(3 miles N. of Cirencester)
Monument (1) includes features in the adjoining
parishes of North Cerney, Duntisbourne Rouse and
(1) Iron Age and early Romano-British Settlement with Dykes (frontispiece and Plates 46–7), the site
of a Dobunnic capital and perhaps identifiable with
Ptolemy's Corinion (A. L. F. Rivet in Civitas Capitals of
Roman Britain, ed. Wacher (1966), 102), comprises two
excavated areas of settlement, nine dykes (one of them
known from excavation to be contemporary with the
settlement), several lesser ditches, undated enclosures,
and burials. Monument (2) may be associated. A
'British Camp' (G. E. Rees, History of Bagendon) once
thought to lie in Black Grove (SP 011064) is composed
of strip lynchets, and remains of other strip lynchets
and ridge-and-furrow covering much of the parish
testify to a long period of destructive activities. The full
extent of settlement is yet to be discovered.
The excavated areas of settlement (B and C on the
plan opp. p. 7), at first largely industrial and probably
containing the environs of a mint, cover 2/5 acre near
Bagendon Brook (SP 01750627), Briting Broc in a
Saxon charter (Grundy (1935–6), 56). Dyke 'a', known
from excavation to be contemporary with the settlement, extends uphill N. of the brook. Eight other
dykes, 'b' and 'c' in North Cerney, 'd'-'f' in Bagendon,
'g' and 'h' in Daglingworth, and Scrubditch in North
Cerney, lie in varied situations and are probably contemporary with dyke 'a'. (fn. 1) Lesser ditches associated with
the N. end of dyke 'a' and a poorly marked dyke (x) in
Duntisbourne Rouse may also be integral with the
Monument. A linear scarp (j) in North Cerney, N.E. of
dyke 'a' is not certainly a dyke. Undated enclosures S. of
Scrubditch Farm, around SP 01220795, are of uncertain
origin. Burials include six 'Belgic' inurned cremations
from near SP 011068 (two of the urns are in Corinium
Museum) and two Romano-British inhumations inserted in dyke 'a'.
Bagendon. (1) Iron Age and early Romano-British Settlement with Dykes.
All the dykes are on Great Oolite, and all except
Scrubditch (North Cerney (1)) and dyke 'h' (Daglingworth (1)) have the ditches on the side away from the
area of known settlement. It is difficult to detect any
defensive siting, but a dyke occasionally lies on or near
the brow of a secondary slope. Scrubditch partly
crosses the spur above Bagendon, but towards the E.
it is sited on the far side of a lateral re-entrant. Dyke 'h'
partly spans the W.-E. ridge traversed by the Welsh
Way, possibly being crossed by the present road. Dyke
'g' lies on the N. side of the same ridge, on the E. side of
a shallow re-entrant. Dyke 'f' extends up the E. end of
a ridge on the S. side of a re-entrant which penetrates
it from the E. Dyke 'e' follows the other side of the
Bagendon. Profiles of dykes (see plan opposite).
The earthworks vary in size. Banks are from 10 ft. to
52 ft. wide; ditches vary from 10 ft. to 28 ft. in width
and from a few inches to 4 ft. in depth. The dykes together do not form an obvious enclosure and there is no
evidence that any of them, except possibly Scrubditch
and dyke 'g', extended beyond the limits shown on the
accompanying plan. There is, however, a strong presumption that the dykes delimit an area of control, and if
dyke 'h' and the brook on the N. of it are taken as the
W. limit of that area, Scrubditch as the N. and dyke 'f'
as the S., it amounts to some 500 acres. This area comprises the Great Oolite spur between the R. Churn and
its Bagendon Brook tributary, together with the valley
of the Bagendon Brook and the ridge to S. with its
ancient Welsh Way.
The Areas of Settlement
Areas B and C (SP 017062), excavated by Mrs. E. M.
Clifford in 1954–6, are on a limestone gravel terrace
overlying Fuller's Earth, 30 to 40 yds. N. of the present
course of the Bagendon Brook. North-west of area B
a spring emerges from the junction of Fuller's Earth
and Great Oolite and flows S. into the brook. The
site is subject to overflow spring inundation.
Mrs. Clifford recognised four periods of occupation
within the estimated date-range A.D. 10 to 60. (But see
V. G. Swan, Britannia, VI (1975), for a reconsideration
of the dating of the initial phases.) The two earlier
periods were characterised in area B by round-bottomed
clay-lined ditches, some of them intended to hold
water, varying in depth from a few inches to 4 ft.;
these ditches flanked an area about 100 ft. by 40 ft.,
paved in the second period. An iron-smelting furnace
was thought to lie in one of the ditches and three other
ditches were regarded as possible 'blowing pits' for
metal working. Huts were suspected in the earlier, but
they are demonstrable only in the later phases; among
others thought to exist, two small stone-floored circular
huts were seen to have been built over ditches when the
metal-working features had been abandoned. A second
stone floor, covering the area in the later phases, was
partly pitched and consisted mainly of Oolite blocks
over 2 ft. long; it is thought that it once extended
765 ft. from E. to W. Occupation of area C began
later than in area B, but the pattern of development was
comparable, the earliest features being a stone floor
and ditches. Coin-moulds and many Dobunnic coins
were found on the floor and, as in area B, a later floor
of large stones partly covered the ditches. Both areas
appear to have been quietly abandoned.
Finds were abundant and notable. There was more
evidence of industry, particularly high-grade ironworking, than of domestic occupation. Close connection with S.E. Britain is suggested for the later
phases. There were 35 silver and plated Dobunnic
coins, one of them inscribed ANTED and another EISU,
one silver Catuvellaunian coin inscribed EPATICCU, one
bronze Durotrigian coin, two late 3rd-century and two
4th-century Roman bronze coins. A miniature currency
bar was perhaps votive. Over 70 bronze or iron brooches
included 13 Aucissa-related forms (now dubbed 'Bagendon type') and 9 of Colchester type; none of these was
necessarily later than A.D. 50. Pottery included Arretine
ware and S. Gaulish samian, almost all undecorated,
also Gallo-Belgic terra rubra and nigra (some of the
latter bearing potters' stamps) and in addition a variety
of beakers and platters, jugs and flagons, fragments of
amphorae (two probably of S. Spanish origin) and one
or two pieces of mortaria (including a Claudian type)
and of flanged bowls of late Roman form. With these,
at all levels and more abundant than any other pottery,
were storage jars, mostly of grey paste and wheel-made.
There was also a variety of native pots, some copies of
imports, others of traditional native form, all handmade and sometimes heavily gritted.
Iron objects included the brooches noted above,
carpenter's and hob nails, probable coin dies, spring
tongs, steel wire, an ox goad, gouges, awls and other
tools, a knife, a 'door-latch', and timber cramps. Bronze
included the brooches noted above, pendants from a
necklace, parts of mirrors (one square), ornamental
fittings and a fish-hook with leaden attachments.
Other lead objects included elongated pellets. There
were clay slingstones, fragments of crucibles, coinmoulds and intensely heated daub. Stone objects included quern fragments of Old Red Sandstone, a lydite
touchstone and a mica-schist polisher. Glass included
fine but minute fragments akin to finds from Colchester, also beads and counters. Bones included fragments of a human skull and nine 'points' from sheep
bones; also fragments of 'Celtic' ox, sheep, pig, and
horse bones in that order of abundance; there was also
evidence of dog, fowl and roebuck bones. Oyster shells
were found, and various charcoals and coal. Numerous
worked flints were thought not to be contemporary.
C.U.A.P., OAP TH 71 (showing the site under excavation).
Bagendon (passim). D. P. S. Peacock, 'Roman Amphorae in
Pre-Roman Britain', in D. Hill and M. Jesson (eds.), The Iron
Age and its Hill-forts (1971), 180–1.
Dyke 'a' extends uphill for 3,900 ft. northwards from
a point N.E. of area C. An original interruption may
have occurred in the length of 500 ft. now obliterated
by Cutham Lane. The land falls E. from the ditch, or
from points close to it.
West of Cutham Lane, where it marks the parish
boundary, the dyke is generally preserved as a bank
some 30 ft. across and up to 6 ft. high with a ditch on the
E. side; the ditch, probably widened as a 'hollow-way',
is about 26 ft. across and 4 ft. deep (Plate 47). The dyke
has been truncated for an uncertain length at the S.
end, but the parish boundary prolongs the alignment for
a short distance. Two skeletons, probably Romano-British, are said to have been found in the bank in this
region. North of Cutham Lane the bank is much spread
in arable ground. Air photographs show that the N. end
was joined (or almost joined) by a narrow ditch on the
N.W., with other ditches adjacent on flat ground.
Immediately W. of this area one set of air photographs
(Plate 46) shows a crop-mark forming an unbroken
circle about 30 ft. in diameter (SP 015072); it is marked
'o' on the plan. No datable objects have been found
under plough in the area, nor is there evidence of any
structure but the dyke.
A section cut by Mrs. Clifford, 450 yds. N. of the
settlement area (SP 01900668), shows that the bank was
of dump construction, 4½ ft. high and 20 ft. wide, with
a berm 4 ft. wide separating it from a V-shaped rockcut ditch, 14 ft. across and 5 ft. deep. Profile R-S is
adjacent. Of six potsherds found, one, of Arretine ware,
came from the rapid silting of the ditch.
C.U.A.P., OAP TH 69–75, VM 31, AJL 29.
Bagendon, 5, 8–10.
Dyke 'b' (in North Cerney) lies about 80 yds. E. of
dyke 'a'; it is 70 ft. wide overall and extends N.-S. for
880 ft. on falling ground, in arable. The bank stands
from 1 to 2½ ft. high above the ditch.
C.U.A.P., OAP TH 70, VM 32, ACQ 80, AJL 30–1.
N.M.R., OAP SP 0204/3/357–8.
Dyke 'c' (in North Cerney), S. of dyke 'b', is some 80 ft.
wide overall and extends N.-S. for 860 ft. Mostly in
arable, it survives as a spread scarp, up to 6 ft. high,
embracing both bank and ditch. At the S. end, in a very
disturbed area of old pasture, there is no bank and the
ditch line is deeper than elsewhere. It is possible that
dyke 'c' was linked with other banks seen on an early
air photograph (Crawford VAP 7026, Aug. 1931).
Dyke 'd', on Bear Ridge, extends E.-W. for some 900
ft., mostly in pasture. The bank stands on a prominent
natural shoulder with a steep drop to the N. The overall
width of the bank and ditch is about 70 ft. The W.
extension is seen on an air photograph (N.M.R., OAP
SP 0105/1/354), but is not visible from the ground.
Dyke 'e', over 1,000 ft. long, shows in arable as a low
scarp; its ditch is seen only on air photographs (N.M.R.,
OAP SP 0105/1/352). Test excavations made on the S.
of the dyke yielded no archaeological data (MPBW
Excavations, 1961, 5).
Crawford VAP 7008, Aug. 1931.
Dyke 'f', 1,650 ft. long, is much disturbed, particularly
at the E. end, and tree-covered. In places the bank is
52 ft. across and 4 ft. high, with a ditch 24 ft. across and
2 ft. deep (profile T-U).
Dyke 'g' (in Oysterwell Grove in Daglingworth parish)
is 330 ft. long and lies 100 yds. E. of a re-entrant. The
bank, about 12 ft. across, stands 2½ ft. high above a
ditch of the same width (profile X–Y); it lies at right
angles to the contours on a slope of 15° or less. To N.,
the parish boundary continues in the same alignment.
G. E. Rees, History of Bagendon (1932), 23.
Dyke 'h' (Daglingworth (1)) extends for 1,000 ft. on
flat ground across a ridge-top. North of the Welsh Way
air photographs indicate an extension of the dyke in an
alignment slightly offset from that of the visible earthwork, which ends at the Welsh Way. The bank, some
18 ft. across, stands up to 4 ft. high above the ditch,
which is about 10 ft. wide (profile V-W).
Crawford VAP 6987–8.
Scrubditch (North Cerney (1)) extends for 2,300 ft.
across the ridge, its ditch on the downhill side. Towards
the E. it lies on the N. shoulder of a narrow re-entrant,
at the head of which stands Scrubditch Farm; the
ground on the S. of the re-entrant, falling gently N.E.,
bears traces of undated enclosures. The earthworks of
the dyke are disturbed; the ditch is partly filled in and
its line is interrupted by farm buildings. On the W.
the earthwork is truncated, but early air photographs
indicate that it continued in a straight line as far as the
parish boundary. Where best preserved the bank is 34 ft.
across and 6 ft. high; the ditch is 28 ft. wide and 4 ft.
deep (profile P-Q).
Crawford OAP 7019, Aug. 1931.
Dyke 'x', in Duntisbourne Rouse, extending N.W.
from SP 00200745, has been almost flattened in arable.
The ditch extends uphill from the Bagendon Brook on
a slope of some 7°. At the top it enters an area of broken
scarps, W. of Scott's Bushes and 200 yds. E. of a Romano-British Settlement (Duntisbourne Rouse (4)), where
it becomes unrecognisable.
N.M.R., OAP SP 0007/1/270. Meridian VAP 89 67, 189.
Earthwork 'j', a low scarp, extends in a straight line
for some 700 ft. directly below the alignment of a
former road, shown on O.S. map drawings of 1817
and recognisable on air photographs.
C.U.A.P., OAP AJL 29, AWO 9.
(2) Banks (SP 008062), possibly 'Celtic' fields with other
enclosures, extend on Bagendon Downs, N. of the
Welsh Way, in a place where the nearly level ridge has
now become arable. The broken pattern of limestone
banks covers at least 10 acres. The banks are up to 20 ft.
wide and 1 ft. high. Some are straight and lie parallel
with other banks 30 yds. to 40 yds. away; others are
curved or meet at obtuse angles. Two oyster shells were
found on the surface among a scatter of 19th-century
N.M.R., OAP SP 0006/3/283.