Tyne and Wear HER(5323): Benwell, Condercum Fort, Tombstone - Details
Benwell, Condercum Fort, Tombstone
Religious Ritual and Funerary
Tombstone, 34 x 21 inches, found in 1877 about 500 yards (460 metres) west of Benwell fort (PSAN say to the east), on line of vallum. Now in Black Gate. D(IS) M(ANIBUS) P(UBLIO) SERMUL/LIO MARTI/ALI. 'To the spirits of the departed (and) to Publius Sermullius Martialis'. RIB 1351. According to Bruce the stone had been in the possession of a Mr Smurthwaite of Low Benwell. Ward's street directory for 1877 lists a Thomas Smurthwaite, builder, at 8 Adelaide Terrace, New Benwell. A line projected north from New Benwell meets the Wall c.500 metres east of the fort. This seems the likely findspot. It suggests that the temple area to the east of the fort was more extensive than previously supposed. It is equally possible that it was beside the Military Way, perhaps indicating that tombs and shrines lined the road up to 500 metres from the fort.
<< HER 5323 >> Tyne and Wear Museums, 1991, The Roman Fort at Benwell and its Environs, Survey of extent and preservation of archaeological deposits Cowen, 1950, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, xi, (1950) p321 - Bruce to J.Gibson, 11 Jan 1877, Society Antiquaries Newcastle Letterbook Archaeologia Aeliana, 1886, series 2, (1886), p64 with fig Watkin, 1878, Antiquaries Journal, xxxv (1876), p63 Spain & Bosanquet, Northumberland County History, xiii, 558, no 18 with fig R.G. Collingwood & R.P. Wright, 1965, Roman Inscriptions of Britain I, Inscriptions in Stone, p446, no. 1351