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Herefordshire's Roman Sites

This gazetteer lists the minor Roman sites recorded in Herefordshire, and gives some information on them. The eight major Roman sites in the county have their own entries in a separate section - see Major Roman Sites.

To find source information for the sites listed here, use the Historic Environment Record (HER) number to locate them in the online HER Database. This list does not include the large number of Roman pottery finds: to search for these enter "Roman" as the Period and "pottery" as the Site Type into the respective search boxes on the database search page.

ABBEY DORE (HER 4201): A section of the Roman road, known as Stoney Street, was uncovered in the railway station yard at Abbey Dore. Abbey Dore is situated on the direct line north-east of Abergavenny (Gobannium) to Kenchester (Magna).

ASTON INGHAM (HER 6619): In Combe Wood, in 1855, a hoard of coins was discovered deposited in two chests ready for transportation. They were said to number many thousands. All were bronze, and they dated from AD 235-340.

AYMESTREY (HER 7089): Within the outer enclosure (annexe) of Croft Ambrey (an Iron Age hillfort) is a circular mound of c. 10m diameter and c. 1m high. During the Roman period, following desertion of the village, a native sanctuary in the annexe (the Mound) was set up, used from c. AD 75 until at least c. AD 160. It lies towards the eastern half of the enclosure and midway between the defences of the main camp and annexe. The mound itself is only the most prominent of number of features. The monument had two phases of development. Just to the south of the sanctuary the annexe defences had been breached in Roman times, presumably to provide access.

BIRLEY WITH UPPER HILL (HER 31968): A few sherds of Romano-British pottery were found in April 2002, to the east and west of the Roman road.

BISHOPS FROME (HER 7428): A small bronze statuette of Jupiter found c. 1.3m below the ground surface. It is now held in Worcester Museum.

BISHOPSTONE (HER 7223): The site of a Roman villa was discovered during excavations for the foundations of the rectory in 1812. A tessellated pavement was exposed 40cm from the surface, c. 10m square with the colours still bright and clear. The design appears to have been a geometrical pattern. Sadly, this mosaic is no longer in existence. All around the rectory were found Roman bricks, coarse and fine pottery, fragments of cinerary urns and coins. Also in 1812, sandstone foundations were found to the west of the house. The foundations were about 1-1.5m wide, and a total length of c. 15m could be traced, but no part of the wall remained standing.

BRAMPTON BRYAN (HER 8314): In 1854 a number of Roman coins were found in fields on the Brampton Bryan estate, close to Coxall Knoll. Fragments of pottery were also found.

BRAMPTON BRYAN (HER 192): A possible marching camp of Ostorius Scapula was identified by aerial photography in fields c. 110m east of the church. It was perhaps used during Scapula's campaigns in AD 47-8.

BRAMPTON BRYAN (HER 6205): Romano-British pottery was found to the south of Coxall Knoll, Brampton Bryan.

BRINSOP (HER 6284): Traces of a Roman well were discovered in 1887 following the subsidence of soil in a field belonging to Eleven Acres Farm. The ground had sunk for c. 65cm in an irregular circle c. 2.5m in diameter. After excavation it was discovered that the sides were of undressed stones put together without mortar, but strongly built. Pottery and animal bones were found. For c. 5m the lower space was filled with several tons of rough blocks mixed with bones. Below was c. 1m of clay, and finally very wet sand. Excavation stopped at c. 12m due to encroaching water. The diameter of the well varied. At c. 10m there was a triangular recess and here were found bones of animals and fragments of pottery. Parts of two stone querns and three clay amphorae were also found. The well appears to have been used as a rubbish dump.

BRINSOP (HER 6880): A possible marching camp identified by aerial photography at grid reference SO 4300 4400.

CLEHONGER (HER 6274): In Hereford Museum there are bronze brooches, buckles, keys and bodkins (large, blunt needles) which were donated by a Mrs. Jenkins in 1895.

CREDENHILL (HER 6291): Roman remains have frequently been found in the village, which is close to the site of Magna at Kenchester. During the cutting of the Hereford and Brecon Railway, coins, pottery and other articles were found. The Roman road to Magna was cut through here transversely about 60cm below the surface.

DINEDOR (HER 7169): Coins of Galba and Vitellius (AD 68-9) were found in the Iron Age hill fort here.

DONNINGTON (HER 3713): Remains of masonry have been found, apparently forming a well with a domed top. Within it were tiles and pottery. One vase was described as being Samian ware.

DORSTONE (HER 7179): Finds on Dorstone Hill discovered during the examination of a Neolithic site produced dates of the Mesolithic to Roman periods.

EASTNOR (Various HER numbers): In 1876 some curious pieces of stone piping were discovered near the castle, made of oolite bored through the centre and socketed into one another; they were evidently water pipes. The nearest oolite available is at Bredon Hill, 12 miles away. There is no definite evidence that these pieces were Roman.

Finds in this area also include various fragments of Roman pottery discovered during field-walking.

EATON BISHOP (HER 5966): Two Roman lamps and an urn, found near the Roman road known as Stoney Street, are now in the possession of Hereford Museum.

There are also two sections of Roman road in this area. One road (HER 6883) runs from Magna and forms a parish boundary in this area. The other (HER 11123) is the Roman road from Magna to Ewyas Harold.

FOWNHOPE (HER 7343): A coin of the Empress Lucilla (AD 61) was found in Capler Camp. On the obverse is the bust of Lucilla and the reverse shows a priestess offering olive wreaths at an altar with the legend almost obliterated. The coin is now in Hereford Museum.

GANAREW (HER 7170): A Roman building and hypocaust were found at Sellarsbrooke in the 1970s. The Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club reported that Roman coins and swords had also been found in 1895 at the Camp on Little Doward (Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, 1895, p. 213).

GOODRICH (HER 826): At Coppet Wood Hill a large collection of 4th century coins was dug up in 1817 (TWNFC, 1882). Iron scoriae (lumps of metal slag) appear in great quantities around Whitchurch and Goodrich, strewn over the surface of fields.

GOODRICH (HER 825): A hollow bronze dodecahedron (a geometrical figure with twelve pentagonal faces), in perfect condition, approx. 5cm high and 2.5cm thick, was found on Coppet Wood Hill in 1887-8. Each face was pierced with a circular opening c. 1.25cm across, and each angle was furnished with a small, round knob. Its purpose is unknown, but it has been suggested that it was used as a gauge for measuring metal rods.

HEREFORD (various HER numbers): There are no indications that this city was ever under Roman occupation. The Roman road from Kenchester to Stretton Grandison passes a mile or two north of it. Most of the artefacts found in and around the city would appear to have come from Kenchester. In 1829 a small bronze statue of Hermes (HER 26969) was found during excavations in the town, but this too probably came from Kenchester.

Roman coins have been found around Whitecross, Hunderton and Elm Road - this area is not far from the Kenchester to Stretton Grandison road.

In 1821 a Roman altar was discovered in St. John Street (HER 458) and is now in Hereford Museum. It is described as a monolith, in good condition, measuring c. 1m high and 40cm in width and with a depth of 25-30cm. The stone is chiselled at the top, in front and at the sides, but is rough at the back. The capital and pedestal are nearly perfect, but a small piece is broken off one angle of the shaft. It seems to have carried an inscription which is almost completely illegible.

Roman altars have also been reported in Victoria Street (HER 7111).

KENCHESTER (HER 8927): A forger's lead coin impression was found in a field immediately south-west of the Romano-British town of Magna. The field - which is regularly ploughed - is likely to contain Roman extra-mural occupation.

KINGS PYON (HER 31983): An area of possible cropmarks lies about 400m to the west of Bush Bank. Field-walking produced a large amount of Severn Valley ware, two sherds of black burnished ware and two sherds of Samian ware. A metal detectorist has also found two Roman coins in the same location.

LEDBURY (HER 7123, 4068, 4069): Bronze Roman coins, found with worked flints and British or Romano-British pottery, within the area of British Camp on Wall Hills, a mile or two west of Ledbury. It is probable that only the coins are Roman.

LEINTWARDINE (HER 21078): During grave-digging in Leintwardine churchyard in the 1870s, Roman deposits were encountered: two layers of ash and charcoal, with tile, pottery, tin alloy objects and coins. The finds included a quernstone, the upper part of an earthenware pounding mill with a lip or rim (a mortarium), Roman pottery, an alloy ring and a coin of Constantine.

LEINTWARDINE (HER 31832): An inscribed Roman stone was found in rubble at Millfield House in Leintwardine. The stone reads IOM (new line) DIVOR O AV (new line) SALUT EV (new line) ORVM. It has been interpreted as reading "to Jupiter best and greatest (and) the divine (spirits) of all the emperors. For his well-being (and) theirs (this offering has been made)". It is apparently of local limestone. The stone is c. 30cm high, c. 32.5cm deep and c. 35cm wide.

LEOMINSTER (HER 9237): Eleven sherds of Romano-British pottery were discovered to the east of Stagbatch near Leominster.

LEOMINSTER (HER 9248): Four sherds of Romano-British pottery were found to the west of Cornhill Cop near Leominster.

LEOMINSTER (HER 26852): Flint flakes and Romano-British pottery have apparently been found in the area of Ivington Park, near Leominster.

LYONSHALL (HER 1087): A coin of Numerian was dug up by Mr. Burgoyne in 1949, where there are field names of: "Chesters", "Roman Hill" and "Roman Wall". Roman ornaments displayed at a Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club meeting at Moorcourt in 1949 were possibly from Lyonshall.

MONKLAND AND STRETFORD (HER 31870): A large quantity of late 4th and early 5th century coins have been found in this area by the landowner.

PEMBRIDGE (HER 31869): About 30 Roman coins of early 5th century date were found by a metal detectorist at Marston near Pembridge.

PETERSTOW (HER 4091, 4092): Remains of smelting works have been found here in a field, about five miles from the site of Ariconium. Large quantities of iron cinders, imperfectly smelted, have been found on Peterstow Common, and Roman coins and pottery have been found in the beds of cinders, which in some places are c. 3-6m thick.

PUTLEY (HER 7465, 3228): In 1876 a large collection of Roman remains was exhibited, found shortly before during the excavation of the foundations of the north wall of Putley church. The remains consisted of a lump of burnt clay and several roof and flanged tiles. The tiles had prints from cats, thumbs, sandals and cloth. In 1877, a Mr. Riley found a wall, roof tiles and pottery on his estate to the east of the rectory. The pottery was dated as 3rd-4th century AD.

ROSS-ON-WYE (HER 12103): A copper coin of the Emperor Trajan "in excellent preservation and of considerable beauty" was found in 1804; on the reverse was a horseman striking down his foe. Other coins found here seem to have come from Ariconium.

ROSS-ON-WYE (HER 4059): A coin of Constantine (AD 330-37) was found on the cricket field.

ROSS-ON-WYE (HER 11793): Romano-British pottery has been found within the churchyard.

ST WEONARDS (HER 6765): Roman coins, scoriae, etc. have all been reported here. It is also reported that when the tumulus near the church was opened, a piece of pottery supposed to be Roman was found (T. Wright, Wanderings of an Antiquarian,1853).

ST WEONARDS (HER 9443): A Roman road from Hereford to Monmouth.

STAUNTON-ON-ARROW (HER 7202): A series of finds discovered at Lee Wood, north-west of Staunton Court, during stone picking. A bronze figure-of-eight shaped object may be Roman.

STOKE PRIOR (HER 3898): At Blackwardine in this parish, tradition has asserted the existence of a fortified Roman town of considerable size, but although Roman remains have been found they are not numerous enough to point to the existence of an important Roman fort. No building foundations have been uncovered. The principal discoveries in the area were made during the construction of the Leominster and Bromyard Railway in 1881, when remains were uncovered at c. 1m. Among them are said to have been a gold bracelet and ring, and a large number of skeletons, "all buried doubled up in a sitting position at different distances from the surface" (TWNFC, 1885, p. 341). A kiln was also found, constructed of worked stones, which were afterwards utilised by the railway men. Among other finds were numerous oyster shells, querns, fragments of coarse red, yellow blue and black pottery, and twelve coins, mostly of the Later Empire. Among the pottery was part of an amphora of coarse red ware with the stamp "QICSEG"; being of poor quality it was thought to be local. The names given for the coins are Agrippina II (AD 49-59), Vespasian (a silver denarius), Tetricus (AD 268-73), Constans (AD 291-306), Constantine the Great (AD 306-37), Crispus (AD 317-26), Constantine II (AD 317-40) and Honorius (AD 395-433).

STRETTON GRANDISON (various HER numbers): The village of Stretton Grandison lay at the point where the Roman road, which runs eastward from Kenchester, comes to an apparent end. Another road (not definitely Roman) runs from here in a south-easterly direction. On a hill above the village there is an extensive camp, and it was therefore supposed that this place represents the station of Cicutio mentioned by the anonymous geographer of the Ravenna Cosmography.

During excavations for an aqueduct to carry the Hereford and Ledbury Canal over the River Frome in 1842, black soil containing animal bones, a Roman steelyard with weight attached, a bronze spearhead, two gold bracelets (one of coiled wire, the other a flat band with light scrollwork), fragments of ornamental Gaulish pottery and many pieces of coarse ware were dug up. A clay lamp was also discovered in a wood near the earthwork to the east of the church: it is of common form, with a volute on each side of the nozzle and no handle. On top is a relief representing Actaeon being attacked by a hound; stag horns are sprouting from his head. (Actaeon is a character in Roman mythology who dared to hunt the animals of the goddess Diana, so she turned him into a stag and he was attacked and killed by his own hounds.)

STRETTON SUGWAS (HER 785, 6297, 6298, 8466): A possible Roman settlement identified by aerial photography. A coin hoard was discovered in the grounds of The Priory and purchased by Hereford Museum. There were 170 coins, twenty of which date from the 1st-2nd century AD, but the bulk are bronze and date from Constantine the Great (AD 306-37) to Theodosius (AD 379-95). Romano-British bronzes have also been found near the Rectory.

TRETIRE (HER 6421): About 1830, an inscribed Roman altar was discovered which had subsequently been fashioned into a font; it is now in Tretire parish church. It resembles the rude capital of a pillar with a square hole in the top, and is about 70cm high and 40cm broad. It was found in two pieces and carried the inscription:

DEO TRIV(II)  
BECCIVS DON
AVIT ARAM

"Beccius gave the altar to the God of the Three Ways".

WALFORD (HER 6394): At Bishopswood, a hoard of about 18,000 brass coins, nearly all of the Constantine period (AD 290-360), was discovered in three urns in 1895, some 50m to the north of the church. Some of the coins were given to the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club, and eighty-four to Hereford Museum.

WALTERSTONE (HER 1454): A tessellated pavement was found about 1775 at "Cored Gravel" (sic.: possibly Coed-y-Grafel?), half a mile from Walterstone Camp and two miles north of Oldcastle.

WELLINGTON (HER 6897): Roman pottery and an oven were discovered in this area in the 1890s. They were later in the possession of Mr. J. Arkwright of Hampton Court. There is also a possible Roman road from Wellington to Suckley (HER 33759).

WEOBLEY (HER 6310, 31982): A Roman coin of Constantine the Great was found here in the 17th century. In 2001, two Roman brooches and six coins were found close to The Ley.

WESTON UNDER PENYARD (HER 839): 2nd-3rd century Romano-British pottery was found together with a coin of Antoninus Pius in the foundations of a new building 100m west of Cherry Orchard. Scatters of iron slag, charcoal and sherds from surrounding fields.

WESTON UNDER PENYARD (HER 21725): Seven items from Bromsash, but not specifically located:

  1. Bronze triangular-section socketed spearhead or ballista bolt. It is a votive if it is a ballista bolt. Graham Webster thinks it is medieval and linked to the development of plate armour.
  2. A small spearhead with a prominent rib. Its point is missing. Thought to be late Iron Age or Romano-British, although Graham Webster considered it Late Medieval.
  3. A small oval stud, 23 x 13mm, with two small projecting attachment studs at the back. The projection has a thin line cut. Roman, 2nd - mid 3rd century (G. Webster).
  4. A phallic pendant with a projecting phallus. Roman. A harness fitting (G. Webster) or a suspension loop for bucket or small cannister.
  5. A short thin bronze strip, 24mm wide, with two crude circular studs attached to a thin plate 38mm long, with rounded ends connected at a break. The strip is too thin for armour and may have been from a box decoration (G. Webster).
  6. Severn Valley ware face-pot fragment - most of the face survives. 2nd-4th century.
  7. A roughly spherical ball of sandstone, weighing 140g, with an average diameter of 44mm. "It was considered to be too light and too small to be a ballista/catapult ball and is most likely a stone sling-shot." (Probably a grinding stone).

WESTON UNDER PENYARD (HER 21709): A flat-backed animal (bird/seal?) shape (brooch?) decorated with recessed hollows for coloured stones/enamel - "typical of late Roman period". Also a skillet leg with an inscription, "OVR F", cast and then hand-lettered. Its metal is possibly latten (brass or a similar alloy), with a mouldy chocolate look on the break.

WHITCHURCH (HER 8494): The remains of a possible villa, indicated by a tessellated pavement, were found in a meadow on the right hand side of a road leading to Monmouth. Coins, scoriae (lumps of metal slag) and cinders were also found.

[Original compiler: Miranda Greene, 2004]


Last Updated: 05/03/2013 14:40:16