Information for record number MWA5328:
Site of Roman Defences at Tripontium

Summary A defensive bank and ditch, forming an enclosure, were found during an archaeological excavation. The enclosure was Roman in date and formed the defences surrounding the Roman town of Tripontium. The enclosure was located 1km south west of Shawell.
What Is It?  
Type: Defence, Ditch, Building, Road, Pit, Bank (Earthwork)
Period: Romano-British (43 AD - 409 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Churchover
District: Rugby, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 53 79
(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 from 1963 onwards in advance of gravel extraction revealed part of a defensive ditch. To the E of the road this was up to 6.7m wide and 3m deep. It was filled at the end of the 4th century. The ditch was also found W of the road. There is no indication that it was open for a great length of time.
2 Further Excavation from 1966-8 uncovered more of the defensive ditch on the W side. The enclosure was rectangular, enclosing an area of about 1.25 ha, and the lightly-cobbled road (Watling Street) approximately bisected it on its longer axis. No wall was found, but traces of the base of a clay bank were traced on the inside. The ditch appears to have been carefully filled and early 4th century pottery occurs at all levels in the fill. The upper layers of fill contained a coin of Valentinian. Very little contemporary occupation was found. A pit, a ditch and a circular building to the W of the road are 4th century, but the bulk of features are 2nd century to 3rd century. Occupation of this date does occur elsewhere on the site.
3 Plan.
4 Please note: these defences have not been plotted to date, but see
3 for indicative plan straddling the county boundary. This area correlates to the position of the postulated Northern entranceway encountered in the 1960s Excavations.

Source No: 1
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: TBAS vol 83
Author/originator: Cameron H and Lucas J
Date: 1966
Page Number: 130-79
Volume/Sheet: 83
Source No: 2
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: TBAS vol 85
Author/originator: Cameron H and Lucas J
Date: 1971
Page Number: 93-144
Volume/Sheet: 85
Source No: 3
Source Type: Plan
Title: TBAS vol 85
Author/originator: Cameron H and Lucas J
Date: 1971
Page Number: Fig 2
Volume/Sheet: 85
Source No: 4
Source Type: Verbal communication
Title: Pers. Comm. Giles Carey
Author/originator: G Carey
Date: 2009-2014
Page Number:
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Word or Phrase
source TBAS Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society is a journal produced by the society annually. It contains articles about archaeological field work that has taken place in Birmingham and Warwickshire in previous years. Copies of the journal are kept by the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
technique Earthwork Earthworks can take the form of banks, ditches and mounds. They are usually created for a specific purpose. A bank, for example, might be the remains of a boundary between two or more fields. Some earthworks may be all that remains of a collapsed building, for example, the grassed-over remains of building foundations.

In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky than during the other seasons, earthworks have larger shadows. From the air, archaeologists are able to see the patterns of the earthworks more easily. Earthworks can sometimes be confusing when viewed at ground level, but from above, the general plan is much clearer.

Archaeologists often carry out an aerial survey or an earthwork survey to help them understand the lumps and bumps they can see on the ground.
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 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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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 FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument COBBLED ROAD * A road or street covered with small, rounded cobble stones. back
monument COUNTY BOUNDARY * The limit line of a county. back
monument ROAD * A way between different places, used by horses, travellers on foot and vehicles. back
monument PIT * A hole or cavity in the ground, either natural or the result of excavation. Use more specific type where known. back
monument DEFENCE * This is the top term for the class. See DEFENCE Class List for narrow terms. back
monument ENCLOSURE * An area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or other similar barrier. Use specific type where known. 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 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
monument EARTHWORK * A bank or mound of earth used as a rampart or fortification. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record