NGRef: SP3713
OSMap: LR164; Oxon 26SW.
Type: Settlement, Villa

Roads
Akeman Street: WSW (6) to Asthall (Oxfordshire)
Akeman Street: ENE (14) to Alchester (Oxfordshire)

This roadside settlement of the Dobunni tribe lies astride Akeman Street south of Wilcote in Oxfordshire, close to the border with the Catuvellauni in the east. Field walking has revealed evidence of occupation for a distance of just under a mile (c.1.5km), to a depth varying between 100 and 165 feet (30-50m) to either side of the Roman road. Whereas pottery sherds dating to the 2nd century have been recovered throughout the length of the occupation area, 3rd to 4th century pottery finds were clustered about either end of the settlement with no occurrences in between. The V.C.H. records a hoard of 25 sestertii of Claudius in the immediate neighbourhood.

There are a number of villas in the area; at Ditchley (SP3920), Callow Hill (SP4019), Stonesfield (SP4017), North Leigh (SP3915) and at Wilcote itself (SP3713), all clustered in an arc to the east of the settlement.

The R.I.B. records a single fragmentary inscription from Wilcote, written in Greek on copper plate; the visible text reads ...PTOLEMOISIN... ...ITS... "... in battles ..." (RIB 241; translation from the RIB), which is not much help. The fragment was discovered in 1892 whilst digging the foundations for a new cowshed on Dawkins Farm, which lies close by the line of Akeman Street, about 1½ miles north-west of the North Leigh Roman villa.

See: Roman Britain Historical Map and Guide from the Ordnance Survey (HMSO 5th ed. 2001);
Roadside Settlements in Lowland Roman Britain by Peter Finch-Smith (B.A.R.#157; 1987) p.236;
Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1964).