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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

This also was continued to another Roman Castrum


a cellar, south of the High Street, at a baker's shop, and close to the eastern wall of the castle, is a Roman well; there is another close to the north-east angle of the castle walls, in what is called Dog-kennel Yard, and a third just within the western wall, near the present National Schools. Thus, although the two rivers were without the castle walls, the Roman garrison was well supplied with water.

The Roman roads branching from the town were (1st) the "Ramper," {6a} as it is still called, running north-west, and connecting it with the Roman station Lindum; from this, at Baumber, {6b} distant about 4 miles, a branch running northwards led to the Roman Castrum, now Caistor; (2nd) north-eastwards _via_ West Ashby, being the highway to Louth, the Roman Luda; (3rd) eastwards, by High Toynton, Greetham, &c, to Waynflete, the Roman Vain-ona; (4th) southward, by Dalderby, Haltham, &c., to Leeds Gate, Chapel Hill, and there crossing the river Witham to Sleaford and Ancaster, the Roman Causennae, situated on the great Roman Ermin Street. This also was continued to another Roman Castrum, now Castor, near Peterborough; (5th) south-west, by Thornton, &c., to Tattershall, locally supposed to have been the Roman Durobrivae, and where traces of a Roman camp still remain.

Besides these Roman _viae_ and Roman coins, quite an abundance of Roman pottery has from time to time been unearthed, and fragments are continually

being found in gardens in the town. A collection of these, probably cinerary urns, was preserved until quite recently in the library of the Mechanics' Institute, where the writer has frequently seen them, {7a} they varied in height from 8 inches to 18 inches. Unfortunately, for lack of funds, that institution was broken up about 1890, the books were stowed away in a room at the workhouse, a valuable collection, and the urns were sold by the late Mr. Joseph Willson, who acted as sole trustee. Other Roman relics have been fragments of mortars of white clay, found on the site of the present union, one bearing the word "fecit," though the maker's name was lost. Portions also of Samian ware have been found, one stamped with a leopard and stag, another bearing part of the potter's name, ILIANI; with fragments of hand-mills, fibulae, &c. {7b} The present writer has two jars, or bottles, of buff coloured ware, of which about a dozen were dug up when the foundations of the workhouse were being laid in 1838, they are probably Samian, a friend having exactly similar vessels which she brought from Cyprus. The writer has in his possession the head of a porphyritic mallet which was found in a garden in the south of the town a few years ago, it is probably Roman; the handle, which would be of wood, had entirely disappeared; it is much "pitted" through damp and age, is 6.5 inches long and weighs 3-lb. 9-oz.

[Picture: Hammer Head, found near the Wong, length 6.625-in., width 3.875-in. weight 3.5-lb.; of porphyry from the Cheviot region, Neolithic period. The stone was probably part of a large boulder]

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