Roman Fort

Marton, Lincolnshire

NGRef: SK8382
OSMap: LR121
Type: Roman Fort
Roads
Itinera V/VIII: NW (1) to SEGELOCVM (Littleborough, Nottinghamshire)
Itinera V/VIII: SE (14) to LINDVM (Lincoln, Lincolnshire)

The Marton Auxiliary Fort

The small fort at Marton guarded a major crossing of the River Trent on the opposite (eastern) bank from the later, major Romano-British settlement at Littleborough in Nottinghamshire. This fort is known only from crop marks recorded in 1976 by Prof. St. Joseph lying in fields ½ mile west of Marton village, the enclosure covers a mere 2 acres (0.8ha). An earthwork was recorded here by Stukeley in 1776 but all visible traces have since been ploughed out.

The later Roman road recorded in Antonine Itinera V & VIII was to cross the Trent here, passing close outside the northern defences of the fort on its route between Lincoln and Littleborough.

There are a small number of Roman pottery kilns in the neighbourhood; at Knaith (SK8284) and Lea Grange Farm (SK8486) a couple of miles to the north, and at Little London near Torksey (SK8377) to the south, about half way between the Marton fort and the Roman vexillation fortress and marching camps about 5½ miles away at Newton on Trent; all sites on the same side of the River Trent in Lincolnshire.

The Fossdike Roman Finds

There are two Latin texts recorded in the R.I.B. assigned to the Foss Dike in Lincolnshire. The first to be discovered was a bronze statuette of Mars inscribed on two (out of four) panels, found in 1774 on the course of the Foss Dike at Torksey just south of the Marton fort (RIB 274; NGRef. SK8378), now on display in the British Museum, the other a tombstone found in 1932 on the course of the Foss Dike at Greetwell, 2 miles east of Lincoln (RIB 275; NGRef. TF0171), now in the Lincoln Museum. Both of these texts and tentative English translations are shown below.

Bronze Statuette of Mars Inscribed on Two Panels

DEO MAR ET NVB AVG COLASVNI BRVCCIVS ET CARATIVS DE SVO DONARVNT AD SESTER N C CELATVS AERARIVS FECIT AD AERAMENTI LIB DONAVIT FACTAM * III
"For the god Mars and the Divine Spirit of the Emperor of Colasunus,¹ Bruccius and Caratius donated this from their own funds ..." "... a sum of one-hundred Sestertii. Celatus the bronze-smith made this out of three pounds of brass."
(RIB 274; front face) (RIB 274; left side)
  1. Colasunus was probably the location of a temple dedicated somewhere on the Continent to the god Mars, possibly the place from whence the dedicators originated.

The Greetwell Roman Tombstone

M... IN... CLAV... ANNO... ROGI Q... PERTVLIT... TERII... MOR... SIC...
"[...] Claudianus? [...] years [...] perforated [...] death [...] thus [...]"
(RIB 275; tombstone)
See: Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1973-76 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lxvii (1977) p.129 & fig.3;
The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).
All English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.

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