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Caistor Roman Town



Reference Name MLI54186

Name:
Caistor Roman Town

Summary:
Caistor Roman Town.

Location:
CAISTOR, WEST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
The interior of a small 4th century defended town. Little is known of the site and nothing has been discovered to throw any light on interior buildings. The wall line of the Roman town follows the configuration of the ground, forming an irregular polygon 160m by 255m. Within this area about two thirds is ground which has not been built on and forms gardens or allotments and suchlike open space. The scheduling of the town excludes all permanent buildings. {1}

Finds include 1st to 5th century coins, mostly late 4th century pottery and a remarkable lead casket inscribed 'cvnobarrvs fecit vivas' in three pieces, part of which is now in the British Museum and another part of which is in Lincoln museum. {2}{3}{4}{5}{6}

The scheduling record mentions various parts of the scheduled area. Part A consists of the grounds of Caistor Grammar School but excludes the extant building although it includes the area where pre-fabricated classrooms have stood. Part B is the entrance and cemetery (now disused) of Caistor Congregation Chapel (also now derelict). Parts C, D, E and F are gardens belonging to houses in Church Street. The remains of the north bastion attached to the wall of Caistor is visible in the lowest courses of an outhouse behind the houses in Chapel Street. Parts H, I, J and K are gardens belonging to houses in Castle Hill. Parts M, N, O, P, Q, R, S and T are also gardens. Open garage space and back court yards of buildings fronting on the Market Place roughly follow the line of the Roman wall. {7}

Various excavations have revealed parts of the town wall. {8}{9}

Traces of Roman occupation were revealed in 1996, during an archaeological evaluation in the rear garden of the former British Legion club, Bank Lane (PRN54186a - TA 1176 0131). There was one archaeological feature containing two sherds of Roman pottery and an additional 26 sherds of residual pot was found. The pottery appears to date from the 3rd to the 4th century AD which would coincide with the construction of Caistor's Roman wall defences, believed to have been built in the 4th century. {10}{11}

The remains of a wall running north-north-west to south-south-east was revealed during the monitoring of groundworks for the new west gable at Caistor Grammar School (PRN54186b - TA 1164 0129). Fragments of 4th century Roman pottery were found in association. A layer, possibly the remains of the Roman ground surface, was the deepest deposit excavated. {12}{13}

An excavation was carried out in 1963 in the garden of the Grimsby Cooperative Society. An undated structure was revealed, which may relate to the Roman town. {14}

Caistor was the most important Roman settlement in the northern part of the Wolds, situated close to their western scarp and dominating the Ancholme valley. {15}

It was suggested, by the late Ian S. Davies, that Caistor was the site of 1st century military occupation and a 2nd century Roman fortress. The evidence for this did not convince professional archaeologists and this hypothesis, together with other theories Mr Davies had on the Roman landscape around Caistor, have not been generally accepted. {16}

The remains of part of the Roman wall, or part of a bastion, was revealed in March 2008, during archaeological works at Caistor Grammar School (PRN 54186c - TA 1158 0132). It was 5m wide and 1.7m thick. There is a single course of unbonded, roughly dressed limestone blocks overlain by three courses of roughly dressed, mortared limestone blocks in a herringbone pattern. {17}{18}

A fragment of Roman wall plaster was recovered during a watching brief at Caister Grammar School, in July 2013 (PRN 54186d - TA 1160 0132). The fragment was recovered from a levelling material, and is likely to have been redeposited from another location. {19}{20}

A possible Romano-British demolition deposit was revealed in September 2013, during the archaeological monitoring of the installation of new services to the rear of The Old Vicarage, Church Street, Caistor (PRN 54186e - TA 1173 0129). The deposit was comprised of stone rubble, brick, tile and mortar fragments, and a possible remnant of a rammed chalk surface or wall foundation deposit. Although no dateable material was recovered, the deposit was thought to be of possible Romano-British date due to its depth and stratigraphical relationship to an overlying buried soil layer of likely medieval date (see PRN 52691). {21}{22}

Sources:
1 Scheduling record: HBMC. 1974. AM 7. SAM 148
2 Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Card Index. TA 19 SW: 9, 1964, FRH
3 Article in serial: RAHTZ P. 1960. ANTIQUARIES JOURNAL. vol.40, pp.175-87
4 Article in serial: PHILLIPS, C.W.. 1935. ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL. vol.91, pp.129-33
5 Article in serial: HAWKES C F C. 1947. ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL. vol.103, pp.23-4
6 Article in serial: CORDER P. 1955. ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL. vol.112, p.39
7 Scheduling record: HBMC. 1974. AM 107. SAM 148
8 Index: SMR. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TA 10 SW: M, P, AH, AL, AO, 1979, TMA
9 Unpublished document: DIXON. CAISTOR GRAMMAR SCHOOL RECORDS. -
10 Intervention Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 1996. Former British Legion Club, Caistor: Archaeological Evaluation. CBL96
11 Excavation archive: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 1996. Former British Legion Club, Bank Lane, Caistor: Archaeological Evaluation. LCNCC 77.96
12 Excavation Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 1997. Casterby, Caistor Grammar School, Church Street, Caistor: Archaeological Excavation and Recording. CSC97
13 Excavation archive: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 1997. Casterby, Caistor Grammar School, Church Street, Caistor: Archaeological Excavation and Recording. LCNCC 12.97
14 Unpublished document: J. Keith T. Hunter. 1964. Interim Report of Excavation in Caistor, 1964. -
15 Unpublished document: North Lincolnshire Archaeological Unit. Caistor Archaeological Resource Map. -
16 Unpublished document: Davies, I.S.. 1998. Roman Caistor, Lincolnshire: Some Archaeological Notes. -
17 Intervention Report: Allen Archaeological Associates. 2009. Archaeological Scheme of Works at Caistor Grammar School, Caistor. CAGS08
18 Excavation archive: Allen Archaeological Associates. 2009. Archaeological Scheme of Works at Caistor Grammar School, Caistor. LCNCC 2009.30
19 Intervention Report: Neville Hall. 2013. Caistor Grammar School, Church Street, Caistor. NH site code: CGSC12
20 Excavation archive: Neville Hall. 2013. Caistor Grammar School, Church Street, Caistor. LCNCC 2012.158
21 Intervention Report: Neville Hall. 2013. The Old Vicarage, Church Street, Caistor. NH site code: OVCA13
22 Excavation archive: Neville Hall. 2013. The Old Vicarage, Church Street, Caistor. LCNCC 2013.177

Links:
Lincolnshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external weblinks.
The following reports are available from the ADS digital library.
10 Intervention Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 1996. Former British Legion Club, Caistor: Archaeological Evaluation. CBL96
12 Excavation Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 1997. Casterby, Caistor Grammar School, Church Street, Caistor: Archaeological Excavation and Recording. CSC97

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Last updated: 06-December-2015 13:16:50

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