Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/450

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


A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE village church of St. Peter in this parish, are the remains of a rectangular earthwork of the variety described under class C. It lies upon almost level ground, about 300 yards away from the river Anker ; the ancient Watling Street, which here forms the boundary between the counties of Warwick and Leicester, runs right through it and then descends a slight slope to the north-west and crosses the river. The Bull Inn and several houses now stand within the entrenchment upon either side of the street. The internal area of this camp is about 6 acres ; in shape it is an oblong, about 200 yards in length and 150 yards in breadth ; its four corners are nearly rectangular ; there appear to be two entrances only, at the points where the Roman road passes into it and leaves it. The defences are now much weather-worn, and they are apparently also considerably changed in aspect by building and ploughing. In 1872 Mr. Burgess described them as consisting of ramparts 6 feet in height and 20 feet broad at base 1 ; but when Dr. Stukeley visited the site about 1724, he wrote of ditches as well as banks, both of which he described as in good preservation. The remains have long been known locally by two different names, those on the Warwickshire side of Watling Street being called ' Castle Banks,' and those in Leicestershire ' Oufort (for Old Fort) Banks.' 3 Dr. Stukeley says that he was informed by the inhabitants that * bricks and exceeding strong mortar, with coins of brass, silver and some gold, had been dug up here,' and Dugdale, and also Burton, a century earlier, both speak of Roman coins having been ploughed up. 3 It is now generally conceded that this Roman fortified station was the Manduessedum of Antonine's Itinerary in Britain. For further details of the Roman remains found in the vicinity of the earthwork see ' Romano-British Warwickshire.' METCHLEY. See Edgbaston. NADBURY. See Ratlev. j OAKLEY WOOD. See Tachbrooke. OLDBURY. See Hartshill. RADBOURN. See Ladbroke. RATLEY (12 miles east-south-east of Stratford-on-Avon). The remains of the extensive earthworks called Nadbury Camp, anciently known as Northbury, 4 are still to be seen on the hill above this village ; they are about two-thirds of a mile north-north-east of the church, and upon the boundary of the parish. The camp is one of the largest in the county, and is situated on a jutting promontory of the imposing Edge Hills at an altitude of 700 feet ; it has a most commanding position at the top of a steep escarp- ment, and overlooks the entire Warwickshire vale to the north, as far as the distant highlands of the ancient Forest of Arden on the further side of the Avon ; the ground falls away steeply also to the south and 1 Burgess in B'ham. and Mid. Inst. Trans. (1872), p. 88. 1 See Survey made 1812 ; B'ham. and Mid. Inst. Tram. (1900), p. 2. ' Dugdale's Warm. p. 761 ; Stukeley's Itinerarium Curiosum (1776) ; Burton's MS. of about 1620, quoted in Nichols' Leicestershire, vol. iv. p. 1027. See Dugdale MSS. quoted Dugdale Warm. (Hamper's copy), p. 389. 388