Roman Calverton

There are traces of two Roman marching camps in a field north-east of the Oxton Road and Whinbush Lane crossroads on the west side of the valley of the Dover Beck (53°03′02.27″N 1°05′0.92″W). A smaller one of four acres is set wholly within the defences of a larger, perhaps earlier, one of about twenty-six acres.[10] Marching camps traces are thought to be the remains of the entrenchments made by an army unit for an overnight stop, where there was the chance of an attack. The dimensions of the camp are dictated by the size of the army unit.

A lead figurine was found at ‘a hill-top site’ in Calverton. It is of a naked seated female personage with long hair, topped by a plain round head-dress. It may depict a fertility goddess, perhaps a local version of Venus.[11]

According to the Victoria County History, nearly two hundred denarii, chiefly of Trajan and Hadrian (A.D. 98–138), were supposedly found, in the eighteenth century, in a broken pot somewhere in the parish.[12] This may well, however, be a duplicate report of a find, in 1765, of a vessel full of Roman coins dug up at ‘Robin Hood’s Pot’ close to the junction of Haywood Oaks and the A614.[13] More recently, two very similar coin hoards were unearthed at sites less than three hundred yards apart. The first in June 1959, during work on the foundations of Manor Park Infants’ School, Collyer Road, and the second during the building of a house in Crookdole Lane in about April 1960. No structural remains were detected with either hoard and the only associated archaeological material was the earthenware pot in which the first hoard was concealed.[14] While most Roman coin hoards are believed to have been buried for safe-keeping, with the intention of being eventually recovered, it is possible that hoards may instead sometimes represent communal votive offerings to the gods.

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