Marton Roman Fort

Auxiliary Fort

The small fort at Marton guarded a major crossing of the River Trent on the opposite (eastern) bank from the later, major Romano-British settlement at Littleborough in Nottinghamshire. Aerial photographs of the site show the remains of two ditches, defining the whole of the east side and much of the north and south sides of a rectangular enclosure with the normal rounded corners. If the line of the western ditch (not seen in the photographs) lay on or near the scarp edge, the dimensions of the fort will have been about 310ft by 260ft, an area of 1.8 acres.  It was thought possible that the site may have been an auxiliary fort, given its relatively small size.

This fort is known only from crop marks recorded in 1976 by Prof. St. Joseph lying in fields ½ mile west of Marton village, the enclosure covers a mere 2 acres (0.8ha). An earthwork was recorded here by Stukeley in 1776 but all visible traces have since been ploughed out.

The later Roman road recorded in Antonine Itinera V & VIII was to cross the Trent here, passing close outside the northern defences of the fort on its route between Lincoln (Colonia Lindum) and Littleborough.

There are a small number of Roman pottery kilns in the neighbourhood; at Knaith (SK8284) and Lea Grange Farm (SK8486) a couple of miles to the north, and at Little London near Torksey (SK8377) to the south, about half way between the Marton fort and the Roman vexillation fortress and marching camps about 5½ miles away at Newton on Trent; all sites on the same side of the River Trent in Lincolnshire.

The Fossdike Roman Finds

There are two Latin texts recorded in the R.I.B. assigned to the Foss Dike in Lincolnshire. The first to be discovered was a bronze statuette of Mars inscribed on two (out of four) panels, found in 1774 on the course of the Foss Dike at Torksey just south of the Marton fort (RIB 274; NGRef. SK8378), now on display in the British Museum, the other a tombstone found in 1932 on the course of the Foss Dike at Greetwell, 2 miles east of Lincoln (RIB 275; NGRef. TF0171), now in the Lincoln Museum. Both of these texts and tentative English translations are shown below.

RIB 274 - Dedication to Mars and the Divinities of the Emperors

To the god Mars and the Divinities of the Emperors the Colasuni, Bruccius and Caratius, presented this at their own expense at a cost of 100 sesterces Celatus the coppersmith fashioned it and gave a pound of bronze made at the cost of 3 denarii.

The inscription dates probably to the middle of the second century (Gough, Huebner). For similar statuettes see BJ cxlvii (1942) 230. For the expansion of Aug. as Aug(ustorum) see note to RIB 152.

RIB 275 - Fragmentary funerary inscription

No translation

IN [... ? ...]
ROGI Q[...]
TERII[  ...]
SIC [...]

The later lines seem to be metrical.

References for Marton

  • Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1973-76 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lxvii (1977) p.129 & fig.3;
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). 

Roman Roads near Marton

Itinera V/VIII: SE (14) to Lindvm Itinera V/VIII: NE (1) to Segelocvm (Littleborough, Nottinghamshire)

Sites near Marton Roman Fort