Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/285

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


ROMANO-BRITISH WARWICKSHIRE have been ploughed down to a workable slope : thus the width of the ditch would be largely increased, though its depth might be lessened. But whatever allowance we make for this, it remains probable that the original ditch was large and formidable. It has been generally assumed that this earthwork, like that of Mancetter, is of Roman origin, though no definite proof exists. Dugdale and others state that Roman coins have been found within its area, and I am told that pottery and FIG. 4. CHESTERTON CAMP. (From the 6-inch Ordnance Survey. Scale i : 10560) numerous coins, principally of the third and fourth centuries, have been discovered in the fields around it. Burials and burial urns are also said to have been met with near the ' camp,' and foundations a little to the east of it. 1 Four enamelled bosses have also been dug up somewhere hard by, but these, though often styled Roman, are of later date. Chesterton thus closely resembles Mancetter alike in the size and the position of its earthwork on a Roman road and in the uncertainties which attend its explanation. The earthwork may be an early Roman fort, abandoned as the tide of Roman conquest swept swiftly north. Or, like Brinklow (p. 245), it may not be Roman at all. In either case, the late coins and burials seem to suggest a wayside village in the third or fourth century. But the spade alone can solve the problem. As for the ancient name of its site, it is wholly unknown. 1 Dugdale, p. 470 ; West's Warwickshire (1830), p. 68 1 ; Builder, June 12, 1884 ; private in- formation. For the measurements of the ditch I am indebted to Mr. G. B. Grundy. 235