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Lincoln Roman Colonia (Lindum)



Reference Name MLI70138

Name:
Lincoln Roman Colonia (Lindum)

Summary:
The extent of the Roman Colonia is defined by the existing fragments of the boundary walls and fosse. Excavations at various points have revealed traces of Roman occupation, the ramparts, walls and finds.

Location:
ABBEY, LINCOLN, LINCOLNSHIRE
CASTLE, LINCOLN, LINCOLNSHIRE
MINSTER, LINCOLN, LINCOLNSHIRE
CARHOLME, LINCOLN, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
The extent of the Roman Colonia is defined by the existing fragments of the boundary walls and fosse. Excavations at various points have revealed traces of Roman occupation at various levels down to nine feet. {1}

The Roman legionary fortress at Lincoln covered an area of 41.5 acres, the military occupation lasting from c.47 to 48AD to c.71 to 77AD. The timber defences served the subsequent Colonia for about a century until the stone wall was built, almost certainly by Severus. The area enclosed by the wall is exactly that of the fortress. {2}

The English Heritage Scheduled Monument record divides SAM 115 into 64 parts. For details of those areas included in the scheduling see the document in the SMR file. {3}

An oval feature, containing early 2nd century pottery and some animal bone, was recorded during trial trenching on the site of the former Bishop's Palace (PRN 70138a - SK 9781 7166). The feature was thought to be a pit or posthole. A patch of silty sand extending beneath the section displayed an identical composition, and is thought to be the fill of a comparable feature. {4}{5}

Excavations in 1948, 1968 and 1970 to 1972 at The Park allowed a detailed study of the defences of the lower city and lower west gate, and their development (see PRN 70141). Further evidence for the development of the Roman city and its defences was revealed during excavations at Motherby Hill (see PRN 70148). Evidence for occupation predating the construction of the defences was recorded, which included domestic buildings. {6}

A watching brief was undertaken during groundworks at Westgate Primary School, Lincoln prior to development (PRN 70138b - SK 9740 7204). The earliest features uncovered were a series of deposits attributed to the ramparts for the defences dating to c.55-67 AD. In addition there were two substantial postholes, one of which was dated to the 1st century by pottery which may be legionary in origin. There were also two pits dating to the 1st to early 2nd century. In additional layers were fragments of painted wall plaster as well as twelve sherds of amphorae dating to 70-100 AD. There were also further rampart deposits, which are either modifications of the initial ramparts, or the Colonia defences dated to the early second century. The ditch for the Colonial defences was uncovered, although the cut revealed was thought to date to the 4th century and it was in use until the late post-medieval period, as demonstrated by the backfill which dated to the late 19th century. The pottery collection of 36 sherds was of a high status, which fits well with the site's location within the area of the early fortress. {7}{8}

A watching brief at Deloraine Court exposed a north to south stone wall foundation of Roman date (PRN 70138c - SK 9768 7195). However, due to the limited scope of the investigation only a small section of this structure was revealed and its precise date, form and function remain unclear. An ashy deposit lying directly above this structure may be associated with its subsequent destruction. {9}{10}

Residual finds of Roman date were recovered from evaluation trenches excavated in 2009, within the grounds of Lincoln Castle (PRN 70138d - SK 9744 7184). The finds included pottery spanning the Roman period and painted wall plaster. {11}{12}

A small quantity of Roman pottery and tile was recovered during an evaluation on Bailgate, near the junction with East Bight (PRN 70138e - SK 9766 7210). No Roman features or deposits were found during this investigation however, and it is probable that these, if present, are at a deeper depth. {13}{14}

A single sherd of residual greyware pottery and a small amount of animal bone were recovered during a watching brief at the Usher Gallery. {15}{16}

A watching brief at Bailgate revealed possible Roman deposits (PRN 70138f - SK 976 720). A fresh sherd of 2nd-3rd century pottery, an un-abraded Roman tile and a limestone plinth of probable Roman date were recovered. {17}{18}

A topographic survey in the garden of Castle Moat House identified a possible remnant of the Roman rampart near the western boundary of the garden (PRN 70138g - SK 9741 7179). This feature has the same alignment as the nearby section of extant Roman walling in the grounds of Hilton House. However, the area has undergone significant landscaping therefore this interpretation is tentative. {19}{20}

Roman tegula, brick and pottery was revealed during investigations within the basement of The Old Palace, Minster Yard (PRN 70138h - SK 9773 7169). Some residual Roman pottery was found in medieval layers also (see PRN 71125). {21}{22}

An evaluation within the Eastern Courtyard of Lincoln Castle was conducted in 2011 (PRN 70138i - SK 9749 7181). The foundation of a wall which was associated with a few sherds of Roman pottery including 1st to 2nd century Samian ware was excavated. Late 10th century robber trenches were also revealed on the site [see PRN 71152] which suggest that the stone from walls of an earlier building had been robbed. These features were also associated with layers which contained brick fragments, box flue tile, imbreces and tegulae. The evidence from these walls and artefacts suggests the presence of a Roman colonia building on the site. Material associated with the occupation of the building was found which included 4th century pottery and a follis of Constantine which dates from AD 300 to 335. {23}{24}

Archaeological monitoring and recording was undertaken during excavation of footings for a rear extension at 59 Steep Hill, in 2011 (PRN 70138j - SK 9766 7159). Limestone blocks which may have been capping a well or pit, or the base of a column were found in association with twenty one sherds of Roman pottery (including Neronian, a sherd of Central Gaulish pottery and two Legionary fabric pot sherds), a fragment of Roman tile and a sherd of Roman glass. A layer containing a small amount of animal bone and three sherds of middle 2nd century pottery, an undated pit containing cattle and sheep or goat bones and an undated posthole was also found. These features are probably Roman in date. A layer of redeposited material which may represent surviving remains of terracing and a limestone wall foundation associated with late 2nd to 4th century pottery was also found. {25}{26}

The foundations of late 1st century columns and walls, forming part of the frontage of the Roman forum, can be seen in the basements of 27 and 29 Bailgate (PRN 70138k - SK 9764 7199). {27}

The remains of the Roman wall behind Mary Sookias House was recorded, prior to conservation and backfilling (PRN 70138l - SK 9756 7214). The wall was cleared of loose debris and vegetation before being surveyed. {28}{29}

A borehole survey was carried out at the former St Cuthberts nursery site (PRN 70138m - SK 9758 7158). Three distinct terraces were identified. Archaeological deposits varied in thickness from c.3m to c.6m at a depth of c.2m under non archaeological overburden. This suggests that Roman and medieval deposits and remains probably survive within much of the site. {30}{31}

The remains of a limestone wall of likely Roman date was recorded during the excavation of three small trial trenches, prior to proposed redevelopment of the land to the rear of 5 & 6 Eastgate (PRN 70138n - SK 9767 7191). {32}{33}

Sources:
1 Scheduling record: HBMC. AM 7. -
2 Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Card Index. SK 97 SE: 7, 1962, Clarke, A.
3 Unpublished document: Bennet, M.. 1994. PARISH FILE. LINDUM COLONIA. THE AREAS OF SAM LI115
4 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. Dec 2000. The site of the former Bishop's Palace, Lincoln. OBPB00
5 Excavation archive: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. Dec 2000. The site of the former Bishop's Palace, Lincoln. LCNCC 2000.257
6 Bibliographic reference: Colyer, C., Gilmour, B.J.J. and Jones, M.J.. 1999. The Defences of the Lower City. -
7 Intervention Report: Archaeological Project Services. Feb 2005. Watching brief at Westgate Primary School, Lincoln. LWS04
8 Excavation archive: Archaeological Project Services. Feb 2005. Watching brief at Westgate Primary School, Lincoln. LCNCC 2003.371
9 Intervention Report: Mike Jarvis Archaeological Services. 2006. 5 Deloraine Court, James Street, Lincoln: Archaeological Watching Brief. JSL05
10 Excavation archive: Mike Jarvis Archaeological Services. 2006. 5 Deloraine Court, James Street, Lincoln: Archaeological Watching Brief. LCNCC 2006.9
11 Intervention Report: Field Archaeology Specialists. Apr 2009. Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln. Archaeological Evaluation. PYL09
12 Excavation archive: Field Archaeology Specialists. Apr 2009. Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln. Archaeological Evaluation. LCNCC 2009.27
13 Intervention Report: Archaeological Project Services. 2010. Archaeological Evaluation at Bailgate, Lincoln. LBEB10
14 Excavation archive: Archaeological Project Services. 2010. Archaeological Evaluation at Bailgate, Lincoln. LCNCC 2010.18
15 Intervention Report: Allen Archaeological Associates. 2010. Archaeological Watching Brief Report: The Usher Gallery, Danesgate, Lincoln. LUSH09
16 Excavation archive: Allen Archaeological Associates. 2010. Archaeological Watching Brief Report: The Usher Gallery, Danesgate, Lincoln. LCNCC 2009.133
17 Intervention Report: Archaeological Project Services. 2010. Bailgate, Lincoln. APS site code: LNBG 10
18 Excavation archive: Archaeological Project Services. 2010. Bailgate, Lincoln. LCNCC 2010.17
19 Intervention Report: Field Archaeology Specialists. 2010. Castle Moat House, Lincoln: Archaeological Evaluation. LML10
20 Excavation archive: Field Archaeology Specialists. 2010. Castle Moat House, Lincoln: Archaeological Evaluation. LCNCC 2010.108
21 Intervention Report: Allen Archaeology Ltd. 2011. The Old Palace, Minster Yard, Lincoln. AAL site code: LIBI10
22 Excavation archive: Allen Archaeology Ltd. 2011. The Old Palace, Minster Yard, Lincoln. LCNCC 2010.158
23 Intervention Report: Field Archaeology Specialists. 2011. Archaeological Evaluation at the Eastern Courtyard, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln. SCL11
24 Excavation archive: Field Archaeology Specialists. 2011. Archaeological Evaluation at the Eastern Courtyard, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln. LCNCC 2011.89
25 Intervention Report: Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd. 2011. Erection of two storey rear extension including lower ground floor at 59 Steep Hill, Lincoln: Archaeological Monitoring and Recording. PCAS site code: SHLM11
26 Excavation archive: Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd. 2011. Erection of two storey rear extension including lower ground floor at 59 Steep Hill, Lincoln: Archaeological Monitoring and Recording. LCNCC 2011.43
27 Index: Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Dec 1999. Revised List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. 1941-1/9/16
28 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1993. Cecil Street, Mary Sookias House. CEA92
29 Excavation archive: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1993. Cecil Street, Mary Sookias House. LCNCC 2005.198
30 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1995. Borehole Survey, Site of the Former St Cuthberts Nursery Site, Michaelgate. -
31 Intervention Report: Soils Engineering Limited. 1995. Ground Investigation of St Cuthberts Nursery School Site, Michaelgate, Lincoln. -
32 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1997. Land to the rear of 5 & 6 Eastgate, Lincoln. CLAU site code: EGA97
33 Excavation archive: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1997. Land to the rear of 5 & 6 Eastgate, Lincoln. LCNCC 28.97

Links:
Lincolnshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external weblinks.
The following reports are available from the ADS digital library.
4 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. Dec 2000. The site of the former Bishop's Palace, Lincoln. OBPB00
7 Intervention Report: Archaeological Project Services. Feb 2005. Watching brief at Westgate Primary School, Lincoln. LWS04
9 Intervention Report: Mike Jarvis Archaeological Services. 2006. 5 Deloraine Court, James Street, Lincoln: Archaeological Watching Brief. JSL05
11 Intervention Report: Field Archaeology Specialists. Apr 2009. Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln. Archaeological Evaluation. PYL09
17 Intervention Report: Archaeological Project Services. 2010. Bailgate, Lincoln. APS site code: LNBG 10
21 Intervention Report: Allen Archaeology Ltd. 2011. The Old Palace, Minster Yard, Lincoln. AAL site code: LIBI10
25 Intervention Report: Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd. 2011. Erection of two storey rear extension including lower ground floor at 59 Steep Hill, Lincoln: Archaeological Monitoring and Recording. PCAS site code: SHLM11

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Last updated: 09-December-2015 13:26:23

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