Woodeaton Temple

Temple Or Shrine

A Romano-British temple of two phases, dating from the 1st century AD, with traces of Iron Age occupation. Trial excavations were carried out by Oxford University
Archaeological Society in 1921(4) and 1934(5) but were rather inconclusive. In 1952 excavations at SP 5363 1255 revealed foundations of a Romano-Celtic temple of two periods.

This square temple lies in Middle Hill Field within a temenos beside the Dorchester-Alchester road, about four miles north of Oxford. The outer portico measured 37½ feet by 36½ feet, the inner cella 19 feet by 16 ft. 5 in. The outer wall was an almost uniform 2½ feet wide, the inner wall varying between 1½-2 feet. The temple probably faced east. The original building was erected around 65AD with a wooden portico which later burnt to the ground, This wooden building was replaced by one of stone during the late-2nd century at the same time the temenos was included. The temple remained in use until the 5th century. (Type Ic or Id)

Numerous Romano-British finds including votive objects have been recorded from the site

RIB 240 - Funerary inscription for Dec(i)mus Malus[ius

To the departed spirits: Dec(i)mus Malus[ius ..

D [...]

The fem. cognomen Malusia occurs in CIL iii 11565.

RIB 239 - Fragmentary inscription

No translation

No commentary.

RIB 236 - Fragmentary inscription

No translation


There may have been a second line on the other part of the plate. This may be the end of a Celtic masculine name in the nominative. For over two dozen examples of such names see Holder s.v. -edo.

RIB 237 - Fragmentary dedication

No translation

[...]XENOVI [...]

It is probably part of a dedication at a local shrine. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): The right-hand edge looks original.

RIB 238 - Fragmentary inscription

No translation

No commentary.

The Roman temple is set within a broader area of archaeological potential with a Roman Villa (SM 28136) located only 600 m to the north near Islip along with an accompanying field system as recorded on aerial photographs PRN 11609). A discovery of Roman pottery and building material 350 m north of the temple also suggests that further buildings of this date in the immediate vicinity of the temple complex (PRN 11632).

References for Woodeaton Temple

  • Temples in Roman Britain by M.J.T. Lewis (Cambridge 1966);
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). oman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).

Map References for Woodeaton Temple

NGRef: SP5312 OSMap: LR164

Roman Roads near Woodeaton Temple

None identified

Sites near Woodeaton Temple