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LEMANIS PORTUS (Καινὸς λιμήν, Ptol. 2.3.4), one of the chief seaports of Britain, situated in the territories of the Cantii; the site near Lymne, in Kent. The road from Durovernum to Portus Lemanis (Itin. Anton. iv.) is extant nearly its entire length, and known by the name of Stone Street.

The harbour or port is no longer to be traced, owing to the silting up of the sea; but it must have been situated opposite to West Hythe and Lymne. The remains of the castrum, called Stutfall Castle, to the west of West Hythe, and below Lymne, indicate the quarters of the Turnacensian soldiers stationed there in defence of the Littus Saxonicum. (Not. Dig.) Recent discoveries have shown that a body of marines (Classiarii Britannici) were also located at the Portus Lemanis, and at Dubris (Dover). An altar was also found, recording the name of a prefect of the British fleet. (Report on Excavations made at Lymne.) The Portus Lemanis is laid down in the Peutingerian Tables, and it is mentioned by the anonymous Geographer of Ravenna.

The Roman station was situated on the slope of a hill. Like that of Richborough (Rutupiae), it was walled on three sides only; the side facing the sea being sufficiently defended by nature in a steep bank, such as we see at other Roman castra where the engineers have availed themselves of a natural defence to save the expense and labour of building walls. The fortress enclosed about 10 acres. The walls, in part only now standing, were upwards of 20 ft. high, and about 10 ft. thick; they were further strengthened by semicircular solid towers. The principal entrance was on the east, facing the site of the village of West Hythe. It was supported by two smaller towers, and, as recent excavations prove, by other constructions of great strength. Opposite to this, on the west, was a postern gate, of narrow dimensions. At some remote period the castrum was shattered by a land-slip, and the lower part was carried away, and separated entirely from the upper wall, which alone stands in its original position. To this cause is to be ascribed the present disjointed and shattered condition of the lower part. Parts of the wall and the great gateway were completely buried. The excavations alluded to brought them to light, and enabled a plan to be made. Within the area were discovered the walls of one of the barracks, and a large house with several rooms heated by a hypocaust.


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    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.3
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