NGRef: SK6756
OSMap: LR120, Ex28(270).
Type: Vexillation Fort, Camp

Plan of the Large Fort at Osmanthorpe
from The Coritani by Malcolm Todd (fig.8, p.34).
None identified

This 20 acre (ha) 'vexillation fortress' was probably garrisoned by a detachment of Legio IX Hispana or (less-likely) Legio XIV Gemina, and may very likely be attributed to the campaigns of the aged but much-honoured governor Aulus Didius Gallus between 52AD and 57. It was during the tenure of this man that the episode of Brigantian power-politics narrated by Tacitus (Annals XII.xl) resulted in the uprising of Venutius the consort of Queen Cartimandua, which was of such a serious nature that the aged Queen had to be rescued by a task force sent by Gallus.

"... Some [auxiliary] cohorts were sent to her aid and a sharp contest followed, which was at first doubtful but had a satisfactory termination. The legion under the command of Caesius Nasica fought with a similar result. ..." (Tacitus Annales XII.xl)

Other Roman sites in the Area

There is a marching camp a couple of miles to the west at Farnsfield (SK6355), and two more camps, a smaller one with tituli on all four gateways is set wholly within the defences of a larger, perhaps earlier camp about five miles south-west at Calverton (SK6150). There is another camp about 12 miles to the north-west at Gleadthorpe Plantation (SK5970), and one more about 10 miles to the east, on the east bank of the River Trent at Holme (SK8159), which itself lies only 2 miles to the west of the Fosse Way settlement at Crococalana (Brough). All of these sites lie in the county of Nottinghamshire.

Roman Marching Camps in Nottinghamshire

Name N.G.Ref. Size Area
Calverton I SK615508 920 x 935 ft
(280 x 285+ m)
26 acres
Calverton II SK615508 490 x 380 ft
(c.150 x 115 m)
4 acres
Farnsfield SK638557 690 x 600 ft
(c.210 x 184 m)
9½ acres
Gleadthorpe SK594703 670 x 530 ft
(204 x 162 m)
c.8 acres
Holme SK810591 1,345 x 790 ft
(410 x c.240 m)
23+ acres

Also about 10 miles to the north-west nearby the marching camp at Gleadthorpe is a Roman villa lying close to the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border at Northfield (SK5264) outside Mansfield Woodhouse, where a damaged Roman inscription was unearthed (vide RIB 276).

See: Britannia xi (1980) pp.350-355, & fig.9;
The Coritani by Malcolm Todd (Sutton, London, 1973);
The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
Annales by Cornelius Tacitus, translated by J.Jackson (Loeb, Harvard, 1937).
Except where noted, all English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: OSMANTHORPE"