Information for record number MWA5001:
Roman defences

Summary The remains of the defensive rampart, a large earthen mound, around the Roman town of Alcester were found during an excavation. The site was situated to the east of Priory Road.
What Is It?  
Type: Defence, Rampart, Building, Granary?
Period: Romano-British (43 AD - 409 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Alcester
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 08 57
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record

Source Number  

1 Excavation on a supermarket site cut across a clay and gravel rampart and its ditch, which are taken to be the late 2nd century defences here taking a different line from the 4th century town-wall, remains of which were found 25m further SW. The wall had been robbed, but timber piling 3.8m wide was recorded at its base; at a later date a square external tower of similar construction had been added. A substantial stone-built structure of the early 4th century, partly examined in 1978-9, had been demolished to make way for the town-wall.
2 Excavation interim for 'Alcester International'.
3 Location map showing RB features and archaeological activity superimposed over 'modern' plan.
4 Cores taken on the site, of the peaty layer underlying the Roman archaeology were analysed by the Ancient Monument Laboratory. A single core was subject to detailed assessment, recording some cereals probably brought into the town for processing. This correlates well with the interpretation of the early 4th century stone building on the site as a store, as identified in
2. Other plants, including weeds and wetland plants, are representative of vegetation in the wider area. The landscape was almost all open and cleared of woodland.
5 Full Excavation report (see EWA3039).
6 Report on analysis of crucible fragments from this site. At least two different types of crucible are represented; XRF analysis suggested that two of the beaker form crucibles were used to melt bronzes (copper-tin alloys) or gunmetals (coper-tin-zinc alloys).

Source No: 4
Source Type: Archaeological Report
Title: The pollen, plant macrofossils and mollescs from cores of roughly roman date from the Alcester Gateway Stores Site, Warwickshire.
Author/originator: Greig J
Date: 1988
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 55/88
Source No: 6
Source Type: Archaeological Report
Title: Some crucible fragments from Alcester, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Bayley J
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 67/90
Source No: 1
Source Type: Article in serial
Title: Britannia: Roman Britain in 1985
Author/originator: S S Frere, MWC Hassall and R S O Tomlin
Date: 1986
Page Number: 363-454
Volume/Sheet: 17
Source No: 5
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: Roman Alcester: Defences and Defended Area
Author/originator: Cracknell, S (ed)
Date: 1996
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 2
Source No: 3
Source Type: Map
Title: Location of the Gateway Stores site, Alcester
Author/originator: Booth, P M
Date: 1986?
Page Number:
Source No: 2
Source Type: Serial
Title: WMA vol 29
Author/originator: Cracknell S
Date: 1986
Page Number: 47
Volume/Sheet: 29
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Word or Phrase
source Britannia Britannia, the journal of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies which contains articles about the archaeology of Roman Britain. It is published annually and copies are held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source WMA West Midlands Archaeology. This publication contains a short description for each of the sites where archaeological work has taken place in the previous year. It covers Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. Some of these descriptions include photographs, plans and drawings of the sites and/or the finds that have been discovered. The publication is produced by the Council For British Archaeology (CBA) West Midlands and is published annually. Copies are held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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period Modern The Modern Period, about 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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period Roman About 43 AD to 409 AD (the 1st century AD to the 5th century AD)

The Roman period comes after the Iron Age and before the Saxon period.

The Roman period in Britain began in 43 AD when a Roman commander called Aulus Plautius invaded the south coast, near Kent. There were a series of skirmishes with the native Britons, who were defeated. In the months that followed, more Roman troops arrived and slowly moved westwards and northwards.
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period modern About 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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monument LAYER * An archaeological unit of soil in a horizontal plane which may seal features or be cut through by other features. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument BUILDING * A structure with a roof to provide shelter from the weather for occupants or contents. Use specific type where known. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument TOWER * A tall building, either round, square or polygonal in plan, used for a variety of purposes, including defence, as a landmark, for the hanging of bells, industrial functions, etc. Use more specific type where known. back
monument PRIORY * A monastery governed by a prior or prioress. Use with narrow terms of DOUBLE HOUSE, FRIARY, MONASTERY or NUNNERY. back
monument RAMPART * A protective earthen mound, often the main defence of a fortification. back
monument ROAD * A way between different places, used by horses, travellers on foot and vehicles. back
monument WELL * A shaft or pit dug in the ground over a supply of spring-water. back
monument DEFENCE * This is the top term for the class. See DEFENCE Class List for narrow terms. back
monument SUPERMARKET * A large self-service store selling foods and some household goods. back
monument GATEWAY * A substantial structure supporting or surrounding a gate. May be ornate or monumental, and have associated structures such as lodges, tollbooths, guard houses etc. back
monument DITCH * A long and narrow hollow or trench dug in the ground, often used to carry water though it may be dry for much of the year. back
monument SQUARE * An open space or area, usually square in plan, in a town or city, enclosed by residential and/or commercial buildings, frequently containing a garden or laid out with trees. back
monument STRUCTURE * A construction of unknown function, either extant or implied by archaeological evidence. If known, use more specific type. back
monument LABORATORY * A group of buildings or rooms equipped with apparatus for scientific experiments or other research, testing and investigations. back
monument GRANARY * A building, or first-floor room in a building, for the dry and secure storage of grain after it has been threshed and winnowed. back
monument MOUND * A natural or artificial elevation of earth or stones, such as the earth heaped upon a grave. Use more specific type where known. back
monument WALL * An enclosing structure composed of bricks, stones or similar materials, laid in courses. Use specific type where known. back
monument TOWN * An assemblage of public and private buildings, larger than a village and having more complete and independent local government. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record