The Romano-British settlement at Great Casterton developed in the protective lee of a Roman auxiliary fort which was built on the north bank on the River Gwash during the early Claudian campaigns of the propraetor Aulus Plautius c.44AD. The defences of the fort, which lay to the north-east of the settlement, enclosed an area of around 6 acres (2.4Ha). The fort is large enough to comfortably house an auxiliary cavalry ala, or perhaps a cohors milliaria equitata, a mixed unit of cavalry and infantry a nominal one-thousand strong. Whatever the actual garrison, military occupation is thought to have ceased sometime around 80, presumably due to the unit being withdrawn for use in the campaigns of the propraetor Agricola .

References for Great Casterton

  • The Roman Invasion of Britain by Graham Webster (Batsford, London, 1993);
  • Roadside Settlements in Lowland Roman Britain by Roger Finch Smith (B.A.R. British Series #157, 1987) pp.185/6;
  • Town and Country in Roman Britain by A.L.F. Rivet (London, 1958).

Map References for Great Casterton

NGRef: TF0009 OSMap: LR141, B25.

Roman Roads near Great Casterton

Ermine Street: SE (11) to Dvrobrivae Catvvellorvm (Water Newton, Cambridgeshire) Ermine Street: N (17) to Saltersford (Lincolnshire) Trackway: NW (8) to Thistleton

Sites near Great Casterton Roman Fort