Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/413

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ANCIENT DEFENSIVE EARTHWORKS these works are of lesser height than those of previously described camps and their ditches are not so deep. No tortuous or difficult en- trances are now seen, but always straight cut gateways, usually in the centre of each side of the square. Many of these earthworks are relics of the Roman military occupation of Britain. A typical example of such a Roman fort is the almost square camp (measuring 336 by 366 feet), with its four gateways, at Melandra near Glossop in Derbyshire. Another is the oblong entrenchment at Ratby in Leicestershire. In Warwickshire the earthwork at Mancetter is a good example of the oblong form of Roman camp, and the remains at Chesterton may possibly be Roman also. There is little doubt that the legions often temporarily occupied the strongholds of the conquered Britons; in this case they probably altered and added to the defences to make them more in unison with their own ideas. Hence we sometimes find a small square Roman fort placed in the corner of a large prehistoric camp ; oftener still we find new gate- ways, after the model of those in their own camps, cut through the ancient ramparts, and the latter remodelled with straight sides and rect- angular corners. Perhaps this may explain features in connection with the prehistoric camps at Oldbury, at Corley and elsewhere in Warwick- shire. (D) The earth forts of the Teutonic settlers in this country differed both from the above described camps of the tribal Britons and from the military forts of the Romans. They were smaller than the first named, being the headquarters of a family only, the fortified dwelling of a power- ful lord and his household. Remains belonging to this period consist of a conical mount, varying from 10 to as much as 60 feet in height, and surrounded by a ditch or moat, which was once filled with water; the top of the mount is flat, or sometimes saucer shaped, and it occasionally shows traces of a raised rim of earth all round. () Abutting upon the ditch upon one side of this mount a crescent- shaped enclosure or courtyard is often seen surrounded by rampart and moat ; it generally covers an area two or three times as large as that of the mount. Beyond this again there is sometimes a second and still larger enclosure, similarly defended by entrenchments ; and in a few instances there is yet a third and much more extensive court, partly sur- rounding the smaller ones. These considerable additions to the mount fort were made to afford protection to retainers and shelter for flocks and herds. For a long time the nature of these two classes of moated mounts was not understood by archaeologists ; they were thought to be large sepulchral tumuli, and as such they are often marked in the maps of the ordnance survey ; the earthworks around the courtyards, when present, were moreover, thought to be the remains of prehistoric fortresses. Moated mounts, similar to those so numerous in England, are also found in Flanders and in Normandy ; and the celebrated Bayeux