- CarrawburghBrocolitia

Temple of Mithraeus
Temple of Mithraeus

Measuring 366 x 460 feet the fort has little to offer the visitor in terms of visible remains. The north rampart and the Wall itself are covered by the road whereas the other three ramparts are no more than mounds visible in a field. Excavations took place in 1968-9 and apparently if the walls of the fort were exposed they would be quite dramatic. The fort was built over the Vallum to the South so must have been built later as the Vallum can be seen going through the fort.

In 1873 Clayton excavated a Bath House in the vicus, to the west and south, and although a plan of the building was drawn up, nothing is visible of this building today. However, a Mithraic temple was unearthed in 1949 and three altars, original, were found poking through grass, all of which are dedicated to Mithras. The areas was fully excavated in 1950 and the temple, it seems, was built in the early third century with several alterations following this. It was destroyed in 297 AD and rebuilt before being finally destroyed, possibly by Christians. The altars on site today are replicas and the originals are based in the Great North Museum at Hancock in Newcastle upon Tyne. Another find to the northwest of the Mithraeum is Coventina’s Well which stands on the edge of the Vallum. This was recorded as early as 1726 by Horsley but discovered one hundred and fifty years later in 1876 by lead miners seeking a lead vein. This was not all that was found here though as the frontier yielded its best ever hoard of coins and altars.

Roman dog found in Coventina’s Well
Roman dog found
in Coventina’s Well
and was probably an offering

Some of the altars can now be seen in Chesters Museum. The recorded amount of coins is not the total found as some were robbed later on. A grand sum of 13,487 coins was noted. The total amount of coins found may well have been over 16-17,000. Some worn coins were melted down under instructions from John Collingwood Bruce to make an eagle in December 1879 weighing approximately 6.5kg. The Well cannot be seen today and the only evidence of it is sodden ground.

Garrisons known at on StreetMap Streetmap Logo link to OS map

Hadriancohors quingenaria equitata ?
Marcus_Aureliusno evidence
3rd_Centurycohors I Batavorum equitata (213 - 17) †
Notitia_Dignitatumcohors I Batavorum equitata †
1st_NoteThere are a large number of units attested here, cohors I Aquitanorum, I Tungrorum, I Cugernorum, I Frisiavonum and II Nerviorum. The first two are attested building but the others were possibly merely honouring the local goddess Coventina.
2nd_NoteThere is no evidence that RIB 1545 is earlier than RIB 1544, here used to give the earliest certain date that I Batavorum was at Carrawburgh.