or Bravinium (Leintwardine and Buckton) Herefordshire, England.
The modern village, 32 km N of Hereford, covers the 5.5 ha oblong
enclosure of the late 2d c. A.D. military station. The timber-laced clay rampart, originally 6 m wide, is well preserved along the W side of the village and especially at
the NW corner; along the E side its position is marked
by a steep fall along a line of property boundaries which
include the E side of the churchyard. The small size of
the bath house excavated in an annex between the S
rampart and the river Teme suggests that Bravonium
was a supply base and was garrisoned by a single cohort.
Laid out in the 2d c., the bath house was extended and
modified in the late 2d or early 3d c., and then altered
drastically, probably in the 4th c. This echoes the pattern of work inside the fort, where two early periods
were separated by a lengthy gap from a final, 4th c.
Bravonium was almost central in the Welsh border, 75
Roman miles by road from the legionary fortress of Deva
(Chester) and 64 from Isca Silurum (Caerleon). It was
at an important river crossing where the farther W of
the two N-S routes of the central Welsh border intersects
routes from the W, a strategic position utilized from the
beginning of the Roman occupation.
The earliest fort (Jay Lane), discovered by aerial reconnaissance, was set on a knoll NW of the village. It
had a twin ditch system outside a turf rampart. The latter
had been thrown down when the site was abandoned, but
the post-holes of the timber gateway and of the interval
and corner towers establish the dimensions of the fort
within the towers as 155 by 126 m (1.9 ha). Large
enough to have held an ala quingenaria, the fort was
probably established by Ostorius Scapula ca. A.D. 50 and
dismantled ca. A.D. 75.
While Jay Lane was in use a vicus developed along the
Watling Street West between the fort and the river. Consequently, when the border defenses were being consolidated in the 70s the obvious site for a waterside successor to Jay Lane had already been used; the army was
obliged to build its new fort 1.6 km to the W on a low
terrace between the rivers Teme and Clun at Buckton.
This fort was also discovered from the air. It was about
the same size as Jay Lane, and originally had a turf
rampart and timber gatehouses. Perhaps as early as A.D.
110 a stone wall was added to the rampart and stone
gatehouses were built. The latter were, unusually, provided with internal staircases and so became exceptionally large for an auxiliary fort: the excavated porta praetoria is 22 by 5.8 m over-all. The construction of the
stone defenses was probably accompanied by the erection
of stone buildings in the central administrative insula,
visible on the air photographs but not excavated. The
buildings were otherwise of timber. Within its rampart
the stone fort (ca. 161 x 124 m; 2 ha) was large enough
to house an ala quingenaria. By ca. A.D. 140 the fort was
demolished and the position left without a garrison until
the construction of the late 2d c. base at Leintwardine
village over the charred remains of the vicus.
Finds from the three forts are in Ludlow Museum.
S. C. Stanford, “The Roman Forts at
Leintwardine and Buckton,” Trans. Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club
) 39 (1968) 222-326MPI
S. C. STANFORD