Cockersand Moss, Lancashire

Suspected Romano-British Shrine

NGRef: SD4761
OSMap: LR102
Type: Temple/Shrine
Roads
See CALVNIVM (Lancaster, Lancashire), 7 miles to the NNE.

Two Roman silver statuettes were found in 1718 in Cockersand Moss, about seven miles south-south-west of Lancaster at the mouth of the River Lune. These finds may indicate the presence of a Romano-British temple somewhere in the neighbourhood of Cockersand Abbey, perhaps beneath the abbey precinct itself. The largest and more finely executed statuette (R.I.B. 616, vide infra) is dedicated to the god Mars Donotus, while the smaller and more crudely fashioned work (R.I.B. 617, etiam infra) is dedicated to Mars Nodontis. It is very likely that these are both variations on the name Nodens Mars, who was also worshipped at a large, specialized temple complex at Lydney in Gloucestershire. Unfortunately, both of the Cockersand Moss statuettes are now "lost". [Or half-inched, more likely! ]

The Cockersand Moss Roman Statuettes

DEO MARTI DONOTI AVRELIVS CONVS SIG LVCIANVS • D M N • COL LIC APRILI VIATO • RIS V S
"To the god Mars Donotus, Aurelius has consecrated this statuette.¹" "To the god Mars Nodontis, the College of Lictors [and] Lucianus Aprilis the traveller, in fulfillment of a vow."
(RIB 616; silver statuette inscribed on front of base) (RIB 617; silver statuette inscribed on all 4 sides of pedestal)
  1. The last two words on this inscription are here expanded CON[secravit] SIG[illum], but could also be rendered CONUS SIG[nifer fecit] or "the plume-helmeted standard-bearer (made this)".
See: The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).
All translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.

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