltop south of the modern road. One of
these barrows survives to a height of over 6m. Evidence of the Iron Age (650
BC-43 AD) occupation includes a ditched enclosure at the eastern end of the
monument and more scattered features elsewhere on the site. Around AD 47 the
Fosse Way Roman road between Bath and Exeter was constructed over the Iron Age
settlement. Roman settlement grew up on either side of the road, built first
in wood and then in stone. By the 3rd century AD, the settlement featured a
small-scale iron smelting industry. Poorer building in the next century
indicates decline and by the 5th century the site was occupied by squatters.
The area immediately north of the Romano-British town was used as a cemetery
by the Anglo-Saxons during the 6th and 7th centuries AD.
The modern surface and make-up of The Old Fosse Road are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Following the Roman conquest of Britain, a complex hierarchy of towns grew up
which played a central role in the administrative and economic life of the new
province. The term "Romano-British small town" is used to describe
settlements of the period which are recognisably urban but which lack the
administrative status of the Coloniae, Municipia, and Civitas capitals. The
majority of examples were founded in the late 1st and 2nd centuries AD but the
3rd and 4th centuries also saw the emergence of a small number of new ones
alongside the growth and development of the earlier establishments. Although
many originated on the sites of fort-vici (civilian settlements associated
with forts), developing into independent urban areas after the abandonment of
the associated forts, others, such as Camerton, developed as roadside
settlements on the major provincial highways.
There are 133 Romano-British small towns known in England, mainly in the South
and Midlands, of which 96, like Camerton, were unwalled. They exhibit a high
degree of diversity (a recent study identified ten variants), reflecting the
complex factors which governed their establishment and development. Although
most have escaped modern urban development, many have been affected by road-
building and unfavourable agricultural practices, damaging the vulnerable and
fragile remains of the timber "strip-buildings". Those examples with well
preserved archaeological deposits are a rare and important resource for the
study of the Roman period and the development of its urban and rural economy.
Limited, but well documented excavation at Camerton has demonstrated a diverse
range of Romano-British features in a good state of survival. The importance
of the site is enhanced by the association with earlier Iron Age and later
Anglo-Saxon archaeological remains.
The two Bronze Age barrows included within the scheduling are of national
importance in their own right whilst the evidence of Neolithic activity is
thought to represent more extensive settlement of that period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Iles, R, The Civil Parish of Norton Radstock
Wedlake, WJ, Excavations at Camerton, Somerset
Pitcher, G H, OSAD,
Proc. Somerset Archaeological Society, 1929 LXXIX,
RCHME, RCHME ST 6856/1 ST 6856/2,

Source: Historic England

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