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The site of the Roman town of Ilchester. The origins of the town lie in the military occupation of the post-invasion years, and the existence of a circa 7 hectare rectangular enclosure implies a vexillation-size fort. A probable roadside depost further confirms the military presence of the area adjacent to the fort in the first century. Military withdrawal from Ilchester is likely to have occurred in 60-70 AD. It's positioning along a major routeway and river crossing suggests it would not have been wholly abandoned following the end of military occupation, although substantial urban development did not emerge until the beginning of the second century. This was characterised by the building of streets and properties respecting the line of the Foss Way, and perhaps also the remains of the fort.

By the 3rd and 4th centuries stone building foundations are constructed in a more widespread manner during re-building and expansion works, which included public buildings. Other domestic and commercial/industrial buildings have also been identified, many with mosaic floors.

Approximately 10 hectares of the town centre was surrounded by earthwork defences, probably in the late 2nd or early 3rd century, and comprised an earthen bank and relatively shallow outer ditch.

Various ribbon suburbs have been identified located on the main routes from the town, in particular the Foss Way. Here, occupation dating from the 1st to the 4th or 5th centuries is evident. Cemetery sites were also located in these areas.

No confirmed evidence exists that Ilchester held civitas capital status, although the excavations to date suggest a relatively wealthy and well ordered, albeit not large, community existed into the 4th century. Traces of post-Roman activity have been found, but to what extent the town continued to function after the nominal end of Roman rule is not known.

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