ANDERITVM / ANDERIDA

Saxon Shore Fort

Pevensey, East Sussex

NGRef: TQ6404
OSMap: LR199
Type: Saxon Shore Fort

Plan of the Saxon Shore Fort of Anderitum (Pevensey), oriented with north at the top.
As can be seen, the southern part of the fort has been eroded by tidal action,
and other parts of the massive wall have become damaged by slippage.
[adapted from Collingwood]
Roads
Probable Road: NNW (30) to Holtye (Sussex)
Possible road: W (24) to Hassocks (West Sussex)
Possible Coastal Road: W (24) to NOVVS PORTVS? (nr. Brighton and Hove, Sussex)

Anderitum/Anderida - The Place at the River Mouth

The name of the Roman station at Pevensey is first mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum of the late-4th/early-5th centuries where it appears as Anderide, between the entries for Rutupiae (Richborough, Kent) and Portus Ardaoni (Portchester, Hampshire). The Pevensey fort is last mentioned in the Ravenna Cosmology of the seventh century, in which the name is recorded as Anderelio Nuba (R&C#68), between the duplicated entry for Iacio Dulma (Towcester, Northamptonshire) and the unknown station Mutuantonis located somewhere in south-east England.

The Epigraphy of Anderida

Although there are no inscriptions on stone recorded in Volume I of the R.I.B., many roofing tiles have been unearthed within the Pevensey defenses which have been stamped on the back with one of the oldest Roman texts in Britain (vide infra). They likely record the activities of the last known Roman governor to campaign in Britain, Stilicho the Vandal, who has also been connected with the series of signal stations along the north-eastern coast between Huntcliff in Cleveland and Filey in North Yorkshire. This man was the most favoured general of the emperor Honorius, the younger son of Theodosius, who ruled the Western Empire from his citadel at Ravenna between AD395 and 423 (vide supra).

Roman Roofing Tiles

HON AVG ANDRIA
"[Property of] the emperor Honorius, from Anderida"
(Burn 231; RIB II; stamped tiles)

The Garrison Unit(s) of Anderida

The only record of any of the fort's garrison units is contained in the Notitia Dignitatum mentioned above, where, included among the forces "at the disposal of the Right Honourable Count of the Saxon shore in Britain" there is the entry for Pevensey shown below.

The Pevensey Entry from the Notitia Dignitatum

Praepositus numeri Abulcorum, Anderidos
"The commander of the Company of Abulci¹ at Anderida"
(Notitia Dignitatum xxviii.20; 4th/5th C.)
  1. The Abulci possibly hailed from the Roman town of Abula in Hispania Tarraconensis mentioned by Ptolemy, now known as Avila near Madrid in central Spain. They could equally be a little-known tribe from Germany.

The Saxon Shore Fort

"Pevensey (Fig. 12b) is oval in shape, with an area of over 8 acres. Its walls are 12 feet thick and stand 28 feet high; they are built on a framework of timber sleepers embedded in the surface of a chalk and stone foundation, and have U-shaped bastions and tile bonding-courses. The gates, flanked by towers, are 10 feet wide, and there is a postern curved in such a way that a person entering cannot see into the fort." (Collingwood, p.53)

Other Roman Sites in the Locale

There is a villa at Eastbourne (TV6198), four miles to the south-west along the coast. The Roman pottery kiln at Arlington (TQ5207), lies on the line of the suspected road to the minor settlement at Hassocks, and a substantial Roman building has been found at Newhaven (TQ4401) along the route of the possible coastal road to Brighton and Noviomagus (Chichester).

See: Roman Britain and the Roman Navy by David J.P. Mason (Tempus, Stroud, 2003);
The Roman Shore Forts - Coastal Defences of Southern Britain by Andrew Pearson (Tempus, Stroud, 2002);
A Guide to the Roman Remains in Britain by Roger J.A. Wilson (Constable, London, 2002, 4th ed.);
Roman Britain by Peter Salway (Oxford 1981);
The Archaeology of Roman Britain by R.G. Collingwood (Methuen, London, 1930).

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