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NANSTALLON ROMAN FORT

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Nanstallon Roman Fort is thought to have been occupied from AD 65 to AD 79. It now remains as earthworks. The Roman military character of the earthwork on Tregear Farm was established in excavations between 1965 and 1969. This had been recognised in the 19th century from the many Roman objects of first century date ploughed up over many generations and listed by Iago. In the mid 19th century, the site was described as having very wide double ramparts which were gradually destroyed for field dressing and the eastern side ploughed out.

Excavations have provided evidence for a 2.2 acre fort with turf revetted ramparts, timber angle towers, metalled roads and double gates. It is thought to have been too small to accommodate a complete auxiliary unit. It probably housed a detachment responsible for the supervision of lead and silver extraction. The principia was of unusual plan, very wide in proportion to its depth. Long halls were present on either side of the courtyard and a recessed entrance and portico were present at the front of the building. The Barrack blocks were rectangular in plan with no projecting officers' quarters or verandahs. There were larger rooms present at the end of each block.The compound adjoining the praetorum was defined by a timber fence. The yard was lightly metalled with post holes suggesting the presence of lean to sheds. One possible function of the compound was that of an ablutions block.

This fort is only one area of three examples to have a double portal gate. The other examples include Baginton (Neronian in date) and Brough on Humber (Early Flavian). The dating evidence from coins and pottery suggests that Nanstallon Roman Fort was constructed late in the reign of Nero, certainly after AD 64, and withdrawal occurred during the reign of Vespasian (69-79) or very soon afterwards. The finds from the site have been donated to Truro Museum. In addition, flints found in the excavation are thought to date to the Neolithic or later.

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