Lake Farm Vexillation Fort

Vexillation Fort

The vexillation fortress at Lake Farm, together with the nearby port at Hamworthy in Poole Harbour, were established in either 44AD or 45AD, during the early Claudian campaigns against the Durotriges of Dorset. The responsibility for the military reduction of this tribe had fallen on the capable legionary commander Titus Flavius Vespasianus – who was later to become emperor – and he was given Legio II Augusta and several auxiliary cohorts to accomplish the task.

Another set of defences comprising a turf rampart fronted by a ditch 11ft (3.3m) wide and 5ft (1.5m) deep was found during excavations in 1970; these defences were tentatively assigned to a later fort created to house a reduced garrison.

Analysis of samian … suggests occupation from the middle forties to the sixties of the first century A.D.” (Britannia, 1970)

The fortress was used as the main base of operations against the Durotrigian strongholds in the area. The hillforts at Badbury Rings and Hod Hill and Hambledon Hill further along the river to the north-west, and Woodbury Hill and Weatherby on the near bank of the River Piddle to the south-west.

References to Lake Farm Vexillation Fort

  • Roman Britain and the Roman Navy by David J.P. Mason (Tempus, Stroud, 2003);
  • The Roman Invasion of Britain by Graham Webster (Batsford, London, 1993);
  • Britannia ii (1971) p.281 Britannia i 1970 p.299.

Roman Roads near Lake Farm

S (6) to Hamworthy (Poole Harbour, Dorset) NW (4) to Vindocladia