Tyne and Wear HER(5265): Benwell, Condercum Fort, Mansio - Details
Benwell, Condercum Fort, Mansio
This was partially excavated in 1926-7 by J.A. Petch. The building originated as a simple 'barn-dwelling' or 'basilican villa' with a nave and two aisles. A large square room was formed at one end of the nave, and the north aisle was divided into rooms by cross walls. Pottery evidence suggests a date of c. A.D. 200. Three new rooms were later added to the east. The arrangement of these rooms suggests a probable vestibule flanked by porter's lodges. A stoke-hole was built against the north side of the building. It may have been a furnace or may have fed hot air into a flue. The date of these changes is unknown. The building was originally interpreted as a posting house for official travellers (mansio) - but was it an overnight stopping-place for those travelling by the imperial post or merely an inn set up as a private enterprise? It has also been suggested as an aisled barn or villa. The building measured at least 25 metres x 11 metres.
<< HER 5265 >> C. Bruce, 1966, Handbook to the Roman Wall, 12th edition, p55 E. Birley, 1961, Research on Hadrian's Wall, p 165 J.A. Petch, 1928, Excavations at Benwell (Condercum), 2nd interim report (1927 and 1928), Archaeologia Aeliana, 4, V, pp. 52-57 Tyne and Wear Museums, 1991, The Roman Fort at Benwell and Its Environs, A survey of the extent and presentation of the archaeological remains