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MAGNIS (Kenchester) Herefordshire, England.

A small walled town of ca. 8.8 ha with a roadside suburb to the S in which there is a temple. Excavations and aerial photographs show that the town grew up along the main E-W road in the Wye valley.

The site undoubtedly owes much to military strategy in the 1st c. Objects of military use were found in the excavations of 1912-13 and 1924-25 in the center of the town, which produced plans of fragments of buildings, many at an angle to the main road. This haphazard development, in contrast to the grid plans of the tribal capitals, has been confirmed by subsequent aerial photographs. Excavations of the defenses, which were kite-shaped in plan with the main street as the long axis, show the usual two-phase construction. A ditch system and earth bank was built at the end of the 2d c.; a stone wall faced on both sides with substantial bastions, and with gates, was added in the late 4th c. Molded stones from the foundations of one of the bastions evidently came from a monumental structure demolished for the purpose. The name is given in the Antonine Itinerary and the Ravenna Cosmography.


Excavations: Woolhope Nat. Hist. Field Club (1916 & 1926); defenses: ibid. 35, 2 (1957) 138-45; 36, 1 (1958) 100-16; 37, 2 (1963) 149-78; aerial reconnaissance and suburb: ibid. 38, 3 (1967) 192-95.


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