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Eaton Constantine, with The Wrekin in the distance
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|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
The theologian Richard Baxter (1615–1691) lived here in his boyhood. His childhood home, now called Baxter's House (a private residence), is a 16th-century timber-framed house in the centre of the village.
Near Eaton Constantine are the remains of a Roman vexillation fortress and three marching camps near a bend in the River Severn. The fortress lies in open farmland on a low south-eastward projecting spur between Ranslet House and Eye Farm. It was defended by a triple-ditch system measuring about 920 x 1,050 feet (c.280 x 320m) within the defences, which enclosed an area of just under 22¼ acres (c.9ha). This substantial defensive system indicates that this was no ordinary marching encampment, and its size would have been sufficient to house a substantial force of around 2,500 Roman legionaries and auxiliary soldiers. The fortress was probably occupied by a contingent of Legio XIV Gemina, together with a couple of auxiliary cavalry units.
The place-name 'Eaton Constantine' does not refer to the Roman military presence; 'Eaton' means 'island town or settlement', and the land was held by Thomas de Cotentin from Cotentin (in Normandy) in 1242.
- Eilert Ekwall, Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names
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