|roman fort, Lancaster
|descriptive text:- West 1778 (11th edn 1821)
item:- coin, roman; roman coin; denarius; altar, roman; roman altar; roman potsherds; potsherds, roman
|Guide book, A Guide to the Lakes, by Thomas West, published by
William Pennington, Kendal, Cumbria once Westmorland, and in
London, 1778 to 1821.
Page 13:- "... a place [Lancaster Castle] of much strength, beauty, and importance; and such it has been ever since its foundation, on the arrival of the Romans in these parts. An eminence of swift descent, that commands the fords of a great tiding riv"
Page 14:- "[riv]er, would not be neglected by so able a general as Agricola; and accordingly he occupied the crown of this eminence in the summer of his second campaign, and of the christian aera 79, and here he erected a station to secure his conquest and the passes of the river, whilst he proceeded with his army across the bay of Morecambe, into Furness. The station was called Longovicum, and in process of time the inhabitants were called Longovices, i.e. a people living upon the Lon or Lune. The station communicated with Overborough, by exploratory mounts (some of them still remaining) on the banks of the Lune, which also answered the purposes of guarding the fords of the river, and overawing the natives. The mounts of Halton, Melling, and at the east end of the bridge of Lune, near Hornby are still entire. The station at Lancaster was connected with that at Watercrook, near Kendal, by the intervention of the beacon on Warton Crag, and the castellum on the summit of a hill that rises immediately above Watercrook, at present called Castle Steads."
Page 15:- "The green mount on which the castle stands appears to be an artefactum of the Romans. In digging into it a few years ago, a Roman silver denarius was found at a great depth."
Page 18:- "Though the station was one of the first which the Romans had in these parts, and, from its importance, the last they abandoned,"
Page 19:- "yet, but few Roman British remains have been discovered at it."
"The Caledonians, the unconquered enemies and greatest plague of the Romans in Britain, were particularly galled and offended with the garrison at Lancaster, it being always the first to oppose them, as often as they invaded the empire, by crossing the Solway firth. ..."
Page 20:- "... Hence it may be inferred, that the present town of Lancaster stands on a magazine of Roman-British antiquities; and this is often verified by digging under ancient houses, where Roman remains are frequently found, and where it appears that the earth has been removed.- Beside what Dr. Leigh mentions, there are many recent instances that prove the conjecture."
"In the year 1772, in digging a cellar, where an old house had stood, in a street or lane, called Pudding-Lane (almost in the centre of the town) there was found, reversed in a bed of fine sand, above five feet underground, a square inscribed stone, of four feet by two and a half dimensions. A foot and two inches were broken off the lower corner on the right hand side, so as to render the inscription obscure, but the remaining letters were very plain, elegantly formed, square, and about three inches high. The inscription had consisted of eight or nine lines, of which six are entire and of easy explanation; the loss in the seventh is easily supplied; but the eighth must be made out by the common style of such votive stones. The elegance of the characters pronounces them to be the work of the best times; but the two small letters in the"
Page 21:- "third and fifth lines reduce it to an age of the Emperor Gordian; and if the three small letters have been occasioned by the omission of the sculptor, then it will be of higher antiquity. It is known by inscriptions found at Olenacum (old Carlisle) that the Augustan wing mentioned on this tablet was stationed there in the time of Gordian; and now from this inscription, it seems to have been at Lancaster. This memorable stone was in the rare collection of Sir Ashton Lever, Knt."
"A few years ago, in sinking a cellar in an old house in Church-street, great quantities of fragments of Roman earthenware were thrown out, urns, paterae, &c. many of them finely glazed, and elegantly marked with emblematic figures. Also some copper coins were found, and an entire lamp, with a turned-up perforated handle to hang it by, the nozzle of which was black from use. At the depth of two yards were likewise discovered a great number of human bones, with burned ashes, a wall of great thickness, and a well filled with rubbish of the same kind, probably leading to a vault were (sic) other human remains were deposited; but the curious must for ever regret that no further search was made into its use and contents."
"What throws new light upon the station"
Page 22:- "here is the late discovery of a Roman pottery, at Quarmoor, near Lancaster. ... But the greatest discovery is gathered from a tile with turned-up edges, impressed on each end with the words Ale Sebusia, which points out a wing of cavalry not heard of before. The same inscription is found on bricks, the label smaller, and the letters Ala Subasia. The shape of the second letter in the first word is like that in the inscription on the rock near Brampton, in Cumberland, supposed to have been cut in the time of the Emperor Severus, A.D. 207, and is the fifth L in Horsley's Alphabet. On the brick the letters are square, from which it may be inferred that this wing was long stationed at Lancaster."