Brigstock Temple Complex

Temple Or Shrine

The Brigstock Temple Complex probably marked the tribal boundary between the Coritani to the north-west and the Catuvellauni in the south-east. Several phases of occupation are known or suggested by the archaeology, which had been almost completely ploughed-out prior to investigation. Excavations have shown that the site remained consecrated throughout the LPRIA and the Romano-British periods.

  1. The first signs of occupation on the site is a penannular ditch with an entrance causeway on the east, partly underlying the later Temple#2, which has been tentatively dated to the Late Pre-Roman Iron-Age on the strength of its very un-Roman layout and a gold stater of the Coritani (c.25AD) found during excavation. The Iron-Age temple – if such a structure ever existed at the centre of the enclosure – would have been constructed of timber.
  2. Brigstock 1 – This temple was built in the mid-3rd century about 20 ft. to the north of the original penannular enclosure. Its plan was perfectly circular, 37½ ft. in diameter with walls a uniform 2½ ft. thick. The floor was metalled with limestone slabs, and a pathway outside the entrance on the east, which ran southwards to the doorway of Temple#2, was constructed of the same material. A drainage ditch ran around the outside of the structure.
  3. Brigstock 2 – This temple was built directly upon the site of the suspected Iron-Age temple and is thought to have been contemporary with Temple#1. Built of lime- and sand-stone slabs, its form was a flattened twelve-sided polygon measuring about 29½ ft. N-S by 32 ft. E-W with an entrance on the east. Its metalled floor contained a central hearth and was strewn with votive animal-bones.

Finds from the site – mostly from Temple#1 – included 278 Roman coins ranging from 1st to 4th centuries, also a number of items of bronze; the head of a female, a model axe, several votive leaves, a number of pole-tips (some of iron) and three pairs of equestrian statues which are thought to portray a mounted war-god. The site continued in use until the late-4th century.

Other Romano-British Sites in the Area

There is a Romano-British villa nearby at Great Weldon (SP9289) and other substantial Roman buildings are known at Oakley (SP8886). Pottery kilns have also been found at Corby (SP9089), a little to the north-west.

Map References for Brigstock

NGRef: SP9685 OSMap: LR141

Roman Roads near Brigstock

NW (12) to Medbovrne (Leicestershire) SE (4) to Thrapston (Northamptonshire)