Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/284

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A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE great numbers of coins, brass and silver and some gold ' all found, apparently, inside the earthwork. Burton, a century earlier, thought that the settlement extended far outside, and alleges foundations near Mancetter church, half a mile to the west. He also cites coins from various places bronze of Nero and the elder Faustina, found at Oufort Bank ; a silver Vespasian, found near Mancetter church ; a Carausius, found northwards in Witherley ; a ' first brass ' of Hadrian, found towards Atherstone. Recent writers only refer vaguely to coins, and do not increase our knowledge. 1 We have, then, evidence of permanent occupation, its extent and character uncertain. We may reasonably suspect a village or posting station. We might more rashly guess that the earthwork was a fort built in the early years of conquest, dismantled later and converted into a village. For certainties we must wait for excavation. It may be convenient to add that a Roman pottery kiln has been found at Hartshill, two miles to the south, and alleged traces of Roman road-paving at Atherstone both to be described in the index. It is possible also that a Roman road may have run direct to Leicester through Fenny Drayton. The consideration of Mancetter has often been complicated by the introduction of another neighbouring site. This is the oval ' camp ' at Oldbury, near Hartshill. It has been called the ' summer camp ' of Manduessedum or even Manduessedum itself. It is, however, not of Roman origin and has yielded no Roman remains, while, so far as we know, Manduessedum was not a military place such as would require a 'summer camp.' (</) CHESTERTON Chesterton, four miles south-east from Leamington, stands on the Fosse, twenty miles south of High Cross. It is noteworthy, for, with the exception of High Cross, it is the only site on the Warwickshire part of the Fosse which seems to show traces of definite and permanent occupation in the Roman period (fig. 4). Here on low ground, close to a stream which skirts its western front, is an imperfectly rectangular earth- work, girt with a substantial ditch and traversed by the Fosse. The interior area probably measures 660 feet at its greatest length, 400 feet at its least, and contains about 8 acres. 2 The proportions of the ditch, as now seen, are very striking. On the north it is about 140 feet wide, and its bottom is 1 3 feet below the level of the interior area ; on the south the width is about 110 feet and the depth 9 feet. The original ditch was probably much smaller than this. The site has been ploughed in former times, and for agricultural purposes the sides of the ditch must 1 Camden, ii. 447 ; Burton's MS. quoted by Nichols, Leicestershire, iv. 1027 ; Dugdale, p. 1076 (coins) ; Horsley, p. 420 (coins) ; Stukeley, lur Boreale, p. 20. Benjamin Bartlett's Manduestedum Roman urn (London, 1791 ; cited also as vol. ix. in Nichols* Bibl. Tofogr. Britann.) is little use. A survey of 1812 is printed in the Irons, of the Birmingham and Midland Institute (Archatol. section), (1900), xxvi.

  • As in all unexcavated 'camps,' it is not easy to decide where the interior area ended and the ram-

parts and ditch begin, and the unusual proportions of the ditch make this decision harder at Chesterton than elsewhere. 234