Watercrook Vicus

Minor Settlement

A substantial area of civilian settlement, flanking the south-eastern exit-road, was excavated in 1974.

The northern sector is considered to be an industrial / manufacturing area, while the eastern settlement was a more typical including pubs and shops.

This showed initial timber buildings and a number of subsequent phases of stone-construction; these appeared to belong to buildings of the ‘strip’ type, with their gable-ends facing on to the street-frontage, and offering shop-accommodation in front and domestic quarters beyond. There was no clue to the origins or activities of the inhabitants, although we can readily imagine that here, as elsewhere, the civilian settlement housed a population of mixed origins, and included the womenfolk and children of serving soldiers, retired veterans, as well as manufacturers and traders from near and far.

The variety of personal manufactured items recovered during the excavation itself bears witness to the vitality and economic vibrancy of a settlement which depended upon the prosperous ‘market’ constituted by a military unit of 500 men. Such a town would have been lively, noisy – and, because of the probable presence of agriculturally-related trades, such as butchery, food-production, brewing and leather-making, smelly too.

To the south, occasional drought conditions have revealed the presence of a substantial building, probably the bath-house.