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HERONBRIDGE Cheshire, England.

A civil settlement on the left bank of the Dee a little over 2 km S of Deva. The Roman road (Watling Street) which crossed the site N-S was lined by buildings for a distance of at least 200 m. Occupation began in the late Flavian period with timber (or timber and stone) buildings which yielded evidence of corn-drying and bronzesmithing. Shortly after ca. A.D. 130 rebuilding in stone took place: structures of this period consist of strip buildings 9-12 m wide and over 30 m long, arranged in groups of three or four. In some cases occupation did not outlast the 2d c.; in others it is known to have continued into the 3d and 4th c.

The distance from the fortress suggests that the site was an extramural settlement dependent on the military base. The proximity of river to Roman road has also suggested the possibility that tiles and pottery coming downriver from the works depot at Holt could have been unloaded here. A stream running through the site was found to have been deepened and reveted with masonry. Initially identified as a dock, this was perhaps the leat for a water mill.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

W. J. Williams, “Watling Street at Heronbridge,” “Roman Ditch at Heronbridge,” “Bovium,” Journal Chester Arch. Soc. 30 (1933); J. A. Petch, “Excavations at Heronbridge,” ibid. 5-49; B. R. Hartley, “Excavations at Heronbridge, 1947-48,” ibid. 39 (1952) 1-20; id. & K. F. Kaine, “Roman Dock and Buildings,” ibid. 41 (1954) 15-38; F. H. Thompson, Deva: Roman Chester (1959); id., Roman Cheshire (1965).

D. F. PETCH

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