defended site of the Late Empire lies at the S end of the
Lincolnshire Wolds. During the Early Empire, Horncastle was probably no more than an open agricultural
settlement. At an undefined date, probably in the 4th c.,
a massive defensive circuit incorporating projecting towers was thrown round an area of 2.4 ha. These defenses
have long provoked controversy. Their massive character and the fact that, as at Caistor, the towers were
built at the same time as the wall, suggest that their role
was military. If so, Horncastle was connected with defense of the coastlands in the 4th c.
C.F.C. Hawkes, “Roman Ancaster,
Horncastle and Caistor,” ArchJ
103 (1946) 17ff.