Minor Romano-British Settlement

Templeborough, Rotherham, South Yorkshire

NGRef: SK4191
OSMap: LR111
Type: Minor Settlement, Fort.
Roads
Probable road: NE (12) to DANVM (Doncaster, South Yorkshire)
S (13) to Chesterfield (Derbyshire)
WSW (17) to NAVIO (Brough-on-Noe, Derbyshire)

The Templeborough Fort

The fort is almost square, measuring some 495 by 490 feet, covering an area of 5½ acres. Defences consisted of a turf rampart, built on a foundation of gravel and clay, an average 18 feet wide, with a single 18 foot wide ditch, separated from the rampart by a 13 foot wide berm. The occupation date of the fort is not certain, but cannot be later than early Flavian, and it may be earlier. The fort was buried under the Rotherham steelworks during the First World War, and was never archaeologically excavated.

The fort was reduced in size by cutting down the early turf rampart of the retentura and building a new fort, surrounded by a nine foot thick stone wall, backed by a clay bank and fronted by a single, 18 foot wide ditch. The internal dimensions of "Templeborough II" was about 380 by 440 feet, giving a new occupation area of about 3¾ acres.

Neronian and Flavian pottery recovered from the site indicates that this fort was constructed very early in the history of Roman rule. Samian ware of the Trajanic, Hadrianic and Antonine periods, together with other pottery dated to the third and fourth centuries probably indicates continued and uninterrupted occupation up until the Roman withdrawal from the province. The latest coins recovered from the site include those of Carausius (286-293) and Constantine? (307-337).

Epigraphic Evidence for the Fort's Garrison

Cohors Quartae Gallorum - The Fourth Cohort of Gauls

DIS M CINTVSMVS M COH IIII GALLORVM POS MELISVS
"To the spirits of the departed and Cintusmus, a soldier of the Fourth Cohort of Gauls, [this memorial was] placed by Melisus."
(RIB 619; tombstone)

Tombstone of a Veteran from the Fourth Cohort of Gauls

DIS MANIBVS CROTO VINDICIS EMERITO COH IIII GALLORVM ANNORVM XXXX MONIMENTVM FECIT FLAVIA PEREGRINA CONIVNX PIENTISSIMA MARITO PIENTISSIMO TITVLVM POSVIT
"To the spirits of the departed and Crotus Vindex, veteran of the Fourth Cohort of Gauls, forty years old, this monument was made and its inscription set down by Flavia Peregrina a most faithful wife for a most faithful husband."
(RIB 620; tombstone)

Tombstone of a Woman from the Dobunni Tribe

DIS M VERECVD RVFI LIA CIVES DOBVNNA ANNOR XXXV EXCINGVS CONIVX CONIVGI KARISSIMAE POSIT DE SVO
"To the spirits of the departed and to Verecunda Rufilia, a citizen of the Dobunni,¹ thirty-five years old, her husband Excingus placed this for his dearest wife."
(RIB 621; tombstone)
  1. The Dobunni tribe inhabited the area around Gloucestershire and Hereford & Worcester.
See: The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
The Archaeology of Roman Britain by R.G. Collingwood (Methuen, London, 1930).
All translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.

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