Charterhouse Settlement

Major Settlement

The settlement grew up around the north-western edge of prehistoric lead and silver mines, which were exploited by the Romans. Mendip lead ore had up to 0.4% silver content, which the Romans used to pay the army. Extraction is thought to have begun as early as AD 49 (although the evidence of dateable lead ingots found in the neighbourhood has recently been questioned.) At first the lead and silver industries were tightly controlled by the Roman military (in the south-west, by the Second Legion) and there was a small ‘fortlet’ adjoining the mines during the 1st century, which may, however, have been little more than a fortified compound for storing lead pigs.[9] After a short time, the extraction of these metals was contracted out to civilian companies, probably because of low silver content. Smelting was undertaken on site where industrial workshops have been excavated,[11] and the metal exported along a minor road to the Fosse Way, and probably through a small inland port at nearby Cheddar.

RIB 184 - Fragmentary funerary inscription

To the spirits of the departed (and) to …, her brother, Respecta his sister made this, … of … from Rome..

[...] M
[...] AVG
[...  ]VO RES
[...  ]OMO ROMA

6. The genitive -tugeni depends on either filia or uxor.

RIB 186 - Fragmentary inscription

No translation

FI [...]

No commentary.

RIB 185 - Fragmentary dedication

For the welfare of our Lord the Emperor-Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, son of the deified Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax, conqueror of Parthia, conqueror of Adiabene, ..

[...] DOMINI [...]
[...  ...   ] SEPTIMI [...]
[...  ... ]I AD[...]
[  ...]

The occurrence of dominus and the spacing of the words suggest that the inscription commemorated Caracalla (A.D. 211-17) rather than Septimius Severus.

References for Charterhouse

  • Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995);
  • Roman Britain – A Sourcebook by S. Ireland (Routlege, New York, 1986);
  • Chronology of the Ancient World by E.J. Bickerman (Thames & Hudson, London, 1980);
  • The Romans in Britain – An Anthology of Inscriptions by A.R. Burn (Blackwell, Oxford, 1969);
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).
  • Air Reconnaissance of Southern Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xliii (1953) pp.81-97;

Map References for Charterhouse

NGRef: ST501561 OSMap: LR172/182

Roman Roads near Charterhouse

Probable road: NE (20) to Aqvae Svlis (Bath, Avon) SE (12) to Shepton Mallet (Somerset)

Sites near Charterhouse Settlement