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DUROVERNUM CANTIACORUM

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  ROMAN CANTERBURY, DVROVERNVM CANTIACORVM
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The Roman town at Canterbury. From the late 2nd Century, Durovernum Cantiacorum was the civitas capital of Kent. The settlement developed soon after AD43 and the Roman bridgehead at Richborough would have been the main military base. There is no evidence for an established military presence in Canterbury itself.

A gradual Romanisation of the Iron Age settlement is likely to have occurred with the eventual Roman town laid out in a grid with buildings, baths and a late 1st century theatre. Substantial flint and tile foundations of the theatre with opus signinum floors were discovered, with the theatre rebuilt on a larger scale so that by the beginning of the 3rd century it was four storeys high, and semi-circular with a diameter of 70 metres. In St. Margaret's Street are the visible remains of the 2nd century bath complex: there is evidence of the furnace (praefurnium), caldarium, tepidarium and frigidarium. The baths may have continued under the site of the present day church of St. Margaret.

Llittle of the insulae within the town have been excavated. The foundations of several town houses of the 'winged corridor' type have been found, one of which is underneath the Canterbury Museum in Butchery Lane. The building, dating from the 1st century, was built of masonry and has been altered and reconstructed with a hypocaust system, tessellated floors and mosaics.

The exact positions of the forum or basilica are not known. The mediaeval town wall follows the route of the 3rd century Roman boundary wall, and the gates are still visible.

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