Bannaventa (Whilton Lodge)
Bannaventa was the site of a Roman walled settlement on Watling Street. The settlement was initially protected by a ditch which was infilled and replaced by a wall in the 4th century. Material representing the remains of the Roman settlement of Bannaventa has been recovered from a strip around two-hundred metres wide on either side of a two kilometer length of Watling Street, in agricultural land to the north west of the village of Norton, at Whilton Lodge in Northamptonshire.
The settlements defences were in the form of a trapezium, not aligned with Watling Street, and the enclosure was deeper on the east side of the street than it was on the west. The four sides of the enclosure were 190m, 200m, 250m and 250m, measured clockwise from north, and enclosed an area of c.5.5 hectares.
The defences were built in two – possibly three – phases;
- A large ditch 7.6m wide and 3.1m deep backed by a clay and turf rampart was constructed after the end of the first century.
- The primary ditch was filled in with gravel early in the fourth century to provide a firm base for a stone wall with foundations 3.7m wide and fronted by two newly-cut, parallel ditches; the inner 5.2m wide and 2.4m deep and the outer 4.3m wide and 1.8m deep.
- The inner ditch was filled with gravel shortly after the second phase was completed, perhaps intended as the firm base for external towers, though none have been discovered. The outer ditch was allowed to silt-up by the end of the fourth century.
Occupation of the site, which may have begun before the Roman conquest, continued into the fourth century.