NGRef: TL963227
OSMap: LR89
Type:

Roads
None identified

The Roman Auxiliary Fort at Stanway

N.G.Ref Dimensions Area
TL963227 c.495 x 485 ft
(c.150 x 147 m)
c.5½ acres
(c.2.2 ha)

This well-known Roman fort is sited just north of the B1022 Maldon Road near Brickwall Farm, Stanway (TL963227), within the earthworks of the oppidum of the Trinovantes tribe a few hundred yards to the north-west of the British royal enclosure. The fort's defenses consisted of a single wide ditch backed by an earthen rampart 10-12 feet wide revetted front and back with timber. Roughly square in plan and measuring about 495 feet north-south by 485 feet transversely (c.150 x 147 m), these defenses enclosed an area of about 5½ acres (c.2.2 ha). Two Auxiliary units have been recorded at Stanway, both of which were composed of a nominal five-hundred peregrine (i.e. non-Roman) troopers, one cavalry Ala or 'wing', and a mixed unit of horse and foot soldiers, a Cohors Equitata.

LONGINVS SDAPEZE MATYCI F DVPLICARIVS ALA PRIMA TRACVM PAGO SARDICA ANNO XL AEROR XV HEREDES EXS TESTAM F C H S E
"Longinus Sdapeze, son of Matycus, Duplicarius¹ of Ala Primae Thracum, from the country district of Sardica,² who lived for forty years, with fifteen years paid service. His heirs set this up as stipulated in his will. He lies here."
(RIB 201; tombstone)
  1. A trooper of repute on the staff of a Decurion (troop-commander), who was excused normal duties in order to act in an advisory capacity, for these services he recieved double-pay hence the title - from Latin duplico 'double'.
  2. Sardica was an inland city in Thrace, now known as Sophia, the capital city of Bulgaria.

The First Wing of Thracians was a five-hundred strong cavalry unit recruited from among the tribes living along the lower Danube in southern Romania and Bulgaria.

D M AR... RE... VAL... COH I VA... QVI M... EX AERE COLLATO
"To the spirits of the departed and to Ar[...] Re[...] Val[...] of the First Cohort of Vangiones, who [...] former collector of taxes."
(RIB 205; tombstone)

The Vangiones were a Belgic tribe on the upper Rhine from among whom the First Cohort of Vangiones were recruited. This was a mixed unit of both horse and foot soldiers known as a cohors equitata, a nominal one-thousand strong (cohors milliaria), but it is possible that they had been split into two units of five-hundred cohors quingenaria as they were later attested at Cilurnum (Chesters, Northumberland; RIB 1482) and concurrently at Condercum (Benwell, Tyne & Wear), both forts on Hadrian's Wall, also at Habitancum (Risingham, Northumberland; RIB 1215), beyond the Wall in Northumberland.

Link to maps of the area from: StreetMap Old-Maps MultiMap