Great Dunmow

Minor Settlement

The settlement lay about the junction of the London road and Stane Street, to the west of where the latter crosses the River Chelmer. Excavations at the settlement’s northern periphery exposed the rear of a roadside house-plot, about 110 metres deep:

  • In the first century it contained a timber building measuring 5.5 by 6.5 metres.
  • During the late-first and second centuries the plot was used as a small cremation burial-ground.
  • By the third century a well had been sunk, and several small enclosures of this period indicate that the land had possibly been converted into stock-pens.
  • In the early fourth century a small, two-roomed timber building was erected on the site. The largest room measured 4.3 by 3.0 metres whilst the other was 4.8 by a mere 1.5 metres. It was rebuilt at least once, as a single room 5.5 metres square. The excavator interpreted the contents of several associated pits to have been votive offerings, and that the successive buildings on the as shrines.

Pre-Roman iron-age pottery sherds were found on the site, the earliest Roman pottery being late first century. Coinage recovered ranged from Vespasian to Honorius.

References for Great Dunmow

  • Roadside Settlements in Lowland Roman Britain by Roger Finch Smith (B.A.R. British Series #157, 1987) pp.161/2.

Roman Roads near Great Dunmow

Stane Street: W (9) to Bishops Stortford (Essex) Stane Street: E (10) to Braintree (Essex) SSE (11) to Caesaromagus (Chelmsford, Essex) NW (17) to Great Chesterford SW (32) to Londinivm

Sites near Great Dunmow