NGRef: SO6343
OSMap: LR149
Type: Fort, Minor Settlement
SSE (8) to Dymock (Gloucestershire)
Possible Road: NE (10.5) to Howsell
W (13) to Magnis (Kenchester, Herefordshire)
Possible road: ENE (17) to Worcester

The Roman Auxiliary Fort at Canon Frome

SO641433 c.500 x 445 ft
(c.152 x 135 m)
c.5 acres
(c.2 ha)

A Roman auxiliary fort was identified in 1969 on aerial photographs by Arnold Baker (A.P. in Rome Against Caratacus by Graham Webster; plate.15), situated on the south bank of the River Frome (at SO6443), about 1,300 ft (c.400 m) to the east of the Roman road which lead south from the crossing of the River Frome to the Romano-British settlement at Dymock. Excavations have yet to be carried out on the site, so no information is available to confirm this hypothesis. The National Grid Reference given above is for the civil settlement which lay on the north bank of the Frome along the line of the Dymock road, and now lies mostly beneath the modern village of Stretton Grandison.

Measured between the inner ditches, this fort measures about 500 feet from east to west by 445 feet north-south (c.152 x 135 m), therefore covering an an area of just over 5 acres (c.2.06 ha), the area available for occupation was about 4¾ acres (c.1.92 ha). The fort was protected by a rampart and double ditch system with centrally-placed gateways in the east and west sides but none are apparent to the north or south; the fort would have faced west, towards the hills of Wales. The encampment is large enough to have been garrisoned by a cohors equitata quingenaria, a mixed auxiliary unit of both foot soldiers and cavalry troopers with a nominal complement of five-hundred men, possibly even as auxiliary cavalry regiment, although this is perhaps less likely. Eiether way, the unit was probably stationed here during the early campaigns of governor Publius Ostorius Scapula, sometime around A.D.47/8.

See: Historical Map and Guide - Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001);
Rome Against Caratacus by Graham Webster (Batsford, London, 1993);
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1969-72 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lxiii (1973) p.237/8 & fig.20;
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: STRETTON GRANDISON"