Beacon Hill Site

Published reports

Lomer & Beacon Hill (Roman Road Survey)


This site has two projects. The Roman Road running in the above survey consists of three lanes, with the two smaller lanes cut out of an escarpment, and the larger 40' lane running to the south below. The initial project was to achieve an excavation by using a large ditch cut through the upper smaller lane to create an archaeological section. The landowner however said we could also cut a trench through the track below it, which runs on the middle (smaller) lane. These excavations are completed. They show that the middle (smaller) lane is cut directly out of the chalk bedrock, while the upper lane is built up with this excavated chalk. This upper lane has a wider levelled surface than we expected, and a further section of the deep ditch has been cleaned up to show where the natural slope of the hillside occurs. I

The landowner thought there was a Roman site on his land and asked us to investigate. One of his people had found several Roman coins from the field containing the deserted village of Lomer. This village has earthworks round it which seemed too large for the Saxon period, and we got permission to survey them. We found a far more accurate survey can be achieved by using a LIDAR image as the base, which also show the Roman Road alignments which form the NE edge of the site. This alignment changes as it passes, and it can be seen from the above image that the NW ramparts are at right angles to the Roman alignment, while the lower part of the SE ramparts is at right angles to the Roman alignment there. However the upper part of the SE rampart is parallel to the NW rampart - while the banks here are cutting the Roman 40' lane - suggesting at this time this lane had fallen out of use - which dates to the later Roman period. These properties are typical of the Roman period. The features of the NE part of the site are the highest, and from outcroppings seem to be made of packed flint, which is why they survive so well. Several people have remarked that the escarpments seem typical of Greek Temple bases.

While some of the ramparts could be defensive, the NE and parts of the SE are clearly not. If one lists all the cases where Romans made ramparts or enclosures, only a Temple Site would qualify. There may be three Temple bases, two of them small. The date of formation would be late Roman. The Greeks sometimes had Temple sites for a group of Gods headed by a Chief God. Such sites would also have a Treasury - which might occupy the 4th enclosure shown on the above image. We carried out geophysics to map the extent of the packed flint during the Easter 2019 excavations, finding that enclosures 1, 2, and 3 of the above map were built with packed flint.

These two projects are now being written up.


Drawing the cleaned up ditch as an Archaeological Section.

Excavating the track down to the chalk.


Publications available

Roman Road Winchester - Chichester
NEHHAS Journal Volume 8

8 Maps & Reports Winchester - Exton. On line 3, Paper 5.

Link to Booking & Publications Order Form.

Dig Details.