NGRef: NY9910
OSMap: LR92
Type: Temple Or Shrine

Roads
None identified

Lying about 2 miles south of the Lavatris/Bowes fort on Scargill Moor (alt. 1,175 ft.) are two Roman temples dedicated to Vinotonus, a local iron-age god, possibly the protective guardian deity of the local area, although the temples situation beside a freshly flowing stream may indicate that the god was somehow associated with water, however, the conflation of Vinotonus with Silvanus on the altarstone found in Temple#1 would suggest that this iron-age god was in some manner involved with woodland and/or hunting.

The Temple of Vinotonus Silvanus - Bowes 1

DEO VINOTONO SILVANO IVL SECVNDVS > COH I THRAC V S L L M

"For the god Vinotonus Silvanus, Julius Secundus, centurion in the First Cohort of Thracians, willingly, gladly and deservedly fulfilling his vow."

(RIB 732; altarstone)

This small rectangular shrine measured 17 ft. by 10¼ ft. (5.18 x 3.12 m), enclosed by walls 2 ft. (0.6 m) thick constructed of a dressed-stone facing with a rubble infill. Its long axis was oriented north-south with its long west wall built into the slope of the valley side. It had an entrance in the east side, opposite which, set against the west wall was an altarstone dedicated by a centurion of the First Cohort of Thracians (RIB 732 supra).

The Temple of Vinotonus - Bowes 2

DEO VINOTONO L CAESIVS FRONTINVS PRAEF COH I THRAC DOM PARMA V S L L M

"To the god Vinotonus, Lucius Caesius Frontinus, prefect of the First Cohort of Thracians, from Parma,¹ willingly, gladly and deservedly fulfills his vow."

(RIB 733; altarstone)

  1. The home-town of this prefect lies on the Via Aemilia in Cisalpine Gaul, in the Eighth Region of Italia. The town retains its ancient name today.

This circular temple has walls roughly 2¼ ft. (0.68 m) thick, constructed of rubble faced with dressed stone, identical in construction to and probably contemporary with Temple 1. The temple was 21 ft. 10 ins. (6.65 m) in diameter with an entrance facing due east, a low stone bench ran around most of the interior, while on the rear (west) wall facing the entrance was an altarstone dedicated by the commanding officer of Cohors Primae Thracum (RIB 733 supra). The remnants of at least six more altars and two bases were also recovered from this temple, two (RIB 735 et 736) with the simple text DEO or 'to the God', and a third bearing the simple formula V S L M, expanded to Votum Solvit Libens Merito, which means 'willingly and deservedly fulfilling a vow'.

Click here for the RBO Page on the Bowes Roman Fort

Click here for the RBO Page on the Bowes Moor Marching Camp

Click here for the RBO Temples and Shrines Index

See: Atlas of the Greek and Roman World in Antiquity by Nicholas G.L. Hammond (Bristol Classical Press);
Temples in Roman Britain by M.J.T. Lewis (Cambridge 1966);
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.