Magiovinium (Fenny Stratford)

Cemetery and Minor Settlement

A Romano-British small town, defences visible as either slight earthworks or a soilmark. The 4th century settlement of Magiovinium occupies a spur jutting into the floodplain of the River Ouzel and is bisected by Watling St. The town is a rectangular enclosure of 2.2 hectares measuring 150 metres by 122 metres, lying about 500 metres south-east along Watling street, near to the south side of the road and delineated by double-ditches, has been identified as a possible Roman fort. Pottery recovered from the enclosure’s ditch infill suggest a construction during the Neronian period, and its desertion some time during the Flavian.

Roman remains have been found to either side of the road along a c.1.2 kilometre stretch of Watling Street, from the crossing of the River Ouzel towards the south-east. (Between Fenny Stratford at the crossing of the Ouzel, and the villages of Little Brickhill and Bow Brickhill.)

Pottery recovered from the site ranges from the mid-first century through to the fourth century, and the latest reported coin found during diggings on the site is an issue of Valentinian.

Although only the south-eastern arc of the settlement’s defences are visible on A.P.’s, the rest of it’s perimeter can be conjectured to follow the contours of a natural scarp on the northern side, and bounded to the west by a cemetery. The settlements defences thus delineated an ovoid enclosure measuring c.350m nw-se by c.250m ne-sw.

Three cemeteries are known; the first, containing second century cremations lay to either side of a branch-road north off Watling Street; the second containing inhumations and cremations extended along Watling Street to the south-east, and the third, containing only inhumation burials lay on the south side of Watling Street at the opposite (north-western) end of the settlement.

References for Magiovinivm

  • Roadside Settlements in Lowland Roman Britain by Roger Finch Smith (B.A.R. British Series #157, 1987) pp.218-220.

Roman Roads near Magiovinivm

Watling Street: SE (11) to Dvrocobrivis (Dunstable, Bedfordshire) Watling Street: NW (17) to Lactodvrvm (Towcester, Northamptonshire) Possible road: N (12) to Tvrvey Watling Street: NW (8.5) to Stony Stratford

Sites near Magiovinium (Fenny Stratford)