NGRef: SP7840
OSMap: LR152
Type: Possible Roman Settlement

Roads
Watling Street: NW (8.5) to Lactodvrvm (Towcester, Northamptonshire)
Watling Street: SE (8.5) to Magiovinivm

Stony Stratford - The Ford on the Stone [i.e. Roman] Road

This suspected Roman settlement lies astride Watling Street on the border between Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire in the north-western outskirts of Milton Keynes. The military highway here crossed the stream of the River Great Ouse, where, as intimated by the modern name, the water-course was forded. The normal method the Romans used to construct a ford was to lay a number of large, dressed stones into the river-bed to provide a continuous road-surface just beneath the surface of the water which would allow the easy passage of pack animals and ox-drawn carts. It is possible that the original Roman ford was also provided with "stepping stones" in order that pedestrian travellers could avoid getting their sandals damp, but this is pure speculation.

Stony Stratford Epigraphy

There are three inscriptions recorded in Volume I of the R.I.B. for Stony Stratford, all in the form of dedicatory texts to various gods engraved upon metal plates, two of silver and one of bronze. The inscription on one of the silver plates is damaged, although the visible text reads DEO MARTI S A...D ... N ... S (RIB 216; silver plate), which at least tells us the name of the god to whom the votive offering was made. The other two texts are given below.

Votive Silver Plate Dedicated to Jupiter and Vulcan

DEO IOVI ET VOLCA VASSINVS CVM VELLINT ME CONSACRATVM CONSERVARE PROMISI DENARIOS SEX PRO VOTO SALVTO P D

"To the god[s] Jupiter and Vulcan. I, Vassinus along with Vellint[ius?], have promised to retain a dedication of six denarii, and have placed this offering in a prayer for health."

(RIB 215; silver plate)

Votive Bronze Plate Dedicated to Mars

DOE MARTI SAN S D D

"For the most holy god Mars, an offering donated in fulfillment [of a vow]."

(RIB 217; bronze plate)

Other Roman Sites in the Neighbourhood

There are villas nearby at Wolverton (SP8240) to the east, at Cosgrove (SP7942) on the opposite side of the Ouse in Northamptonshire, and another about 5½ miles to the north-east at Gayhurst. On the opposite side of the Watling Street to the west there is another nearby villa at Deanshanger (SP7639) in Northamptonshire, while about 5 miles to the south-west close to the villa at Foxcote (SP7235) there is a Romano-British rural temple at Bourton Grounds (SP7233), also a burial mound containing Roman material at Thornborough (SP7333); all of these latter three sites in Buckinghamshire.

See: 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.