NGRef: SP 341 598
OSMap: LR151
Type: Town
Fosse Way: NNE (21) to Venonis
Fosse Way: SSW (8) to Ettington

A small trapezoidal enclosure of c.3.2ha. with impressive ramparts, lying on the Fosse Way in farmland, to the north-east of its crossing with a tributary stream of the River Avon.

The greater part of the enclosure lies on the south-east side of the Fosse Way. The north and south sides of the enclosure lie parallel to the road whilst the east side is at right-angles to it. The western side is not aligned with the road but with the stream, which flows in a south-north direction immediately to the west of the enclosure.

Sections through the defences showed that the original undated turf rampart was replaced by a stone wall c.2.74 metres wide at its base, fronted by at least one ditch (possibly two), and a counterscarp bank, by the first half of the fourth century.

The settlement was occupied from the second century through to the fourth, with some extra-mural occupation of unrecorded extent suggested by a surface scatter of Roman material in the fields around the enclosure.

There is a villa about two miles to the north of the defended enclosure at Radford Semele (SP3462). Roman pottery and a surface scatter of tesserae have been reported at Ewe Field Farm, just over one mile to the south-east; signs of a substantial Roman building.

There is a single Latin inscription recorded in the R.I.B. for the Chesterton area, a fragment of a lead 'defixio' or curse tablet found in 1922 within the Roman fort and now in the Warwickshire Museum. The text and a tentative translation is given below.


"[...] Sethaus┬╣ [...] from Dalmatia┬▓ [...]"

(RIB 243; lead fragment)

  1. It is very likely that this text is part of a name, not of Italic origin.
  2. Dalmatia was a part of Illyricum in the eastern Adriatic opposite the Italian coast; conquered by Metellus in 118B.C., Augustus was obliged to put down a rebellion in A.D.6, but thereafter they were quiet, becoming a source of many auxiliary units some of which were stationed in Britain (see Auxiliary Cohorts). The name Dalmaticum may also be applied to a type of cloak originating in the region and finding favour among the civilian population throughout the empire. In view of the nature of the text it is possible that someone's cloak had been stolen and a curse placed by the owner upon the thief.

Click here for the Romano-British Walled Towns page

See: Roadside Settlements of Lowland Roman Britain by Roger Finch Smith (B.A.R. British Series #157, 1987) pp.288/9;
The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).
All English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: CHESTERTON ON FOSSE"