Blog – Middlewich Roman Fort: King Street Roman Fort: Salinae: Condate.

  • Middlewich, Cheshire.
  • OSGB – SJ 70221 66954.
  • Scheduled Monument.
  • Monument Number 12615.

 

Roman Auxiliary Fort. Occupied mid first to late second centuries AD.

Situated just north of Middlewich, the Roman fort would have housed between 500-1,000 men. It is almost square and measures 110m by 125m and has rounded corners. There is archaeological evidence of the usual entrances on each side of the fort. The site was originally defended by a rampart and ditch.

 

Middlewich Looking South

 

A vicus is believed to be located just south of the fort where evidence of leatherworking, metal working and tanning have been uncovered. There is also further evidence of industrial work, mostly salt production for which the area is still known for today. Salt was an important commodity in Roman times and expensive, used mainly for food preservation.

 

Salt-filled-amphorae.
AncientOrigins.com

 

Five Roman roads met near the site, but there is some speculation over this. There was definitely a Roman Road that connected Middlewich with Northwich. Archaeological evidence shows that Middlewich was an earlier fort than Northwich.

Other forts close by were Chesterton, Whitchurch and Wilderspool, each being one day’s march from Middlewich.

A majority of this fort still lays buried and as such holds onto its history. We do know that it was possibly garrisoned by an Ala Classiana cavalry regiment in 105 AD, as this is mentioned on the Military Discharge Diploma found nearby. There again – it may have been dropped by someone passing through……

In 2006 the Heritage Lottery Fund granted some funds to research the area.

 

Timeline for Middlewich,

48 AD                Temporary camp constructed on site.

70 AD                Permanent fort constructed.

1st C                  Pottery sherds date from.

130                   Fort dismantled.

150-230             Saltworks evidence.

3rd C                  Structures – evidence of.

4th C                  Structures – evidence of.

19th C                The first Roman artefacts were uncovered at the site.

1960                 Excavated.

1993                 The site was identified as Salinae.

1998                 A coin hoard of 30 coins was discovered.

1999                 Watching Brief.

2000                 Watching Brief.

2001                 Excavated.

2004                 Excavated.

 

 

The archaeology of the site, to date, is interesting and includes the following,

      • Internal and external features.
      • Postholes.
      • Evidence of timber beams.
      • Burnt clay.
      • Pottery sherds.
      • Flavian Samien Ware.
      • Clay floors.
      • Pits.
      • Trackways.
      • A black Burnished Ware tankard.
      • Amphora.
      • A Military Discharge Diploma.
      • Roman brooches.
      • A Creamware flagon.
      • Roman Army stew pot.
      • Mortarium.
      • An Orange Ware beaker.
      • Chimney pot.
      • Iron nails.
      • Cattle bones.
      • Clay bricks.
      • Evidence of timber strip buildings.
      • Coin hoard of 30 coins.
      • A writing stylus.
      • Pottery kiln.
      • Portion of a wooden barrel marked with EV.
      • Nearby – some salt pans.

 

 

References & Bibliography

Allen. D., & Bryan. M. 2020. Roman Britain and Where to Find It. Amberley Publishing.

Baines. T. 1869. Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present: A History and a Discription of the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester, Forming the North-Western Division of England, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time (1867). Div. 1. Volume 1. Mackenzie.

Birley. E. 1982. Veterans of The Roman Army in Britain and Elsewhere. Ancient Society, 13/14, pp. 265-276. Retrieved May 5, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org.rp.nla.gov.au/stable/44080156.

Breeze. A. 2002. The Name of Lutudarum, Derbyshire. Britannia, 33, pp. 266-268. doi:10.2307/1558864.

Burnham. B. C., & Wacher. J. S. 1990. The Small Towns of Roman Britain. University of California Press.

Burnham. B., Hunter. F., Fitzpatrick. A., Hassall. M., & Tomlin. R. 2002. Roman Britain in 2001. Britannia, 33, pp. 275-371. doi:10.2307/1558866.

Carrington. P. 2008. Feeding the Wolf in Cheshire. In S. Stallibrass & R. Thomas. (eds). Feeding the Roman Army: The Archaeology of Production and Supply in NW Europe. Oxbow Books, Limited.

Chapman. E., Hunter. F., Wilson. P., Booth. P., Worrell. S., Pearce. J., & Tomlin. R. 2015. Roman Britain in 2014. Britannia, 46, pp.281-420. Retrieved May 5, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org.rp.nla.gov.au/stable/24737508.

Coward. T. A. 2018. Cheshire – Traditions and History. Read Books Limited.

Creighton. J. 2014. The Supply and Movement of Denarii in Roman Britain. Britannia, 45, pp. 121-163. Retrieved May 5, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org.rp.nla.gov.au/stable/24737448.

Hills. G. M. 1881. The Measurements of Ptolemy and the Antonine Itinerary, Applied to the Northern Counties of England. Journal of the British Archaeological Association, Volume 37, (1881), pp. 360-415.

Jewitt. L. 1863. Notice of a Roman Milestone Recently Found at Buxton and of the Roman Roads in That Neighbourhood. The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist: A Quarterly Journal and Review Devoted to the Study of Early Pagan and Christian Antiquities of Great Britain. Volume 3 (1863), pp. 207-217.

Pearce. J. 2004. Archaeology, writing tablets and literacy in Roman Britain. Gallia, 61, pp. 43-51. Retrieved May 5, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org.rp.nla.gov.au/stable/43607827.

Penney. S., & Shotter. D. 1996. An Inscribed Roman Salt-Pan from Shavington, Cheshire. Britannia, 27, pp. 360-365. doi:10.2307/527054.

Pevsner. N., & Hubbard. E. 1971. Cheshire. Yale University Press.

Philpott. R. 1999. A Romano-British Brooch Type from North-Western and Northern England. Britannia, 30, pp. 274-286. doi:10.2307/526683.

Rogers. I. 1996. The Conquest of Brigantia and the Development of the Roman Road System in the North-West. Britannia, 27, pp.365-368. doi:10.2307/527055.

Roman Britain. 2021. Salinae (Cornoviorvm). Available at https://web.archive.org/web/20060509034543/http://www.roman-britain.org/places/salinae_cornoviorum.htm. Accessed 5 May 2021.

Roxan. M. M. 2016. Roman Military Diplomas 1985 to 1993. Taylor & Francis.

Shotte. D. C. A. 2002, ‘A hoard of denarii from Middlewich, Cheshire.’, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 151, pp. 163-166.

Tomlin. R., & Hassall. M. 2006. Inscriptions. Britannia, 37, pp. 467-488. Retrieved May 5, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org.rp.nla.gov.au/stable/30030530.

Ward. M. 2016. A Gazetteer of the Incidence of Less Common Samien Ware Fabrics and Products in Northern and Western Britain. Part 1: Introduction and South Gaulish Fabrics. Journal of Roman Pottery Studies. Vol. 16. pp. 131-155.

Watkin. W. T. 1886. Roman Cheshire. W Thompson Watkin.

Whitaker. J. 1771. The History of Manchester: In Four Books, Volume 1. Mess. Dodsley.

Wild. F. 2002. The Development of the Roman Road System in the North-West: The Evidence of the Samian Ware. Britannia, 33, pp. 268-274. doi:10.2307/1558865.

Wild. F. 2013. A Samian Repair and Recycling Workshop at Kempston Church End, Beds. Britannia, 44, pp. 271-275. Retrieved May 5, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org.rp.nla.gov.au/stable/42751514.

Wilson. D., & Wright. R. 1967. Roman Britain in 1966: I. Sites Explored: II. Inscriptions. The Journal of Roman Studies, 57(1/2), pp. 174-210. doi:10.2307/299353.

Wood. I. 1850. Kinderton, Near Middlewich, is the Condate of the Roman Itineraries. Journal of the Architectural, Archæological, and Historic Society, for the County, City, and Neighbourhood of Chester. Volume 1. (1857), pp. 44-50.

 

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