Viroconivm Cornoviorum (Wroxeter) Temples

Temple Or Shrine

Romano-British Temples at Wroxeter

Classical Temple – Wroxeter 1

This large structure measuring 50 ft. across the front by 98 ft. long overall, stands just south of the Wroxeter forum facing east onto the Watling Street. The temple consisted of a rectangular cobbled court enclosed by walls only 2 ft. thick, accessed through an entrance in the middle of its eastern side. The facade was supported upon 6 columns spaced roughly 10 ft. apart and about 1 ft. 8 ins. in diameter, which would suggest a height of around 15 ft.; this also gives a good indication as to the height of the enclosure wall. In the eastern half of the court a colonnade is suggested by a set of narrow, linear stone foundations spaced about 6ft. from the outer wall, which possibly supported a series of wooden pillars and a timber roof of a covered walkway.

The western half of the courtyard, lacking a colonnade, was dominated by a rectangular podium measuring 31 ft. by 24¾ ft. with 5 ft. wide walls, its long axis oriented N-S. The floor in the front part of the cella was raised about 4 ft. 7 ins. above the courtyard, accessed by four steps from the east, while the floor in the rear was raised a further 1 ft. 10 ins. above courtyard level. The appearance of this central cella is in dispute, but the finding of a 2½ ft. tall Corinthian capital nearby suggests that the facade may have sported Corinthian columns around 20 ft. tall, probably in tetrastyle, that is, with four columns equally spaced across the front of the shrine. Two 3 ft. square bases found close to the NE and SE corners of the shrine very likely supported statues of the deity. The temple was originally constructed in the latter half of the 2nd century and was abandoned by the early-4th. There is evidence to support the view that this temple may have been dedicated to Jupiter (Lewis, 1966, p.70).

Suspected Romano-British Temple – Wroxeter 2

A square Romano-British style temple was recorded on A.P.’s lying to the north of the forum. Its identification is uncertain.

Suspected Classical Temple – Wroxeter 3?

Another suspected temple site lies just south-east of the baths complex. The building measures roughly 100 ft. from east to west by about 50 ft. transversely, its massive walls and prime location within its own insula or ‘city block’ close to the centre of the Roman City, mark this monumental building as a probable temple along classical lines.

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