Scargill Moor Temples

Temple Or Shrine

Lying about 2 miles south of the Lavatris/Bowes fort on Scargill Moor (alt. 1,175 ft.) are two Roman temples dedicated to Vinotonus, a local iron-age god, possibly the protective guardian deity of the local area, although the temples situation beside a freshly flowing stream may indicate that the god was somehow associated with water, however, the conflation of Vinotonus with Silvanus on the altarstone found in Temple#1 would suggest that this iron-age god was in some manner involved with woodland and/or hunting.

The Temple of Vinotonus Silvanus – Bowes 1

RIB732 - Altar dedicated to Vinotonus Silvanus

To the god Vinotonus Silvanus, Julius Secundus, centurion of the First Cohort of Thracians, gladly, willingly, and deservedly fulfilled his vow.
[...]
VINOTONO
SILVANO IVL
SECVNDVS 𐆛
COH I THRAC
V S L L M
A moulded tablet, W 0.635 × H 0.381 × D 0.127 m, with back left rough, was found about 1936 lying in the bed of the Eller Beck at its confluence with the East Black Sike. There is no trace of an inscription on it. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): For another altar from the site, dedicated to Vinotonus Silvanus by a prefect of the same cohort, see Brit. xix (1988), 491 No. 7. The inscriptions are discussed by Bertini, Epigraphica lii (1990), 63-76, who finds parallels for Caesius and Frontinus (RIB 733).

The Temple of Vinotonus – Bowes 2

RIB733 - Altar dedicated to Vinotonus

To the god Vinotonus, Lucius Caesius Frontinus, prefect of the First Cohort of Thracians, from Parma, gladly, willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow.
DEO VIN
OTONO
L CAESIVS
FRONTINVS PR
AEF COH I THRAC
DOMO PARMA
V S L L M
For Vinotonus and the site see RIB 732.For L. Caesius Frontinus see RIB 734.Parma: in N. Italy.The First Cohort of Thracians was stationed at Bowes from the Severan age onwards, and the quality of the lettering suggests that the altar was made in the first, rather than second, half of the third century.Part of the carved left-hand bolster, W 0.127 × H 0.1905 m, from the capital was found in 1953 in the Eller Beck, 1.6 km. downstream from the shrine, and is included in the drawing (JRS xliii (1953) 132 n. 40).

This circular temple has walls roughly 2¼ ft. (0.68 m) thick, constructed of rubble faced with dressed stone, identical in construction to and probably contemporary with Temple 1. The temple was 21 ft. 10 ins. (6.65 m) in diameter with an entrance facing due east, a low stone bench ran around most of the interior, while on the rear (west) wall facing the entrance was an altarstone dedicated by the commanding officer of Cohors Primae Thracum (RIB 733 supra). The remnants of at least six more altars and two bases were also recovered from this temple, two (RIB 735 et 736) with the simple text DEO or ‘to the God’, and a third bearing the simple formula V S L M, expanded to Votum Solvit Libens Merito, which means ‘willingly and deservedly fulfilling a vow’.

References for Scargill Moor Temples

  • Atlas of the Greek and Roman World in Antiquity by Nicholas G.L. Hammond (Bristol Classical Press);
  • Temples in Roman Britain by M.J.T. Lewis (Cambridge 1966);
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); 

Map References for Scargill Moor Temples

NGRef: NY9910 OSMap: LR92

Roman Roads near Scargill Moor Temples

None identified