Hindwell Roman Fort
Hindwell Roman Fort
A Roman auxiliary fort, roughly 160m by 143m, with defensive ditches on 3 sides. The fort was probably built in two phases, as the earthworks show two slightly different alignments. The fort was probably erected around AD 55 and was in use until shortly after AD 80.
The Romans chose a site that had been in use over 3000 years earlier. Hindwell Enclosure was erected in the late Neolithic period, with over 14000 oak trees enclosing a site roughly 34 hectares in size. The Roman fort was built over the eastern end of the enclosure.

More Detail

In 1956 finds of pottery at Hindwell Farm suggested the possibility of a Roman presence here. Aerial reconnaissance in 1973 confirmed a Roman fort, visible from the air by a system of low earthwork defences. The earthworks were surveyed in 1992, revealing a fort and nearby civilian settlement, or vicus, of unknown size. The fort is defended by an irregular ditch fronting a pair of narrower ditches and a rampart. About 120 metres south of the fort the presence of hypocaust bricks and tiles reveal the site of a bath house.

To confuse the architectural story still further, pottery finds inside the fort suggest a date around AD 80, while other finds include a piece of pottery stamped PASSIENVS, a potter known to have been working from AD 55-65, suggesting that the site was built much earlier. Immediately west of the fort lie remains of at least one, and possibly two smaller marching camps, suggesting that the site was used and reused several times.

Excavations in 2011 revealed a section of Roman road heading at an angle south-south-west of the fort. The road is roughly 6.5 metres wide plus flanking ditches, and shows no signs of metalling.

Hindwell Farm is private property, so please ask nicely before exploring the earthworks!