Caesar's Camp, Sandy
The settlement at Sandy lay at the conjunction of at least three Roman roads to the east of the River Ivel. Roman material has been recovered from at least four points beside the road running south – north from Braughing to Durovigutum (Godmanchester), for a length of almost 1,200 metres.
Recovered pottery from these sites ranges from early first century pottery ‘of Belgic type’, through to the late-third or early-fouth centuries. Coins range in date from the late Republic through to the end of the fourth century.
The presence of the early Belgic pottery and the Republican coinage both lead to the conclusion that Sandy was probably inhabited, as part of the iron-age trackway network prior to the Romans arrival in Britain, where trade was possibly conducted using the readily available Roman coinage prevalent at that time in Gaul.
Features exposed in the modern cemetery, include an east-west aligned gravel lane running in a westerly direction towards Tower Hill, where a Roman burial-ground has been identified. It is possible that this gravel lane continued in its course westwards all the way to Bannaventa (Whilton Lodge) on Watling Street via a small settlement at Duston. The road probably deteriorated into unmetalled trackway from the edge of the settlement, and it is possible that this trackway was continued in a eastwards directon on the other side of the main road, to Wimpole Lodge on Ermine Street.
Tentative evidence for the presence of a pottery kiln was also found on the site.
“Gaius Valerius Amandus’ Vinegar-lotion for running eyes. • Gaius Valerius Amandus’ Drops for dim sight • Gaius Valerius Valentinus’ Poppy-ointment after an attack of inflammation of the eyes. • A mixture for clearing the sight.“
(Burn 70; oculist’s stamp, scribed on four sides; translations from Burn)
References for Sandy
- Roadside Settlements in Lowland Roman Britain by Roger Finch Smith (B.A.R. British Series #157, 1987) p.213;
- The Romans in Britain An anthology of Inscriptions by A.R. Burn (Oxford 1932).