Heronbridge

Major Settlement

Excavations during 1930 and 1931 revealed a number of interesting features at Heronbridge. A large industrial complex built alongside the main road contained several furnaces, their exact function being unknown, but dating between c100-160AD. Among the more notable of the finds was a red sandstone altar found in 1931 amongst 2nd C. Roman debris at Red House Croft, Heronbridge (RIB 574 infra), now in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester.

RIB574 - Altar dedicated to the Mother Goddesses Ollototae

DEABVS
MATRIBVS
OLLOTOTIS
IVL SECVN
DVS ET AE
LIA AVGVSTI
NA
To the Mother Goddesses Ollototae, Julius Secundus and Aelia Augustina (set this up).
For Ollototae as a title of the Matres, meaning ‘from other folk’, see RIB 1030, 1031, 1032 (Binchester).

Various coins were also found on site, ranging from a denarius of Titus (80AD) to an as of Constans or Constantius (c.330-360AD). The site was therefore occupied from the Flavian period in the last quarter of the first century, until the first incursions of the Saxons, Scots and Picts were repulsed by Count Theodosius in 367AD, perhaps even longer.

The remains of some 19 human skeletons were found during the excavations. Animal remains included; small ox, small sheep, domestic pig, fowl, red deer and common English oyster. Other items included fragments of coarse Caistor ware, decorated and plain Samian ware, amphorae, Wroxeter-made mortaria, several pieces of glass, including window-glass and fragments of bottles and flagons. Several metal items were also present, but there was no evidence of metalworking on site.

RIB510 - Fragmentary funerary inscription

[...  ]AN[...]B
[6]STVS
[...]G SIG
[...] V V STI
[4] ANNOR
[4] Ḥ C
To the spirits of the departed, [...]stus of ..., standard-bearer of the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix, of ... years’ service, aged ... years his heir had this set up.
No commentary.

RIB525 - Funerary inscription for Decimus Capienius Urbicus

DIS MANIBVS
D CAPIENI
VRBICI VOL
TINIA VIENN
SIGNIFERI STI
PEND XXIIII
ANNOR XLIIII
H F C
To the spirits of the departed (and) of Decimus Capienius Urbicus, of the Voltinian voting-tribe, from Vienna, standard-bearer, of 24 years’ service, aged 44. His heir had this erected.
4. Vienna, now Vienne, was a colonia on the River Rhône, south of Lyons.

References for Heronbridge

The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);

Roman Roads near Heronbridge

Iter II: SSE (8) to Bovivm Itinera II & XI: N (2) to Deva (Chester, Cheshire) Possible road: SW (9) to Ffridd Probable road: NW (12) to Pentre (Clwyd) S (5) to Holt (Clwyd)