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Roman rural settlement at Windmill Hill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Chesterton and Kingston, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.2336 / 52°14'1"N

Longitude: -1.4989 / 1°29'56"W

OS Eastings: 434317.137824

OS Northings: 259611.299544

OS Grid: SP343596

Mapcode National: GBR 6P4.ZTF

Mapcode Global: VHBXX.Y4Y0

Entry Name: Roman rural settlement at Windmill Hill Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020259

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35103

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Chesterton and Kingston

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Chesterton St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the Roman rural
settlement at Chesterton, located upon gently rising ground at the foot of a
lias escarpment. The Hogbrook water course lies to the west, and the Fosse
Way, a major Roman road linking the River Severn with the Wash, crosses the
settlement from north east to south west in its western quarter.

The monument survives as the earthwork and buried remains of a small fortified
Roman settlement straddling the Fosse Way together with the buried remains of
a much larger extramural settlement located largely to the south and east of
the enclosure. These remains have been identified through geophysical
survey, archaeological excavation and as cropmarks (areas of variable
crop growth reflecting archaeological features) visible on aerial
photographs. These have demonstrated the survival of extensive occupation
levels, building remains, streets and roads, wells and drainage systems,
together with well-preserved artefactual evidence.

Pottery and other artefacts indicate that the settlement was occupied from
at least the second century AD until the late fourth century. There are also
indications of earlier Iron Age occupation of the site. The earthwork
enclosure is believed to be the earliest phase of settlement, including a
small scale fortified settlement with early stone buildings, suggesting
military origins. The extramural settlement includes an irregular spread of
rectilinear courtyards, enclosures and buildings surrounding the fortified
enclosure on all sides. Its alignment, which grew up around the fortified
settlement along a number of minor roads, suggests gradual growth of a
non-military, service settlement. The remains of a probable Anglo-Saxon
cemetery suggest that the site remained significant after the fall of the
Roman Empire.

All modern post and wire fences and modern surfaces and buildings are excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Five types of town are known to have existed in Roman Britain: coloniae,
municipia, civitas capitals, Roman provincial capitals and Roman small towns.
The first four types can be classified as `public towns' because each had an
official status within the provincial administrative system.
Roman small towns are settlements of urban character which lack the
administrative status of public towns, but which are nevertheless recognisably
urban in terms of morphology, features and function. They tend to lack the
planned rectangular street grids, public buildings and well-appointed town
houses of the public towns and instead are generally characterised by mainly
insubstantial timber or half-timbered structures. Some small towns possess an
enclosing wall, while others have masonry or earthwork defences. Additional
features include temples, bath houses, ovens, kilns and cemeteries.
Roman 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, together with the emergence of a small number of new ones.
Some small towns had their origins in earlier military sites such as fort-vici
and developed into independent urban areas following the abandonment of the
forts. Others developed alongside major roads and were able to exploit a wide
range of commercial opportunities as a result of their location. There are a
total of 133 Roman small towns recorded in England. These are mainly
concentrated in the Midlands and central southern England. Some examples have
survived as undeveloped `greenfield' sites and consequently possess
particularly well-preserved archaeological remains.

The Roman rural settlement at Windmill Hill Farm survives well as an
example of its type which did not later develop into a large town. New
evidence suggests that it may be the second largest settlement in
Warwickshire, and it will add considerably to our understanding of rural
life in the Midlands during the late prehistoric and Roman period,
particularly on the development of a rural settlement over time. The
settlement can be expected to preserve evidence for the domestic,
industrial, craft, and military activities of a wide range of social
classes, as well as providing an insight into the ritual aspects and
religious beliefs of it's occupants. Artefacts will provide dating
evidence and information about craft techniques, trading links,
occupations and activities of the population over a period of three
centuries or more. In addition, the settlement is associated with a wider
remnant Roman landscape, including a villa located to the south west. The
relationships between these elements will provide an insight into the
functioning of rural settlements and hinterland farming estates.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Adams, D, The Chesterton Project, 2000, Article with Geophysics & plans
Various FMW visits, Liegh, Judith , AM07,

Source: Historic England

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