Osmanthorpe Vexillation Fort

Vexillation Fort

This 20 acre (ha) ‘vexillation fortress’ was probably garrisoned by a detachment of Legio IX Hispana or (less-likely) Legio XIV Gemina, and may very likely be attributed to the campaigns of the aged but much-honoured governor Aulus Didius Gallus between 52AD and 57. It was during the tenure of this man that the episode of Brigantian power-politics narrated by Tacitus (Annals XII.xl) resulted in the uprising of Venutius the consort of Queen Cartimandua, which was of such a serious nature that the aged Queen had to be rescued by a task force sent by Gallus.

… Some [auxiliary] cohorts were sent to her aid and a sharp contest followed, which was at first doubtful but had a satisfactory termination. The legion under the command of Caesius Nasica fought with a similar result. …” (Tacitus Annales XII.xl)

Other Roman sites in the Area

There is a marching camp a couple of miles to the west at Farnsfield (SK6355), and two more camps, a smaller one with tituli on all four gateways is set wholly within the defences of a larger, perhaps earlier camp about five miles south-west at Calverton (SK6150). There is another camp about 12 miles to the north-west at Gleadthorpe Plantation (SK5970), and one more about 10 miles to the east, on the east bank of the River Trent at Holme (SK8159), which itself lies only 2 miles to the west of the Fosse Way settlement at Crococalana (Brough). All of these sites lie in the county of Nottinghamshire.

Also about 10 miles to the north-west nearby the marching camp at Gleadthorpe is a Roman villa lying close to the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border at Northfield (SK5264) outside Mansfield Woodhouse, where a damaged Roman inscription was unearthed (vide RIB 276).

References for Osmanthorpe

  • Britannia xi (1980) pp.350-355, & fig.9;
  • The Coritani by Malcolm Todd (Sutton, London, 1973);
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
  • Annales by Cornelius Tacitus, translated by J.Jackson (Loeb, Harvard, 1937). 

Map References for Osmanthorpe

NGRef: SK6756 OSMap: LR120, Ex28(270).

Roman Roads near Osmanthorpe

None identified