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DUROLITUM

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  LITTLE LONDON
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The site of a Romano-British Settlement, which may have been known as 'DUROLITUM', is located at Little London, Chigwell. It is situated on a slight eastern slope above the flood plain of the River Roding. There have been a large amount of gravel workings across the site, which has removed evidence of occupation. The site is located on a Roman Road running from London to Great Dunmow (see associated record). Several finds were uncovered on the site prior to more substantial excavations in the late 20th century. In the 18th century, a tessellated pavement and urned cremations were found in the gravel workings. In the 19th century, a Roman wood lead-lined coffin was also found. The site was excavated between 1972 and 1981, and 1990 by F. R. Clark, and the findings published in 1998. These uncovered the remains of a Roman bath house and hypocaust. The bath house consisted of a latrine and Frigidarium (cold room) with attached plunge pool to the north, a Tepidarium (warm room) further south and a Caldarium (hot room) to the west with adjoining plunge pool and hypocaust. It was built in the about the 2nd century AD and demolished by at least the 4th century AD. A substantial circular flint built structure, possibly dated to the late 4th century, and timber-lined wells were also located at Little London. The finds included 46 burials (mainly cremations but also one child inhumation), more than 84 coins, a meat cleaver, Roman shoe, Roman jewellery, animal bones and a large amount of pottery. The excavations also provided evidence for pre-Roman and post-Roman (mainly Saxon) occupation. The Roman name 'DUROLITUM' means 'the fort at the fort', suggesting there may be an undiscovered fort in the vicinity. At Hill Farm, 2.5 kilometres to the northeast of Little London, is the site of a Roman Villa, which was probably associated with this site.

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