Fort, Minor Settlement and Possible Oppidum
The settlement lies at the junction of several roads, between the River Brain in the south and the River Blackwater to the north. An oval enclosure to the east of the Roman settlement was levelled in the nineteenth century, and was thought to have been the remains of a Belgic oppidum; a small scatter of iron-age pottery found throughout the site probably confirms this. Occupation is concentrated primarily along Stane Street to the west and along the Caesaromagus (Chelmsford) road to the south-west of their mutual junction. First century material is concentrated along the Chelmsford road, the settlement expanded west along Stane Street in the second century. The earliest Roman material recovered from the site is of Neronian date, and the latest coinage recovered is that of Honorius, indicating that occupation continued at least until the end of the fourth century. It has been suggested that a fort was established here following the Boudiccan revolt of 61AD. Several cremation burials ranging from the late-first to third centuries have been found, concentrating in the south-west angle formed by the junction of the Chelmsford road with Stane Street.
References for Braintree
- Roadside Settlements of Lowland Roman Britain by Roger Finch Smith (B.A.R. British Series #157, 1987) p.161.
Roman Roads near Braintree
NNE (15) to Long Melford (Suffolk) Stane Street: W (10) to Great Dvnmow (Essex) Stane Street: E (15) to Camvlodvnvm (Colchester, Essex) SSW (11) to Caesaromagvs (Chelmsford, Essex) Stane Street: E (15) to Camvlodvnvm Trinovantvm