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CLAUSENTUM

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CLAVSENTVM
DESCRIPTION + /

Slight remains of a small fortified Roman town, possibly Clausentum; it occupies a promontory caused by a bend in the River Itchen. The site was occupied from circa 70 AD, excavations uncovered a hut site and possible wharves; lead pigs, now lost, were also found. A ditch cut off the promontory enclosing an area of 27.5 acres. During the early second century timber houses were built and circa 150 AD a palisade was put across the promontory inside the ditch reducing the area enclosed to eight acres. The first stone buildings, including a bath-house, were erected circa 170-80 AD. In about 350-70 AD the palisade was replaced by a stone wall which seems to have enclosed the whole settlement. At this time the bath-house was also rebuilt and the other stone buildings demolished. This late 4th century phase has been interpreted as a possible Saxon Shore fort, replacing Portchester, though it could be just a small fortified town. Bitterne is recorded as a Saxon burh and presumably the stone defences were utilised during the Anglo-Saxon period.

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