button to main menu  Camden's Britannia, edn 1789

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Page 141:-
"much Roman coin. The soile about Lancaster is veri famous, plentiful of wood, pasture, meadow, and corn [a]." The town hall is now rebuilding. Dr. Gale and Dr. Hunter place LARGOVICUS at Lanchester c. Durham, without good grounds, for that is GLANNOVENTA [b].
Dr. Leigh (III. 10.) mentions coins and fragments of earthen vessels, with inscriptions Julius Flavius and Regina I. and bones of animals found in a cellar there.
  Alae Augustae.
  roman inscription
In digging a cellar here 1772, was found the following inscription, now in the collection of sir Ashton Lever, bart. The stone is four feet on the longest, two feet 10 inches on the shortest side, and two feet six inches wide:
AE AI [ ]
I [V ]
On sinking the cellars for a large house at the upper part of Church street in this town built 1776 by the rev. Daniel Wilson, on the site of which stood some very old houses formerly used as the judge's lodgings, was discovered, at about six feet below the present surface of the street, supposed a Roman burying-place, as burnt wood, bones and ashes, broken paterae, urns, Roman brick, gutter tiles, coins, horns of animals, &c. were found; also, two fragments of thick wall, at about five yards distant from each other, in a direction from front to back, and seeming continued under Church-street, betwixt which were several large stones, some of them hewn. By this it may be conjectured to have been a vault to deposit the ashes of the dead, and to have fallen in, or been pulled down, as there were found, within the walls, several pieces of urns, an earthen sepulchral lamp entire (the end of the spout where the wick came out was burnt black), broken paterae, burnt bones, ashes, a large human skull, Roman coins, &c. also, at the north-end a well, filled with hewn stones, but not meddled with. There is a descent of about seventy or eighty yards from the back part of the house, to where is thought the river Lon anciently run, but now built upon. The ground on the said back part was levelled a great many yards, equal with the cellar floor; where also were found, from three to six feet deep according to the descent, burnt wood, bones, ashes, broken paterae, urns, other pieces of vessels of different shapes, Roman coins, boars' tusks, nails almost eaten with rust, pieces of lead, brass, &c. The stratum of ashes and bones was from a foot to about five feet thick. It no doubt runs quite under Church street, if not farther, as in digging a drain on the opposite side of Church street, and to the westward of Mr. Wilson's house, at about six feet under the surface, was found the same sort of stratum of ashes, bones, paterae, boars tusks, a small brazen head like a dog's, which by the appearance of the back part of it had been fixed to something; the pedestal and feet part of a small image, which seemed to be made of plaister of Paris or some such matter, and was thought to have been a [ ]lar, with an inscription; pieces of glass of a blueish-green colour, &c. One bottom of a patera had stamped on it CADGATEMA, perhaps the maker's name. These vessels are of a fine brown colour, far superior to the Staffordshire brown ware, elegantly varnished or glazed, some plain, others finely embossed with different sorts of figures, animals, and birds. The urns are of a coarse kind, much like the oil jars; and some of a black colour as if burnt in the fire, some small and some very large; but none entire, being broken into several pieces. Some have large handles.
Nothing Roman was found above the burnt strata of ashes, bones, &c. which it may be conjectured was the then surface of the ground; and where the funeral rites were performed the burnt bones and ashes of the persons might be buried under this strata, as they were found in that situation with the pieces of urns. The inscriptions on the coins were none of them perfect, except one of brass, of Marcus Aurelius; and another small one of silver, a fine impression, and in high preservation,of Faustina his wife: on the head side, DIVA FAUSTINA PIA; reverse, a monument, with CONSECRATIO. The burying place is a little to the eastward, and without the wall of the Roman fortification where the garrison was kept, as there now remain several vestiges of the wall, sufficient to evince that it has taken up great part of the hill where the church and castle stands, and part of the upper end of Church-street. About 100 yards to the eastward of Mr. Wilson's new house, on the opposite side of Church-street, on digging a new cellar a few years ago for Mr, Henry Baynes's new house, were found several large hewn stones, and one about six feet under the surface, supposed to be about three ton weight, of which several cellar steps were made; and about a ton weight still remains in its place, under which were found a great many Roman coins of Domitian, Vespasian, &c. It is thought to have been the corner stone of a temple or other public building. There were found in Mr. Wilson's cellar, as also in the drain in Church-street, several stones, thought to have been pieces of small hand mill-stones, of about 13 inches diameter when whole, of a blueish-grey colour, and exceeding hard: they are about three inches thick at the outer edges, and not an inch in the middle [c].
Here was a Benedictine priory, founded by Roger earl of Poictiers 1094, valued at £.80. given by Henry V. to Syon [d]. An hospital founded by king John while earl of Moriton and by Henry duke of Lancaster t. Edward III. annexed to Seton priory, Cumberland [e]. A house of Dominican or Black friars, founded by sir Hugh Harrington t. Henry III. [f] What Mr. Camden takes for Roman wall called the Wery wall, is by Leland supposed part of the priory, but Mr. West contends for it being Roman. At Quarmore, near Lancaster,a Roman pottery and a tile with turned-up ledges and bricks stamped with ALESEBVSIA.
  Lancaster Castle

The assizes for this county palatine are held in the castle which is entire and is the county gaol. The church stands near it on an eminence. Lancaster is a corporation and borough, and has a market and fair. The town is large and well-built though not regular: it has been much improved by widening and new building several streets, particularly a void place called the Green Air [g] adjoining to the town is now covered with handsome houses,
[a] Lel. V. 85.
[b] Horsl. 450.
[c] Archaeol. V. 98-101.
[d] Tan. 229.
[e] Ib. 232.
[f] Ib. 233.
[g] for Green Caer from the old name Caer Werid. West's Guide to the Lakes, p.18.
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