Alcester – Alencestre – The Roman Fort on the River Alne – A suspected Roman fort was located on aerial photographs in the 1960’s lying on a ridge around one kilometre to the south-east of the known Roman settlement.

The first fort was built in Alcester around 47AD on Primrose Hill. This hill overlooks both the confluence of the River Arrow with the River Alne, also the junction of Ryknield Street with the road south from the Roman settlement at Salinae (Droitwich Spa), known as the Salt Way after the main export from the area in Roman times. Items of bronze were recovered during field-walking on the Primrose Hill site, including a harness ring with a masked loop typical of those used by auxiliary cavalry, and the earliest occupation date based on these findings appears to be Flavian.

The original fort was replaced by a later fort built on lower land near Bleachfield Street, where a busy civilian settlement soon grew up.


The following milestone was uncovered during excavations in Birch Abbey in the 1960’s. The inscription comemorates the emperor Constantine the Great.

RIB 3520 - Milestone of Constantine

[For the Emperor Caesar] Flavius Valerius Constantine, Pius Felix Invictus Augustus, [son of the deified Constantius, Pius Augustus].

The formulation is very close to that of the first milestones erected for Constantine, as Caesar in 306–7 (RIB 2237, 2303), and may be regarded as belonging to quite early in his reign as Augustus (307–37). Constantine later did not advertise the name Val(erius) which he shared with his sometime colleagues Maxentius and Maximinus (compare RIB 2254), and it was apparently dropped, in Britain at least, by the period 317–26 (compare RIB 2239). The text has been restored from the other British milestones which give Constantine these names and titles, in particular RIB 2242 and 3521, but the exact line-division and abbreviation of filio are conjectural. The filiation is only omitted by RIB 2288, but this was probably broken here like RIB 2249, and recorded inaccurately.

Other Roman Sites near Alcester Fort

Aside from the settlement and forts at Alcester, there is a Roman marching camp about five miles to the west along the line of the Droitwich road at Shurnock, near Inkberrow in Worcestershire.

References for Alcester

  • An Insect Fauna from the Roman Site at Alcester, Warwickshire, by P.J. Osborne, in Britannia ii (1971) pp.156-165;
  • Britannia ii (1971) p.262;
  • Department of the Environment – Archaeological Excavations (DoE. A.E.; 1969 & 1970).

Map References for Alcester

NGRef: SP0857 OSMap: LR150

Roman Roads near Alcester

N (17) to Metchley (Metchley, Birmingham) W (14) to Droitwich (Droitwich Spa, Hereford & Worcester) E (7) to Tiddington Ryknild Street: SSE (24) to Bovrton (Gloucestershire) Salt Way: W (5) to Shvrnock

Sites near Alcester Roman Fort