Fast Search

You are Here: Home / Benwell, Condercum Fort, Temple of Antenociticus

Tyne and Wear HER(5266): Benwell, Condercum Fort, Temple of Antenociticus - Details

Back to Search Results



Benwell, Condercum Fort, Temple of Antenociticus



Religious Ritual and Funerary

Place of Worship




Ruined Building

The temple of the Celtic god Antenociticus lay east of the fort between rampart and vallum. It was discovered in 1862. It measured 7 metres x 4.8 metres with thick stone walls. There was a projected apse at the southern end. There was originally a door in the north wall, later blocked and another in the east wall. Inside the apse there was an ornamental base for the cult statue. On either side was an altar, one dedicated by a centurion, the other by a prefect, probably in A.D. 181-5 [but possibly in the 3rd century]. The temple was used by officers - no evidence for civilian worship. A third altar was dedicated by the Cohors I Vangiorium. Several bases, shafts and capitals found outside the temple, once thought to be possibly part of a portico but more likely part of adjacent buildings built south, east and west of the temple. Close to the southern structure was a cremation, suggesting a combine temple and cemetery. The few coins, altars and a charred beam, point to a second century date, meaning the temple was probably built shortly after the construction of the fort. It was destroyed by fire in A.D. 196 [there is some doubt whether or not the building was restored after 197]. Three burials were laid in the apse after its ruin, but as they were aligned east-west they may have been post Roman. This is the only known shrine to Antenociticus, so he was probably a local deity. Sandstone rubble with ashlar facing. Walls stand about half a metre high. Apse contains base of cult statue of which head is now in Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle. Flanking altars are casts of originals in same museum. SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT AND LISTED GRADE 1




<< HER 5266 >> M.J.T. Lewis, 1966, Temples of Roman Britain, p 72-3 C. Bruce, 1966, Handbook to the Roman Wall, 12th edition, p53 R.G. Collingwood & R.P. Wright, 1965, Roman Inscriptions of Britain I, Inscriptions in Stone, p 439-440 S. Frere, 1987, Brittannia: A History of Roman Britain, p 318 D.J. Breeze & B. Dobson, 1987, Hadrian's Wall, p 266 S. Johnson, 1989, Hadrian's Wall, p 89 Archaeologia Aeliana, 1862, 2, VI, pp 169 P. Salway, 1967, The Frontier People of Roman Britain, p 70-1 Tyne and Wear Museums, 1991, The Roman Fort at Benwell and Its Environs, A survey of the extent and presentation of the archaeological remains Richmond, 1941, Archaeologia Aeliana, 4, XIX, 39 n. 136; David J. Breeze, 2006, J. Collingwood Bruce's Handbook to the Roman Wall, 14th edition, pp 151-157

Back to Search Results