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Roman Malton: a Yorkshire Fortress and its neighbourhood*

  • Philip Corder and John L. Kirk

Except for some trenches dug in 1865-6, when the Thirsk and Malton railway was constructed, no systematic excavation of the Roman station at Malton has ever been made until 1927. Although casual Roman finds have been plentiful, few of them have been published and little is definitely known about the site and its history, the current Ordnance Survey map merely marking the Fortress as ‘Supposed Roman Camp’. Many of the statements made about it in the past have been purely conjectural. As a result of recent investigations, the writers believe that the time has come when some general statement can profitably be made as to the extent of the site, its importance in Roman times, and the nature of the occupation of the neighbourhood.

Amongst those who have written of the antiquities of Malton in the past, one writer, Rev Dr Young (History of Whitby, 1817) shows unusual judgment and penetration in an age when antiquaries were only too ready to repeat the guesses of their predecessors. The exact position and extent of the Malton fort were unknown before 1927, and few finds are recorded before the 19th century, yet Dr Young recognized it as a place of importance and guessed its position correctly.

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* The writers wish to record their indebtedness to the Editor of the Malton Messenger for his courtesy in putting the files of his paper at their disposal; and to the Director-General of the Ordnance Survey for references to the Name Book of the Ordnance Survey.

1 CIL, vii, 268: JRS, ii, pt. 2, p. 210.

2 CIL, vii, 264.

3 Map of British and Roman remains, Arch. Inst., 1847.

4 CIL, vii, 265; Handbook of York Museum, pp. 33–4.

5 Roman pottery 1889 in churchyard s of road (ONB).

6 Roman pottery 1888 in garden N of road (ONB).

7 Tesselated pavement; hypocaust;bath 11‘ by 10– 9”; coins Ant. Pius, M. Aurelius, Constantius and Constantine.

8 CIL, vii, 266.

9 CIL, vii, 268; JRS, ii, pt. 2, p. 210.

10 9 burial urns s of road previous to 1840 (ONB). 11 urns previous to 1798 (Hinderwell, History of Scarborough 1798, p. IS).

11 Coins from house foundations w of road.

12 6” O.S. map, CXLII, NW; CXLII, sW.

13 Warburton’s map (1720) referred to by Codrington,Roman Roads in Britain(1919)

14 Drake,EboracumBk. i, p.36.

15 Romano–British cemetery, 20 bodies, pottery, etc.(Mortimer Museum catalogue, 1900).

16 Knapton; pottery and coins previous to 1846 (ONB).Place Newton; (S of the road) coins and pottery 1889; (ONB).Rillington; a Roman bead. scherburn Coins of Severus Alex. and Diocletian (YRAC, Bulletin 4, 1927); pottery (1928).

17 Gentleman’s Magazine, 1862, 2, 557. See alsoGentleman’s Magazine:Romano–British remains (1887), pt. 2,369–70.

18 Sepulchral urns near St. Peter’s Church 1890–1891, and coins previous to 1851 all close to the road (ONB).

19 Malton Gazette,3 January 1863.

20 YRAC Bulletin,nos. I (1926) and 4 (1927).

21 1817–1842, ONB.

22 ONB and Sheahan,York and the North Riding(1859) ii, 592.

23 YAJ, part 113 (1927).

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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