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COUNTY BOROUGH OF HUDDERSFIELD.
THE TOLSON MEMORIAL MUSEUM
COUNLY BOROUGA OF.
“Let the reader concentrate for himself on these points, what life and morals were like, through what manner of meni or domestic and foreign policies the Empire was created and nurtured Then either passion for what I have undertaken deceives me, or no State ever was greater, more scrupulously
fair, or richer in good qualities.”
Since the manuscript of this Handbook was written a valuable collection of pottery, found at Slack during the excavations in 1865-6, was brought to light by Mr. and Miss Fennell, of Wakefield. These specimens had been preserved in the collection of the late Mr. Charles Fennell, and were handed over to the Wakefield Museum. By.an arrangement and exchange, this collection has been trans- ferred to Ravensknowle. We wish to thank Mr. and Miss Fennell and the authorities of the Wakefield Museum for making this transfer possible.
As further excavations of the fort at Slack seemed very remote, it was felt that the time was opportune for bringing together the scattered facts of Roman history previously brought to light in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield and publish them as a contribution to our scheme of Regional Survey. In this Mr. A. M. Woodward very willingly offered assistance, and the work was accordingly planned. Soon after, however, he was appointed Director of the _ British School at Athens, and he reluctantly abandoned the task.
Fortunately an enthusiastic Roman scholar, Mr. Ian A, Richmond, of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, undertook the work, and he has devoted to it much thought and energy. His results here given are not, however, a mere compilation of previous records. He has brought to bear on the problem a fresh and original mind, which has thrown much new light on Roman history in the Pennines. In addition, excavations have been made by him of the Fort at Meltham in 1923, and of the Roman Road at Blackstone Edge in July, 1923. For the first time Mr. Richmond has made a very probable and interesting suggestion as to the origin, purpose and date of the Forts at Meltham and at Kirklees, which had been shrouded in obscurity.
We wish here to record our thanks to the landowners, Messrs. J. E. & E. Hirst for so readily granting permission to excavate ; to the tenant, Mr. J. Fielding Woodhead, for his interest and assistance ; and to Alderman T. Canby for generously defraying the cost of the excavations at Meltham.
Thanks are due to Mr. Donald Atkinson, of the of Manchester, for his help and advice in connection with the pottery found at Slack. The more important pieces have been restored at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and give a good idea of the types of vessels in common use during the Roman occupation.
Of other objects of this period we are indebted to Mr. Thomas Brooke for allowing the interesting
have been specially prepared for this work, and for the photographs of these we are indebted to Mr. W. H. Sikes, who has spared no pains to secure the best results. To Mr. J. W. Cocking we are indebted for assistance in the preparation of the plans of the Forts and to Miss M. G. Edwards for help with the map, Fig. 1.
In conclusion, the Committee desire to record their great appreciation of the unsparing labour and interest of the author, not only with the text but also in the preparation of the illustrations, and by the able way he has reconstructed this chapter of ancient local history from the excavated remains so as to make it a valuable and permanent contribution to our knowledge of Roman Britain. In this connection we owe our thanks to Mr. Robin G. Collingwood, Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, for much helpful advice during the preparation of the work and in revising the proofs as well as for the drawing in Fig. 3, showing the use of the seal box. Also to Mr. A. M. Woodward, who has given generous assistance throughout, both with the excavations, the objects found and now in the Museum. Every effort has been made to render this Handbook a reliable record of the period, and we hope it will prove a further justification of the value of intensive local studies and of this mode of presentation.
Mr. Richmond has also done good service in arranging and labelling the Roman collections in the Museum (Room
HUDDERSFIELD IN ROMAN TIMES.
IAN A. RICHMOND, B.A. (Oxon.)
I CHAPTER I. WHY THE ROMANS OCCUPIED YORKSHIRE.
From the dawn of history Europe has feared invasion from the great plains of Asia, and folk-wanderings beyond the Urals have impelled wave after wave of fierce peoples to seek out and to terrorise the West. But when chance brought down great hordes of northern barbarians upon Italy at the close of the second century B.C., it set in motion events which freed the Western and Mediter- ranean world from wholesale invasions of this kind during the next five hundred years. To achieve this freedom, moreover, was then something unique. There is no evidence to suggest that it ever had been attempted before, and since the Roman Empire fell it has not been effected upon so large a scale. Thus to Roman statesmen and to the Empire which they founded the modern world owes a great debt. During four hundred years of peace Greek and Roman civilization, upon which is based much that is best in our modern world, gained time to develop and to become a deeply-rooted tradition which never has ceased to animate and to invigorate succeeding generations. The great difference which it wrought may be appreciated by studying the Handbooks which precede and succeed this volume.
was Julius Casar who took the first active steps in this great barring out of wandering and uncivilized folk. Before his time expansion north of Italy had been slow, and its extent had been limited to land south of the Alps and to the southern coast of France, then known as Gallia. In 59 B.C. Cesar received the governorship of northern Italy, southern France and the Dalmatian coast, and when his province was tnreatened by invaders from the upper Rhine he did not hesitate to strike at the root of the danger. In eight years he had done what indeed seemed impossible. Rome’s northern frontier rested upon the Ocean and the Rhine ; all Gallia was conquered, and the conquest had stood the test of a rebellion, led by Vercingetorix. Time even had been found for exploring southern Britain twice. At Rome Cesar celebrated with mag- nificence and amid great rejoicing a victor’s triumphal entry, recorded upon a coin now in the Museum. Immediate danger to Italy from the north-west was in a way to being removed at last.
Civil war and the re-organization of the Roman world by Cesar Augustus delayed further expansion in the west for nearly thirty years. Then large annexations took place in the direction of the Danube, which made Italy safe in the north-east. Meanwhile Rome had to abandon as a northern policy the construction of a Germanic province between the Rhine and the Elbe, partly for economic and partly for strategic reasons ; racial distinctions also made the demarcation of a frontier from the Rhine to the Danube an easier project. But Cesar had noted with his usual acumen that the same facts did not apply to Britain. From northern Gaul, where Roman civilization did not take root quickly, malcontents could look out on to a free world, inhabited in the south at least by kindred people. Such a possibility was a dangerous incentive to rebellion for those who were new to Roman government and dis- satisfied with its methods. An occupation of Britain, therefore, was the logical conclusion of
Fig 2. Hoard from Honley
Fig. 2a, Part of the Honley Hoard. 1-5, Silver Brigantian Coins ; 6, Brooch ; 7-9, Seal Box ; 10, Bronze ring or turret.
rebellion. Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, chose this opportunity ior avenging both insults to herseli and the distress which Seneca, chief adviser to the Emperor Nero, had caused in certain British caritons by calling in much money which he had advanced to them in order that they might pay their taxes promptly. Before Paulints could collect his armies to crush the rebels over seventy thousand Romans and triendly natives had perished amid unexampled atrocities. Such reasons as this kept the legions at Lincoln and at Chester from advancing into the hills before A.D. 71-74, when Petilius Cerialis was governor of the province. At this time begins the story of the Huddersfield district under Roman
ROMAN PIONEERS IN THE HUDDERSFIELD DISTRICT, A.D. 71-79.
Previous Relations with Rome.
Tacitus records that Petilius Cerialis annexed the greater part of the Brigantian land, which covered at least the six northern counties of England, and belonged to a large and powerful tribe. Between these folk and Rome relations already had been somewhat stormy, for among them, as within most frontier tribes of the Roman Empire, there existed pro-Roman and anti-Roman parties. As early as A.D. 50 their Queen, Cartimandua, who issued coins of which copies now are in the Museum (Fig. 2), had shown her good- will towards Rome by giving up the defeated chief Caratacus to Ostorius Scapula, the Roman governor. But soon after this event (in A.D. 57-58) she disgusted her people by contracting a marriage with her husband’s armour-bearer, and a relief column of Roman troops, sent by Didius Gallus, rescued her with difficulty during the strife which followed her rashness.
Meanwhile Roman influences had been making headway in the Brigantian land. Among evidence of commerce
Fig. 4. Facsimiles of Golden Brigantian Coins Nos. 1—9 from Castle Hill, Almondbury ; No. 10 from Lightcliffe.
\ A : \ ROAD TO THE
A A = BUILDINGS. ve CEMETERY
Roman Imperial Army in being short-service forces. After the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 14-36), all Roman soldiers, whether serving as legionaries or as auxiliaries (excepting, however, the “ Household Troops ” at Rome), spent twenty-five years with the colours. This produced both efficiency and stability, for the legionaries, as Roman citizens, were allowed to marry, and auxiliaries might contract a union which was recognised by law when they received Roman citizenship on their discharge.
It is difficult to define what arms and armour the auxiliaries used as a whole, since each regiment was allowed to retain its native weapons if they were effective, although it was not recruited from its native district after its foundation, but from wherever it hap- pened to be stationed. Accordingly Syrians formed regiments of archers, and Raetians from modern Austria used their own type of spear, called “ gaesum.”’ Other tribes provided excellent cavalry or pioneers ; the Batavi, for example, who lived in the fens at the mouth of the Rhine, often were useful on campaigns when swimming was necessary. Spear, sword and shield, however, formed the
Fashions in pottery change steadily in modern days, and they seem to have evolved even more regularly in Roman times. Thus by a study of the different types and makers of Samian ware—for the potters generally stamped their names upon their products— it has been discovered that when Agricola arrived in Britain, by late in A.D. 78 at least, certain shapes of bowl were passing out of fashion. But there was no occupation of northern Britain by Roman troops before A.D. 71-74, under Petilius Cerialis, and the land was annexed completely by Agricola ; thus the assumption seems justified that those few sites in northern Britain, such as York, which have produced a relatively high proportion of these older types of bowl, were founded by Petilius Cerialis ; while those which have yielded no bowls of these kinds, classified by as shape 29 and 30 (see p. 79), belong to a later date even than Agricola’s governorship. And it is possible to add that the changes in types of common pottery, which have not yet been worked out in such detail as those of Samian ware, confirm the inference. I
3 These results help to shed light upon the earliest Roman history of the Huddersfield district. Through their agency it is clear that the legionary fortress at York (Eburacum) was founded under Petilius Cerialis in A.D. 71-74. But an examination of the pottery from the forts at Castleshaw and at Slack in the Hudders- field district shows that they were not erected until the time of Agricola, although they were built to guard a road between the new fortress at York and the older fortress at Chester. This raises a simple problem of strategy. Before Cerialis advanced into Yorkshire the Roman frontier in Britain had stood at the edge of the uplands (Fig. 8), with base-fortresses of the legions at Chester (Deva) in the west and at Lincoln (Lindum) in the east. Between these places had run a frontier of which details are not sufficiently clear, but which probably included those forts shown on Fig. 8. Yet, if Cerialis advanced the eastern base-fortress from Lincoln to York, it would be natural to suppose that he instituted a direct connection of some kind between York and Chester, in accordance I with an axiom of strategy, that bases should be directly connected. I But since the evidence from Castleshaw and Slack does not support this supposition, we must look elsewhere for the earliest route. I
The Forts at Meltham and Kirklees.
On the high moors above Meltham, standing upon a.spur of the Pennines, in a position favourable only for guarding an easy ascent to the uplands, are the remains of a small fort constructed in typically Roman fashion. The place was just over an acre in size (Fig. 9), and provided with one double gate of wood, placed where it was least accessible to a charging foe. Excavations, made
by the writer in April, 1923, have proved that there were no ordinary buildings within the fort. Its irregular shape is an adaptation to the contour of the ground. On three sides a ditch (Fig. 10) six feet deep had been dug, mostly in ‘‘ middle grit
size and shape suggest for it an early date ; yet it was held for longer than a night or two, since those who built it took the trouble to erect the rampart firmly upon laid
previous maps of the Huddersfield district this earthwork has been associated with Slack; but the forts are too near to each other (Fig. 1) to belong normally to the same system, as Gough noted long ago, and fuller knowledge suggests that the fort at Kirklees should be connected with that at Meltham. Taken together, the two forts seem to have guarded the line of the earliest Roman crossing of the Pennines yet known. It might be rash to connect them for certain with the name of Petilius Cerialis ; but they can hardly belong to a time before his governorship, and, after the construction of a good road across the hills by Agricola in A.D. 80, who would need to build semi-permanent forts along the route which uses the Meltham Valley and the Ashway Gap? No well- paved road led to either of these tiny forts, and it seems best to think that for four or five years, until the course for a good road in the mountainous districts between York and Chester had been surveyed and settled, communication between the two fortresses used the “
Slack in the Huddersfield district (Fig. 15), covered three or four acres, and held a regiment of five hundred men (eohors quingenaria). But harbours, important road-junctions, road-heads or bridge-heads were guarded by larger forts, which varied in size according to their garrisons. The cohors quingenaria might have a mounted detachment, when it was called equitata. The cavalry regiment, five hundred strong (ala quingenaria), took up more room still. These three types were commanded by praefecti. But there were also the cohort one thousand strong (eohors miliaria), which might be equitata, and the ala miliaria. These were commanded by tribuni.
turf, as in Britain. These were guarded by forts and also by block- houses which contained fifty to a hundred men and were commanded by centurions or privileged private soldiers (beneficiarii). But generally these barriers served to control customs and to keep down petty raiding rather than to ward off powerful attacks ; and the brunt of serious fighting did not fall upon the auxiliary troops in their frontier forts but upon the legions, whose generals commanded the frontiers as subordinates to the governor of the province. From the legionary fortress came control and supplies, and the legionaries constructed any large engineering works, including, often enough, the frontier forts. But the wide area of the frontier-lands dis- couraged casual raiders and made their forays less serious. Good military roads enabled the Roman governors to make full use of their advantages in organised transport and to collect their armies when real danger threatened. The risk of arriving too late with help was not worth taking.
Fig. 16. Section across Rampart at Slack. A=ditch. B=stone foundation. C=rampart of sods.
The Fort at Slack—-Site and Defences.
Agricola founded the fort at Slack in A.D. 79-80 to fit into such a system as has been outlined. And the new fort guarded, with others like it, the great road between the fortresses at Chester and York, which now was laid out in the hills in definitely Roman fashion. The road, therefore, governed the position of the fort, and dictated that it should lie on the north side of Shaw Clough, whence the road could pass on to Goat Hill and Buckstones Moss by a gentle slope. The site chosen for the fort (Fig. 14) lay between
Shaw Clough and two small streams, of which the eastern one was artificially deepened in Roman times but now is dried up. Only on the north, where the Roman road ran upon level ground between the tort and the modern Newhey road, was the defence weak ; on other sides Nature helped the work of man, and in the circumstances Agricola could not have chosen better.
The corners of the fort faced the cardinal points (Fig. 15) ; it _was defended by a rampart, twenty feet wide and built with turves laid like bricks, whose outer edge rested upon an eight-foot course of roughly-fitted stones (Fig. 16). The space thus enclosed was
The limits and defences of the settlement, or annexe, outside the fort are fairly clear (Fig. 18). As far as the eastern stream the whole area was roughly paved, like the spaces identified as parade- grounds at Gellygaer, Hardknot and Maryport. And since the stream was artificially deepened it probably served as a boundary or defence. Further north there seems to have been a ditch fronting a rough bank or palisade, shown with broken lines in Fig. 18. Ditches A, B and C were revealed by excavation, and, since they seem to form a system but to differ in construction, it may be thought that they were dug at the edge of the inhabited ground from time to time, as the area of the annexe became larger. At the point marked D a ditch ran towards the western corner of the fort, and, if the ditch C were extended to the south-west so as to
Fig. 17. Oak Posts at North coiner tower at Slack.
reach the eastern stream, the area thus enclosed would form an annexe of reasonable size, nearly three times as big as the fort itself. This compares favourably with the size of similar settle- ments at other forts.
Unfortunately it has been impossible to excavate to the south of the preetorium, where the commandant’s house certainly awaits discovery, and where latrines (see p. 40) may have existed. But the plan of the other main buildings at Slack is clear. The headquarters (pretorium) is distinguished by its two courtyards, the outer, which was repaved once (Fig. 19) and provided on three sides with closed-in buildings, probably rooms for the storage of arms (armamentaria) ; and the inner yard which was roofed over, since its floor was rammed earth, which turns to mud in wet weather, and since many roofing tiles, among which some
Fig. 20. Entrances to Granaries at Slack.
were marked COHIIIIBRE, were found in it. At the back of it was a range of rooms, probably five in number, and its north side was partly occupied by another small room. The use of these rooms is not wholly clear, although one at least would house the regimental records; while elsewhere and in later times similar rooms were connected with the administration of surrounding districts. The central room was a small shrine (sacellum), which usually contained various altars, erected to Jupiter or to the Divinity and Discipline of the Emperor. Here also were kept the standards of the cohort and the pay-chest, to contain which a sunken strong-room was often added in forts occupied at a later
date than Slack. Thus the sacellum of the
Their arrangement is fairly simple: the large room at one end seems to have belonged to the centurions, to judge from the greater number of wine-jars found in it, and the rest of the building was divided into five rooms, in the wooden barracks 21 by 15 feet, in the stone block 25 by 22 feet in area. These sizes compare well with those of similar rooms in Newstead, near Melrose, which varied from 21 by 11 to 35 by 15 square feet. The estimate of
four hundred and fifty men, excluding the commandant and his staff. This agrees with evidence from Newstead and Gellygaer and with modern estimates for billeting.
The other vacant block of land, north of the via decumana, contained a well and two long buildings of wood, best compared with similar buildings at Gellygaer and identified as stables. Their area, roughly six thousand square feet, suggests that the garrison was supplied with a rather small mounted detachment, perhaps consisting of one centuria out of the five.
The cook-house was situated to the north of the north-eastern gate, and part of the rampart was cut away to accommodate it,
and of the via preetoria, passed through the eastern gate, and then ran parallel with the eastern rampart. It is not clear where the main drain from the western area of the fort was situated, but possibly it lay near the south gate. In this quarter the fort’s latrine and the drainage connected with it still remain to be found, for the excellent sanitary arrangements implied by this statement occur in all permanent Roman forts. Details about the water supply still remain equally scanty, for the only source of water yet discovered is a well in the stables. Often the court-yard in the headquarters building was provided with one or more wells ; but at Slack a well was sought for there without: success.
The Garrison and its Language.
The garrison of the fort, as is shown by the stamped tiles which its members made near by, was the Fourth Cohort of the Breuci. These people belonged to the Roman province of Pannonia, in the north-west of Jugo-Slavia, and lived between the rivers Drave and Save. They supplied originally eight cohorts to the Roman army, which, like other auxiliary regiments, must have been recruited thenceforward from wherever they were stationed. Thus the troops at Slack would come to look upon the fort as their home, for their wives and children were settled outside it, and many old soldiers doubtless ended their days in the hutments clustered round it when their time of service was over. Perhaps some enlisted afresh, this time in the legions, where their experience and Roman citizenship enabled them to win officer’s rank.
The language which they spoke was Latin. But the only inscriptions which the site has yielded, excepting imported potters’ stamps, are the tiles stamped COHIIIIBRE (Fig. 23) made not far away at Grimscar, the stones recording building work (see p. 31), an altar to Fortune from the Bath-house (Fig. 24), and three letters (FUR = thief!) scratched on the base of a leaden lamp-stand (Fig. 38). The inscription on the altar runs as_ follows :— FORTVNAE / SACRVM / G(=CAIVS) / ANTO(NIVS) MODES (TVS) / O(=CENTVRIO) LEG(IONIS) VI VIC(TRICIS) P(IAE) F(IDELIS) / V(OTVM) S(OLVIT)
Fig. 26. Hot Room from the Bath House at Slack, removed to Greenhead, by Doctor J. K. Walker, in 1824.
was sacred chiefly to the Emperor, but, as was usual elsewhere, among the less formal associations of the club-house lounge, where doubtless the goddess of Chance presided over many a game played with such counters as are now in the Museum.
Fig. 27. Flue Tiles and Wall-plaster from the Bath House at Slack.
The cemetery of the fort lay outside the annexe, for one of the oldest Roman laws forbade cremation or burial within an inhabited area. When such interments occur they indicate a growth of the town or city so as to include a disused graveyard, as in Roman London (Londinium). At Slack there seem to have been two cemeteries, each situated by the side of a road which led away from the place, as was usual in Roman lands. The earliest recorded discovery of graves was made in 1866, in the Little Field on Morton’s farm, not now identifiable for certain. The grave consisted of a chamber built with stones, within which tiles stamped COHIIIIBRE were arranged like the roof of a tiny hut (the origin of the Anglian
Further discoveries were made in 1923, when a tennis court was laid out behind the Wesleyan School at Outlane, situated some two hundred and fifty yards north-west of the fort, not far west of the annexe. Three burials apparently consisted of nothing but decayed wood and calcined bones ; but another grave yielded a grey urn, covered with rusticated decoration in low relief, and holding ashes. This urn was presented to the Museum by the discoverer, Mr. J. A. Crosland, New House, Outlane, and now may be seen in almost perfect condition (Fig. 28, c). The distance which separates the Wesleyan School and any point north-east of the fort, where urns were found in 1866, seems to justify the assumption that there were two cemeteries, one by the side of the York road
Fig. 28. Burial Urns. A, B and D are from the Fennell Collection. C is from Outlane. and the other at the western end of the annexe. Finds from the western group of graves can be dated roughly, for the tiles found in the Little Field on Morton’s farm will be shown presently to have been produced about A.D. 104, while the rustic decoration on the urn found behind the Wesleyan School was in low relief, and therefore dates the interment to about A.D. 100 (see p. 46). Doubtless each grave had a large upright memorial stone at its head. But in the eighteenth century even stones beneath the soil were being excavated and used for rubble, and therefore these prominent slabs must have disappeared earlier than literary records are likely to show. The methods of burial varied between cremation
and inhumation. But at the time when the fort at Slack was occupied cremation was in fashion. By the fourth century Macrobius records that inhumation was universal.
The History of the Fort. Various signs of reconstruction now may be noted, which seem to shed light on the history of the fort. The stone granaries were built above a pit connected with a wooden building, and the stone barracks were only half finished when the fort was abandoned ; therefore it appears that when the fort was first built in A.D. 79-80 all buildings, except the headquarters building, were wooden. Perhaps there was a stone commandant’s house, but it seems possible that the pit beneath the granaries may belong to an early wooden house, although the conjecture will be proved only by finding earlier granaries which must have existed beneath the known commandant’s house. Outside the fort the earliest bath-house, as now known, is reduced to two rooms (Fig. 25), for others are additions to the plan. These original rooms were of hot and cold temperatures, and the apsidal cold room was provided with a plunge-bath. The tepid room, or lounge, still awaits discovery. Thus like those of many other early forts in Britain, the buildings at Slack were at first as simple as possible.
The second stage of construction is marked by the use of roof- tiles, stamped COHIIIIBRE (eohors quarta Breucorum = the Fourth Cohort of the Breuci). These tiles are comparatively scarce, and the details of their manufacture are described later (see p. 58). But they occur in sufficient number to indicate that they roofed the stone granaries, the inner court of the headquarters building, and one room (south-east room Fig. 25) of the Bath-house ; their use for lining a grave has been noted already. On the other hand they were not used to cover either the early wooden barracks and stables or the stone barracks which were being built when the fort was abandoned. Thus their use. marks a construction falling between Agricola’s work and that which took place, as will appear, under Hadrian. Finally, their uniformity, to be described later, makes it possible to assume that all the work for which they were used was done at one time. Therefore if a date can be given to one building in which they were employed, this date should apply to their use elsewhere. The required evidence appears in the rectangular pit, which was disused when the stone granaries were built and roofed with stamped tiles. Among rubbish which had accumulated on the floor of the pit was early Samian ware of Dragendorff’s shape 37,
later than A.D. 100, and a date of about A.D. 104 thus is given to the building of the stone granaries above the pit. The rest of the work which required tiles stamped COHIIIIBRE included repairs to the inner court-yard in the preetorium (Fig. 19), and the addition of a new hot-room to the Bath-house.
These were not the only changes which took place at this time on the British frontier. Work also was in progress at Castleshaw (see p. 57), and further north building after destruction is proved for soon after A.D. 98-99 at Corbridge and at Newstead. Fort building at Gellygaer and repairs at Castell Collen in Wales were undertaken early rather than late in Trajan’s reign (A.D. 98-117). While inscriptions of Trajan at York (dated to A.D. 108-9) and at Lancaster suggest further activities at this time in the north, with which evidence of rebuilding at Hardknot, and, for the last time, in Agricola’s Scottish forts at Camelon, Ardoch, and Inchtuthil may have to be connected (see bibliography).
The suggestion is that fairly extensive consolidation took place all over Britain not long after A.D. 100 and rather before A.D. 109 ; and it is tempting to connect it with the arrival of Trajan’s first governor in Britain, the distinguished and capable Lucius Neratius Marcellus.
The date of the third series of constructions at Slack is easier to fix. No coin has been found which belongs to a later date than A.D. 118 (see appendix), and the pottery has a similar tale to tell. Samian ware from Eastern Gaul, which began to flood British markets in Hadrian’s reign, is almost absent, and so are the rougher jars with necks, and mortaria with deeply overhanging rims (see p. 74). On the other hand the presence of such objects in small quantity attests the occupation of the fort until about A.D. 125, the date which the late Professor Haverfield suggested for its evacuation. Not so long before this date alterations began, and all were not finished when the fort was abandoned. Only one block of the new stone barracks ever was completed, and a temporary contrivance for dealing with surface water at the east gate never was demolished. Now also the altar to Fortune (Fig. 24) was set up in the Bath-house by Modestus, centurion of the Sixth Legion, which had arrived in Britain certainly by A.D. 122 to take the place of the Ninth Legion at York. Modestus probably was com- manding a detachment of legionaries who came to do necessary building at Slack. This work almost certainly must have included work on the bath-house, for a coin shows that this happened after A.D, 118 (see appendix). The coin was found in the floor of a rectangular room built above the apsidal bath-room of Agricolan date. At the same time the hot-room built early in the second century was bereft of its stoke-hole and made into a new lounge,
warmed by surplus heat from a new hot-room on the north ; finally, the building of still another lounge on the east gave a regular outline to the whole bath-house, which became twice its original size in some forty years (see Fig. 25).
The history of these buildings illustrates well the evolution of Agricola’s frontier forts. Like all defences in newly-acquired land, most of the Agricolan frontier in northern Britain was an experiment, and its forts were designed for
time—analogy at Ambleside would suggest not later than A.D. 90—the site was deserted. The change may be associated pro- visionally with the alterations on the British frontier under Agricola’s successor. During the next series of organisations, however, the site was occupied once more, probably owing to the difficulties of the hilly road upon which it stood (Fig. 1), and a second fort was constructed.
The Second Fort, its Defences and Buildings.
The second fort is one of the smallest Roman forts in Britain, and only the tiny block-houses built on the Stanegate about A.D. 117 at Throp and at Haltwhistle Burn, and the small fort at Cappuck, twelve miles south-east of Melrose, are anything like the same size. Remains of internal buildings were scanty; but not all of these can be marked on the plan, because an attempt to apply rules to abnormalities caused the excavators to disagree about what they had actually found ; consequently the unbiassed observer must describe and draw conclusions only from what may be regarded as certain.
Unlike the rampart of the first fort on the site, the sod rampart of the second fort was built upon a rubble foundation (Fig. 30), drained by small culverts and bounded by neat kerbs. Post-holes were found here and there, connected with a palisade or with a system of struts which was not worked out in detail. The plan of the gateways does not seem to have been fully recovered, but may be completed provisionally to form a double gateway, resembling those of the first fort, which were unprovided with guard-chambers, but crowned with a rampart walk. At each corner of the fort was a tower or platform for artillery with roughly pitched stone foundations, and in the northern corner traces of at least one hearth seem to have been found. The streets were well made and paved with irregular stones carefully fitted together.
The streets, however, do not leave room for the size of barracks with which the ordinary type of fort was equipped. Presumably, therefore, these buildings were small, like those at Cappuck and at Haltwhistle Burn, and the number of men which the place held cannot have been much more than two eenturie, less than two hundred men, including officers. At the north-western end of the fort, to the east of the main street, lay a small stone building (Fig. 31), eleven feet square within. It was heated with a hypocaust, upon principles explained in connection with the Bath-house at Slack. This type of building does not occur in large forts,but the small fort at Cappuck contained two, not in use at the same time, which seem to have served both as a kitchen and as a more com- fortable ‘‘ living-room ”’ for officers. The changes which took place in this building will be explained below.
I The other erection within the small fort which can be inter- preted with certainty was a large oven (Fig. 32), founded upon clay mixed with charred or decayed wood, presumably an earlier
occupation level. Seven courses of stonework remained, together with the paved floor of the oven and a hob built just outside the door. Ovens of this kind were covered with a domed structure made of stones and clay, and to use them the whole interior was filled with fire until it became very hot, when the fire was raked out, and the food to be cooked was placed in the heated chamber. A similar method of cooking was usual in many local farm-houses
But when was this small second fort built? The absence of remains definitely assignable to the last decade of the first century has been noted above as suggesting a gap in occupation after Agricola’s governorship. Yet the site has produced too many potsherds which belong to a date early in Trajan’s reign to suggest that the break lasted for long after A.D. 100.
upon the topp a very broad brickstone coveringe the same with a round ledg wrought upon it whereon were written divers Roman carecterrs, as namelye these—COHIIIIBRE. Next adjoyning to yt had been an archid cave wherein great fyers had bene made, and there were four condithes [conduits] going from the sd [said] place in the lower part of the grounde and comyng forth some 8 or 9 yeards of [off] it, wherein had runyd [run] some kind of metall for the stones was all congealed together. There was about it both redd, and blewe, and yelowe brick verye curyous and good, a kind of hard sinders [cinders] in many places wth [with]
Fig. 34. Stamped Tiles from the Fort at Slack, showing two sizes of stamp, (A and B), The holes are finger marks.
exceptional. Other examples occur near Ravenglass in Cumberland, near Lancaster at Quernmore, and presumably not far from wherever tiles stamped with the name of an auxiliary cohort were found, as, to take local examples, at Brough in Derbyshire, Manchester, and Ilkley. Tiles also were exported from the kilns of the legions at Chester, York, and Caerleon ; but the distance of this exportation must have been governed largely by convenience in the difficult carriage of this material.
Fig. 85. Leather Sandals from the Fort at Slack.
Fig. 86. Spindle-whorls from the Forts at Slack and at Castleshaw.
Ordinarily, in fact, the duties of the troops quartered in the district resembled those of our Indian frontier police. They ensured that disturbances were rare; they stamped out illicit practices, such as Druidism ; they kept the road safe and, perhaps, in good repair; they afforded shelter and, upon occasion, a convoy to travelling officials.
outlaws, but when once the Pennine country near Huddersfield became settled it did not offer any extensive refuge from the Roman peace.
88. Leaden Lampstand from the Fort at Slack.
We can visualise thus the occupation of the soldiers at Slack. Work was always plentiful. Each commandant, an intelligent young Roman citizen beginning his career as a Civil Servant, had to prepare a report on his district and to keep his information up to date. Thus the whole locality would need inspection and would be described in a document something like the Norman Domesday Book. Later still this report would be used as a basis for the tax officials when they began to register property in detail, as they were doing in the Peak district before A.D. 114. Local judicial administration also would vest itself in the commandant. Couriers and officials would be passing continually between the G.H.Q. at York and at Chester, on horseback or in the covered government posting-cars with their armed guards; each of these would need entertainment of some kind. Supplies would arrive from time to time, now sacks of corn, now wine or oil, stored in jars with narrow necks and bodies either long and thin with pointed base, or short and stumpy with rounded bottom (Fig. 37). When work palled or became less pressing, there were plenty of opportunities for the commandant to go hunting deer or even the boar. Thus while life may have been something of a trivial round, there is no reason
to suppose that it was dull. There were no late nights. The men rose early and lay down early upon their straw mattresses, for the best illuminants were not very good ; the oil lamps (Fig. 38) needed constant trimming, and a tallow candle, more common in the north, could not provide much light. During any of the four watches between sunset and sunrise, those on sentry-go would have no lights to look on but the stars.
Fig. 89a. Hand Corn Mills or Querns.
Food and Cuisine. Some aspects of the life may be considered in more detail. What was the men’s food and drink, and how was it prepared ? The basic diet was wheat, which was stored in great granaries like those at Slack (Fig. 15); thence it was distributed among the soldiers, who ground it for themselves, using large and rather flat millstones (Fig. 39), by turning the upper stone with a wooden handle in its side as they fed the corn through a hopper in its centre. These stones were often made of Niedermendig lava, and imported from Andematunnum (Andernach) on the Rhine. But they were copied locally in millstone grit (Fig. 39a), as an example from the
native site at Thurstonland shows (p. 103). Side by side with these, however, existed the older British type, conical like an old-fashioned bee-hive, a broken example of which was built into the rampart of the Roman fort at Meltham. The flour thus produced was rather gritty, and was converted in the camp-oven, of which a magnificent example existed at Castleshaw (Fig. 32), into biscuits or flat cakes, corresponding to our “ hard tack.” Traces of other food are somewhat scanty. Shells of the hazel nut were found in the fort’s ditch at Slack, and at Castleshaw the rectangular pit beneath the rampart of the inner fort produced these and stones of the sloe. We may infer also that a good deal of food was mashed, since mortaria, wide-rimmed vessels, dusted inside with quartz, which were used for grinding, occur in numbers. Animal remains were not common, but included horses’ teeth and bones of the ox. We are led, therefore, to believe that the principal dishes were vegetarian, as might be expected in an army governed by southern rules. Thus the soldiers, if their biscuit was un- appetising, at least were spared from bully beef !
Q. F. VERIO).
to replace (Fig. 42). It consists chiefly of grey, buff, red, or black jars and dishes, made with well-levigated clay and smooth or burnished surfaces. Even here, however, three types rank as a little out of the ordinary (see Fig. 28). The first is found in all the colours mentioned except red, but is commonly grey, and is ornamented all over with applied rough blobs or ridges of clay ; it is therefore called
Fig. 43a. Samian Ware, showing the types which occur at Slack.
various forms and shapes with Latin names, and therefore we cannot be sure of the exact use of each dish, bowl or cup (Fig. 43, a and b). Yet their use for the table is not in doubt, since they were unsuited and too common for ornaments and too fine for the kitchen. Two pieces have been bored for leaden rivets, which shows that they were thought worth repair. A small amount of glass also was used (Fig. 44). And both Slack and Castleshaw have produced two or three fragments of the pillar-moulded bowls which were common at the end of the first century. The small bottles, however, which were also common, seem to have been used in the bath-house to contain unguents or oils, employed after the washing was over. One or two fragments of other vessels are coloured, and one piece is cut in eighteenth- century style. But such vessels were in no way so common even as the Samian ware.
The Fort’s Workshop and Official Supplies.
Within the fort at Slack existed a fairly large workshop, if the identification as such of the building between the preetorium and granaries is correct. All kinds of small repairs would be done therein, including leatherwork, carpentry and smith’s work, for in these matters each fort was as self-sufficient as possible. But supplies in bulk came from the legionary fortress to which the fort was subordinate. In the case of Slack it seems certain that York was the base. For not only do the Pennines form a natural division _ but they divide up the road-system in such a way as to suggest that Manchester, then one of the great road-junctions in Northern Britain (Fig. 13), was the last fort on the York road in the Chester command. Also Castleshaw in its second period received tiles (and possibly all commands) from Slack; and the Sixth Legion from York did work at Slack soon after A.D. 120, and would not then have been busy outside its command. From York, therefore, came to Slack skilled masons and supplies in bulk, such as iron, sheet- lead, window-panes, pipes, weapons, equipment for artillery, pro- visions, millstones, authorised weights and measures (Fig. 41 ; 12, 14, 15, 16), hides, pay, the doctor appointed to the cohort, and © instructions of all kinds for the commandant. Heavy things, like stone and timber, were quarried and hewn on the spot ; and tiles, which were not easy to transport, were made at Grimscar, where a good bed of clay has been worked in modern times. Local repairs on a small scale would be executed by the auxiliaries. Thus although the legionary fortress was the hub from which the frontier radiated, each fort was a centre of local activity on its own account. The daily log-book, kept by the regimental clerk, of which examples have been discovered in Egypt, could tell us how much influence the fort at Slack exercised on the surrounding districts.
COOKING POTSAND DISHES.
coins, and they also used Roman pottery, as a scrap from Lominot shows. But most of the pottery was not made on the spot. A little seems to have been made in the tile-kilns at
ENGLISH MILES 50 100
== Main Reads. Minot
escaped from purely classical influences. At the beginning of the first century A.D. the potteries engaged in its production were situated mainly at Arezzo (Arretium) in Italy, and their range of export extended far and wide, even to Britain. Then, very early in the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 14-37), a few potters moved to the south of France, and founded kilns centring at La Graufesenque (Condato- magus), and at Montans in the Tarn valley (Fig. 48). But this was only the beginning of the movement. In twenty-five years more factories grew up in central Gaul at Banassac, on the river Lot, and at Lezoux (Ledosus), near Clermont Ferrand, on the river Allier. Thence potters moved eastwards to Luxeuil, La Madeleine, Heiligen- berg, and Ittenweiler; and finally reached, about A.D. 120, Rheinzabern (Taberne Rhenane), and Tréves (Augusta Trevirorum). By this time factories in the south had ceased to work—La Grau- fesenque and Montans about A.D. 100, and Banassac some ten years later. Henceforward the principal centres were Tréves, and Rheinzabern, surrounded by Celtic influences and employing Celtic workmen. The result was that the old angular shapes of Italian Arezzo passed out of use and gave way to rounded forms ; while the patterns embossed upon some vessels assumed less classical forms and often lost all their meaning. The design no longer was used to “‘express a flowery tale,’’ but to cover a surface with decoration—the kind of work in which the Celt always has excelled. In A.D. 80-125, however, the process was only beginning. The potters, for example, have comparatively civilized names ; and such of their stamps as have survived indicate export from southern Gaul. Five of these have been restored with certainty, and they read as follows (Fig. 49) :—
The same thing is illustrated by ornamentation. At Condato- magus a potter like Mommo, whose work may be recognised in Fig. 50, was governed by strong classical influences ; and upon
Much has been written about the various ideas which lay behind the worship of Roman Emperors. But it seems clear that in the west, where Celts or Iberians were not wont to indulge in the adulation more natural to the eastern mind, the worship never meant much more than an expression of heart-felt loyalty. Recruits took their oath of allegiance (saeramentum) to the Emperor, and his worship and the festivals in his honour bound them together with a tie of fellowship which modern social conditions perhaps have knit in other ways. Thus the Roman looked upon anyone who refused to perform sacrifice to the Emperor’s Divinity as an enemy, not only to the Emperor but to society at large. To-day a refusal to uncover the head before regimental colours is received with anger and may meet with punishment, which is only less severe because opinion has changed about the enormity of the offence. The forms of Roman altars passed through a steady evolution. Their origin is to be found in a desire to sacrifice in sight of all spectators ; and primitive altars were made of piled stones or sods, on top of which was arranged a small hearth surrounded by faggots. When the altar came to be carved in stone, the hearth was repre- sented by a cavity in the top (foeus), and great rolls, or volutes, took the place of bundles of wood. This was the conventional type throughout the Roman world, and it was often painted, like much ancient sculpture. Thus the altar found at Longwood shows traces of grey paint, and perhaps had bright vermilion letters, which now are traced in red by the writer. At all events the inscription was cut so shallow as to be only a guide for the painter. The size of these altars varied, and a fragment of stone from the headquarters building at Slack may be part of a smaller one, perhaps belonging to one of the officers who worked in the building. I Choice of sacrifice depended upon the worshipper’s means, and thus might fall upon anything from sheep, oxen or pigs to a paper packet of incense. At a formal ceremony the priest officiated with covered head, while the flute-players and horn-blowers kept up a continual strain of music, originally played to ward off evil spirits. And on the Emperor’s birthday we have to imagine the commandant of the fort about to sacrifice amid a solemn silence only broken by the regimental band and the cries of the victims, while the troops looked on in full-dress parade, backed by a motley crowd of settlers. Then when all was over there would be holiday; for this was a light side of life on the frontier which it would be unwise to forget.
The Condition of the Natives: The Roman Attitude towards them. After considering life within the forts it is natural to ask to what level civilization attained in the Huddersfield District outside them. Roman treatment of natives in newly-conquered territory varied. If resistance was obstinate or behaviour treacherous a whole countryside might be laid waste mercilessly, and its people
killed, enslaved or transported. Tacitus alludes twice to such treatment of British natives ; the Ordovices of North Wales were subdued, ‘‘ for almost the whole tribe was wiped out ”’ (ezesa prope universa gente) ; and the sentiment that ‘‘ the Romans make a wilderness and call it
striking proof of a healthy and peace-promoting intercourse between Roman and Briton.. Population. I When the kind of evidence just described is lacking in the Huddersfield district, it is necessary to fall back upon definite, but still scanty, proofs of native habitation. It is clear from the coin- hoards which have been mentioned already in connection with Roman influences (p. 14 and appendix) that there was a considerable native population in the district at the time of the Roman conquest. As the Handbook on Early Man points out, this centred in Castle Hill, Almondbury (Fig. 52), one of the biggest and best preserved hill-forts in southern Yorkshire. Perhaps sufficient evidence is afforded for some sort of settlement at Lightcliffe by the magnificent hoard of coins and another coin of the Roman Republican age found there. For want of sufficient material other native sites, at Rastrick and at Cleckheaton, can be assigned only to the later Roman period. But not long after the close of Trajan’s reign (A.D. 98-117), certain hoards (see appendix) were buried in a district where Roman military sites are not recognised to exist. From Sowerby Bridge come two, and High Greenwood in Heptonstall has produced another. In absence of further information the suggestion might stand that the coins were hidden by natives alarmed at the new road-building in the district (p. 89), which took place soon after A.D. 125 as will appear. A scrap of grey pottery from Lominot seems good evidence for an occupation of this spot near the Roman road between A.D. 80 and A.D. 120 ; but a coin of Nero (A.D, 54-68) from an allotment lying north of the Colne and east of Bradley Mills, near Huddersfield, may have been dropped near the river by accident From Haigh Cross, between Slack and Fixby, comes a coin of Vespasian (A.D. 69-79).
Camulodunum. Roman literary sources of this period even mention a native
site within the Huddersfield district. About A.D. 160 the great formalist astronomer, Claudius Ptolemeus of Alexandria, compiled a geography for the use of his fellow-students of the stars. To enable them to construct a reliable map of the world, by which they might check observations of the same phenomenon made from different places, he gave a list of over eight thousand places, with their longitude and latitude. That part of the map which deals with Britain, however, was distorted owing to the sharp disagreement of the two main sources upon which the work was based. These were, first, the road-books, which gave the distance between stages along the great roads of the Roman Empire ; and, second, the positions of places gained by astronomical observations, too often seriously at fault. Bungled copies of manuscripts have added to the difficulty of interpreting the map; but, by the help of other ancient geo- graphical sources and archeological evidence, it is becoming possible
to offer fresh solutions. Yet without space to discuss the problems which the map raises it would be unprofitable to illustrate here Ptolemy’s map of northern Britain. Most of the places assigned by the geographer to the Brigantian land are situated on the great road between York and the Cheviot. But native sites also are included, especially in the north-west. One of them is placed some forty-three miles south-west of York. The Latin form of its name is Camulodunum, but the derivation is Celtic and means “ the hill-fortress of
Evidence up to the reign of Hadrian shows only that the natives of the Huddersfield District were growing used to the peace of Rome, and that no serious attempt was made to shake off Roman rule when the great rebellion took place further north just before A.D. 117. It is probable also that the people had been numbered and their property registered for purposes of taxation and military service about this time. For a tombstone from Foligno (Fulginium), in central Italy, tells of a district eensus officer at work in the heart of the Peak District not long before A.D. 114-117. Thus the basis was laid upon which native prosperity reached greater heights a century later ; but we shall see that the district never became rich owing to physical conditions ; nor was there any dense population to develop its resources.
A.D. 125-140, Lecionary Fortress.
old lines. At Slack, for example, a fresh coin of A.D. 118 (see appendix) was found in the reconstructed bath-house, associated with the altar of Antonius Modestus, who was a centurion of the Sixth Legion, which had arrived to replace the Ninth Legion at York.
The Arrival of Hadrian, A.D. 122. But troubles in the north seem to have continued, and the energetic Emperor Hadrian did not consider these changes sufficient when he arrived to reform the frontier in A.D. 122 (Fig. 54). Between the Tyne and Solway the earthwork boundary was aban- doned, and most of the forts behind which it had run were connected
Fig. 55. Roman Road, Blackstone Edge. General View looking towards Yorkshire. by a great stone wall. Similarly the forts at Castleshaw and at Slack were abandoned, and at Slack repairs were left unfinished. But since Slack lies at the distance of a day’s journey from Man- chester, it looks as if this section of the main road between York and Chester now fell into disuse, together with the forts along it, perhaps because it was full of long hills (Fig. 1), which retarded the swift cars of the Imperial courier service. Yet a road across the hills was still needed and actually was in use a century later, as a literary source tells which is discussed
89 below. Consequently it is reasonable to assign to Hadrian the building of a new road between Manchester and the Calder Valley, across Blackstone Edge, passing through Moston, Royton, Burnedge, Hollingworth, Lydgate, Ripponden, and Greetland. Blackstone Edge and Ripponden Bank are the only long or steep hills on.this route, which is thus vastly superior to the road through Castleshaw and Slack (see Fig. 1).
Fig. 56. Roman Road, Blackstone
two feet thick—with only a little gravel bedding to hold firm such blocks as have uneven bases. Once laid, however, the blocks were held in position by the pressure of their neighbours, by the kerbs, and by the line of stones in the centre of the road, which performed an important function in binding the whole mass together. Such a central bonding-course—if the term may be applied to a road—has been noted elsewhere, on the Military Way at White Moss, Brunstock, and Blea Tarn, in Cumberland, and also (apart from African, Italian and Sardinian examples) at Kenchester, near Hereford, where
exist seem to give the normal Roman gauge of four and a half feet. There are, however, other considerable variations in the struc- ture of the road. When originally constructed it appears to have been built in sections. At three places, of which one has been identified by excavation (Fig. 57), long stones are
referred to above, and carried the water from the gullies past the point where an unchecked flow would have endangered the stability of the road. The excavations, apart from literary notices, provide the following material for the history of the road. Some time after its first construction such central stones as had become badly worn, presumably by the skids of descending vehicles, were replaced by new large and flat stones (Fig. 59). At a shorter interval of time, to judge from the wearing of this second series of stones, another renewal followed, neatly done, by using much smaller stones,
Fig, 59. Roman Road, Blackstone Edge. View shewing repairs to main road. which were never more than slightly worn. The next series of repairs included a new feature. On the steepest part of the Lanca- shire side of Blackstone Edge, at the point where the conduit had been built on the north side of the road, a loop-road was made to pass northwards, and to climb the hill (Fig. 60) obliquely, rejoining the main road where the direct ascent is less steep by the use of a sharp bend. The width of this loop-road now varies from twelve to fourteen feet, and the few portions which have not been robbed or eroded show that it was built of selected and rammed stones, providing a surface of the type introduced far and wide in Great Britain by Macadam about 1820. At its upper junction with the main road the loop-road was paved for thirteen and a half feet, where water would cross it in
winter, and the pavement terminated with six enormous squared stones. Arrangements for dealing with winter storms did not exist at its lower junction, which lay over the conduit mentioned above, and filled it up. But this filling took place when the conduit was unchoked, as is shown by the fact that many of the paving stones cracked its stone base when they were thrown in; conse- quently this part of the road suffered henceforward from erosion. Later than this it would appear that the main road, where not eliminated by the detour, was repaired in makeshift fashion. Excavation provided no direct evidence, however, about the date of repairs. But literary sources and maps of the seventeenth century prove that the road was deserted by then. And the ‘existence of a pack-horse track, which diverged from the Roman road on top of the hill at a point marked with a great stone, now fallen, bearing an incised cross (Fig. 60), suggests that in pre- Reformation times the road on the Lancashire side of the hill had been recognised as impassable. A grant recorded in the Calendar of Patent Rolls suggests the same fact, for it gave permission to Richard de Radcliffe and Hugh de Elaund (Elland) to levy toll for two years on the causeway over Blackstone Edge in order to repair it as early as A.D. 1291. Medizval road repairs, however, would not include such a work as the building of the loop-road ; and the guess might be made that either the rough botching in holes below the lower junction of the loop-road, or the construction of the pack-horse road, belongs to such a time as the last years of the thirteenth century. Thus the loop-road, and such repairs to the main road as took place before the loop road was built, may be accepted as Roman. And if dates must be assigned to them, it may be observed that their number coincides with three periods of road-building activity in northern Britain testified by many dated Roman milestones, A.D. 209-10, about A.D. 250, and A.D. 304-306. At the first and third of these epochs there was also considerable building activity within the Roman fort at Manchester. But a milestone may come to light some day to remove difficulties, and further excavations may elucidate more puzzles. Cambodunum. But a main road which seems to have been established in reign (A.D.
or the rumours of them did not hinder much the steady growth of civilization which for long had taken strong root in the Midlands and in the South. Yet evidence is scarce for this undisturbed course of events, and, when collected, only makes possible a pro- visional sketch of the history of the Huddersfield district at this time. Excavation is needed to provide greater results. The Antonine Itinerary.
By way of immediate comment we may note that M.P.M. is an abbreviation for “ milia (passuum) plus minus,” (=“ thousand- pace units, excepting
Fig 62. Altar from Longwood,
The Altar from Longwood. Otherwise this age was peaceful enough to leave few traces of the sort which chance reveals. The most definite is the altar from Longwood, now preserved in the Museum (Fig. 62). A note in the Chronicle,” dated 29th July, 1882, tells that the stone was found immediately behind houses (now called Roman Terrace) in Lower Gate, Longwood, when they were newly built, and while the hill side was being “ trimmed for a
From Halifax, just on the fringe of the district, come two finds of stray coins. The first, a bronze coin of Geta Cesar (A.D. 198-209), was found inside a skull behind Magson House, and illustrates the Roman burial custom of putting a small coin into the mouth of the dead as a fee for Charon, the ferryman on the river which bounded the Underworld. Unfortunate souls who could not pay their fare were believed to wander unhappy for ever on the wrong side of the river. The second coin, from Bailey Hall Bank, is a “ third
civilization of the third century had reached a transitional stage. British traditions still were strong; but life had become more orderly, perhaps more drab, and less exciting for those who were moved by a spirit which has been called freedom and independence. To advance in the world required more industry and ability ; but those who were prepared to push forward now could reach easily fields of enterprise beyond their native district. Conditions Elsewhere in the Third Century. Elsewhere within the Empire decay had begun. As far north as central Gaul folk had reached in the third century a high level of civilization, more Latin in type than that to which most people in the British provinces ever attained. Then chance events, of which some may be noted here, brought on disaster. When the supply of sufficiently Romanized Emperors fell short (after the house of the Severi became extinct, in A.D. 235), Gallic generals attempted to rule or to divide the Empire. This caused a long period of disorganization and dissension which encouraged raiding on the frontiers and brigandage behind them. Not until the close of the century was an efficient Emperor able to retain power for long, and meanwhile wars and widespread plague had devastated much of Gaul. Moreover, the new life which had sprung up was less influenced than ever by the quality of self-control
with other happenings in the Pennines whose meaning it‘is not easy to mistake. In northern Yorkshire two country houses at least were burnt down suddenly. The fort at Elslack seems to have been re-occupied, and, perhaps a year or two later, the road between York and Carlisle was fitted with new milestones. Further south the garrison of the fort at Manchester was largely increased, and for a short time troops seem to have been placed in the Peak District, in the old forts at Melandra Castle, Brough, and Temple- brough (Fig. 13). These measures indicate trouble all over the northern hills, from Stainmore to the Peak ; but the causes of the turmoil are less easy to define. Perhaps they may be connected with the fact that Britain had just come under continental control once more, after the independent rule of Carausius and Allectus (A.D. 287-296), and consequent changes in officialdom may have unsettled the hill-folk. At all events their uprising was severe’and unexpected ; the Emperor Constantius I. journeyed northwards to York, where he died in A.D. 306, and it was thought wise to garrison the hills afresh for a short time after he had dealt with the trouble.
The alarm which was felt by more settled folk is reflected in the Huddersfield District by seven hoards which belong to about A.D. 300. A gold coin of Carinus from Holmfirth (A.D. 283-285) ; bronze and silver coins found together at Cleckheaton (A.D. 218— 268), and also at Wistance in Thurstonland (A.D.
The Aftermath. But the restoration of security after A.D. 306 brought with it no return of prosperity in the north. During the next thirty years so many coins of Constantine (A.D. 306-337) were minted through- out the Roman world that henceforward they are very common on Romano-British sites. But the Huddersfield District has produced only two hoards of this period (see appendix), the first from “ the Rocks ”’ at Halifax (A.D. 270-345), and the second from Stainland (after A.D. 304). Not far outside the district, however, later hoards of coins have been found at Mereclough, between Burnley and Todmorden (A.D. 306-337), at Stanley (A.D. 306-351), and at Outwood, near Wakefield (A.D. 306-361). But this evidence is very scattered, and the coins from Halifax were found on an uninhabitable site. West of the Pennines, in the Lancashire uplands, comparative scarcity of remains which may be dated after A.D. 306 tells precisely the same tale, that settled life except in its rudest forms seems to have ceased in the open country at the beginning of the fourth century. Even the large village at Wilders- pool, near Warrington, has yielded only one coin of Constantine (A.D. 306-337), and neither coins nor pottery of a later date. Yet if civilization had died out in the remoter wilds of Yorkshire sooner than elsewhere it need not be supposed that the Roman government had ceased to be interested in the district’s fate. Somehow the great “trunk road’’ between York and Chester, strategically one of the most important routes in Britain, must have been kept open during the greater part of the century, when both fortresses seem to have been garrisoned by legions. Again at Manchester, one of the largest forts in Britain, coins found actually within the fort begin afresh, after a long gap, with issues of Constantine (A.D. 306-337), and go down at least until A.D. 375. At Ilkley and at Ribchester coins of Valens (A.D. 364-378) denote activity, pre- sumably in connection with the war of A.D. 367 against the Picts from Scotland. Thus until late in the fourth century the Roman government clearly had the preservation of order in the uplands well within its power, and there can be no doubt that civilized life of some sort continued under the shelter of its forts, even after central control had ceased.
Gradual Withdrawal of Roman Troops. But the Huddersfield District was remote, and, once disturbed, it may well have been left unhindered, perhaps until
between the Tipalt and the Tyne, on the Cumberland coast, and in the Plain of York, evidently planted thus to repel Picts from the north and Saxons from beyond the seas. Excavations have shown also that until the closing years of the fourth century Roman signalling stations on the Yorkshire coast were still working to give alarm at the approach of pirates. But these high watch- towers seem to represent a last effort in defence. In the first years of the fifth century Italy, and Rome itself, became threatened by the great movement of Alaric and his Goths, and help was needed urgently for a mighty effort to push back this new wave of invaders. The British army was withdrawn, thinned already by the action of its generals in attempting to rule the Empire, and especially by the disastrous ventures of Maximus in A.D. 383 and Constantinus III. in A.D. 407. In A.D. 410 the Emperor Honorius wrote to the British towns telling them to defend themselves as well as might be.
The Break in Traditions. The rescript of Honorius was an official admission by the Roman government that Britain’s connection with the rest of the Empire was broken for the time being ; but fresh inroads of barbarians into Gaul converted what might have been a temporary separation into permanent disconnection. The question then arises how long and with what tenacity Roman life and manners lasted in the abandoned province. It has been seen that before the last Roman troops had departed the position was almost desperate. Literary sources tell of raids which penetrated the heart of the Midlands ; excavations have revealed last precautions against pirates on the Yorkshire coast, and have shown how the remoter uplands became unsafe for civilized folk as early as the opening of the fourth century. So much of the story concerns Yorkshire. The truth seems to be that in the remoter wilds of Yorkshire that branch of civilization which had grown slowly and with difficulty perished quickly, like some hot- house plant in the frost. Natives who were wealthy and therefore thoroughly Romanized always had been rather scarce beyond the immediate neighbourhood of the Plain of York. These were massacred or frightened away, and with them disappeared the less rich whose occupations, such as iron-smelting or lead-mining, depended upon a settled and peaceful life for existence and prosperity. To those Britons who were left it was a natural process to return to the ways of their ancestors ; for the wreck of Roman civilization meant little to them except freedom from the sternness of law and order. Presumably they used the Roman roads, but there is yet no evidence that in Yorkshire they ever used a single Roman building. It seems more likely that they lived on among the hills in their old tribal fashion, of which the life of Saint Germanus gives an excellent picture. The kingdom of Loidis and Elmet seems to be an example of this sort of community, and excavation
show yet how much of Roman civilization this kingdom retained. Meanwhile, at the risk of a judgement from analogy, it may be thought that there, as in the rest of Yorkshire, luxurious Roman ways and civilized manners disappeared with the wealthier Britons and with officialdom. Tradition at least was broken beyond repair. Nowhere is this better shown than in the survival of place-names, and in the know- ledge of reading and writing. In Gaul great estates not only survived in some form or another their transference from Roman to barbarian owners, but even their names, derivatives from their owner’s Roman surname, have remained in use, if in modified form, until our own times. These were handed on by the lower orders of society, which were affected little by a change of master. But where pre-Saxon names have survived in the Yorkshire uplands all are Celtic as opposed to Latin, as Moorman, Goodall, and the writer of the Anglian Handbook have shown ; and none tells of owners or owner- ship. This is a striking testimony to the disappearance of ordered life. So far as writing and reading are concerned, there existed in Ireland in the sixth and seventh centuries an alphabet, although hardly, as Kuno Meyer suggested, a whole phraseology, which was directly descended from that of Roman Gaul, and which would seem to have been brought to Hibernia by terrified men of learning, who put the seas between themselves and invading barbarians. Or in Galloway the fifth-century tombstones of Christian priests, from Whithorn and from Kirkmadrine, show lettering of obvious descent from Roman capital types. But to look in Yorkshire for any such scanty survivals of Roman culture, although well-carved inscriptions in plenty must have been visible to anyone who cared to copy their lettering, is to search in vain. The ninth-century stones from
settled once and for all the lines to be taken by British communi- cations, or by foreign invasions in time of war. Surely Paulinus in A.D. 627 chose York as the Metropolitan See of Northumbria, not so much because the ruins of Eburaeum provided ready building material, or even because the greatest town in northern Britain had grown up around it, as because it still was a first-class road-centre. The battles of Stamford Bridge and of Hastings were fought because they lay along Roman highways, the one to York and the other to London ; or again, as the Handbook on the Angles, Danes, and Norse points out, A‘thelfrith raided the west swiftly and easily about A.D. 607 by using the Roman road between York and Chester. But the most important part of Rome’s legacy, her law, and that culture which she passed on from Greece, did not come to Yorkshire through channels of native tradition. For this all England owes much to the great monasteries of the Middle Ages, such as Fountains, Rievaulx, or Kirkstall. It owes much also to the lawyers, merchants, and great scholars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who endowed the county with schools when the monas- teries were ruined. These outlines represent what seems clear about the traditions of the Roman age in Britain, and about the various channels through which they have reached modern England. Meanwhile it will be unprofitable to seek for customs or for elements in a composite abstraction like our national character, which are a survival from the third or fourth centuries of the Christian era. The Anglian Handbook claims many virtues for the sturdy inhabi- tants of Yorkshire in the ninth century ; there is no warrant for assuming that all these came from beyond the seas. One which did was Christianity. * *
In conclusion, the writer wishes to thank all who have helped while the Handbook has been in preparation. So far as the text is concerned Dr. Woodhead and Mr. A. M. Woodward have proved most kindly and candid critics. Without the help which Miss M. V. Taylor, M.A., affords to students of Roman Britain, research would have been more arduous and less complete. And Mr. R. G. Collingwood has given invaluable help and encourage- ment throughout the work. So far as field-work is concerned it is a pleasure to record the untiring energy of Mr. W. H. Sikes, whose photographs, often taken amid most difficult conditions, provide a feast for the eyes. Dr. Woodhead has mentioned in the preface the help received
A.D. 118-122. Preparations for making Slack a stone-built fort. Sixth Legion arrives in York. A.D. 122-125. Building of Hadrian’s Wall. Forts at Slack and Castleshaw abandoned. A new road built across the Pennines at Blackstone Edge ; also a new fort, Cambodunum, perhaps Greetland. A.D. 125-300. Peace in the District, with prosperity, despite disturbances further north in A.D. 140, A.D. 155-158, A.D. 180, A.D. 209-11, and A.D. 270. A.D. 300-306. Disturbance in the Pennines, causing much alarm. Peak District re-garrisoned. Constantius I. dies at York in A.D. 306. A.D. 369. Pictish war in the north ; no sign of life in the District ; but garrisons still not far away, as at Manchester. Attenuated life goes on elsewhere. A.D. 383. Maximus robs many British troops for a Continental campaign. No evidence for garrisons after this nearer than York or Doncaster. A.D. 410. Britain, left to her own resources, collapses amid violent invasions. BIBLIOGRAPHY.
This list is partly an index of sources consulted by the writer while producing the Handbook, and partly a collection of sources which may be useful for fellow students who wish to explore beyond the Huddersfield District. Therefore it is not exhaustive, and not all local papers and books which have been repeated or superseded are mentioned, although so far as they are concerned the writer hopes that he has omitted nothing of importance. The list which includes books dealing with Roman Britain or with the Empire generally presented more problems, and, it is to be feared, cannot please all critics. Probably, however, those who master the books given and use the cross-references which they contain will not go so far astray, and will be enabled to forge ahead for themselves.
Excavations at Slack, 1913-1915. P. W. Dodd and A. M. Woodward, Y.A.J., Vol. XXVI., 1918-20. Roman Britain in 1914. Haverfield, British Acad. Supple- mental Paper. No. III. Note on the fort at Slack. Slack, Greetland and Cambodunum. Haverfield, Y.A.J., Vol.
Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. I., Augustus to Vitellius. Mattingly. Oxford. (Other volumes to follow.) Monnaies Frappées sous
Trajan, A.D. 98-117. Ist Brass, 3. Hadrian, A.D.
(III.) (see Figs. 2 and 3). British coins of Cartimandua and Roman coins ranging from 209 B.C. to A.D. 74. Through the kindness of Mr. Thomas Brooke these coins, or copies of them, are now in the Museum. They were found in association with a seal-box and a large brooch of early type (see above, p. 14).
The mixture is distinctly curious : if there were coins of Quin- tillus there should have been coins of Claudius Gothicus. Presumably therefore the account is deficient. (XII.)
J, History cf Ravensknowle ty LEGH TOLSON. F.S.A,, and
Scheme for the