Stonea

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Stonea Camp bank and ditch
Railway bridge and underpass at Stonea

Stonea is a hamlet in Cambridgeshire, England, south east of March and part of the parish of Wimblington.[1] Stonea today consists of a scattered collection of farmsteads and houses, the majority sited along Sixteen Foot Bank, a man-made river which forms part of the Middle Level Navigations. The largest settlement is on the bank near the Golden Lion pub.[2] This part of Stonea is dissected by a manned railway crossing on the Ely to Peterborough Line; Stonea railway station closed in 1966. A former Primitive Methodist chapel is now a private residence.[1]

There has been human habitation in the area since at least 500 BC; Stonea Camp archaeological site is the lowest Iron Age hill fort in Britain. The site is thought to be the site of a battle in 47 AD mentioned by Tacitus, between the Iceni tribe and a Roman auxiliary force under governor Ostorius Scapula. A medieval farmhouse at Stitches Farm was regrettably demolished in 1973.[3][4] The camp itself was ploughed over in the 1960s, but the filled-in ditches were restored to the bank formation by the British Museum and Cambridgeshire County Council in the 1980s.[5] To prevent further damage by agriculture, the area is now designated as a pocket park.[6]

The remains of a multi-storey Roman tower have been excavated to the north of the Stonea Camp fortifications.[6] The substantial foundations of the rectangular building suggest some height; at least 3 storeys are proposed. The building featured a hypocaust and had walls decorated with painted plaster. Architectural fragments include tiles and window glass.[7] However, the tower was demolished ca 200 AD.

The Roman settlement at Stonea may have been the establishment of a procurator, based in the tower or it may have been planned as a town with a market and bureaucratic role.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wimblington at Genuki.org.uk, accessed 20 September 2013
  2. ^ Golden Lion pub, accessed 20 September 2013
  3. ^ Stitches Farm, Geograph, accessed 20 September 2013
  4. ^ Painting of the demolished farmhouse, BBC "Your Paintings", accessed 20 September 2013
  5. ^ Pastscape, English Heritage, accessed 20 September 2013
  6. ^ a b Stonea Camp Archived 21 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Cambridgeshire County Council, accessed 20 September 2013
  7. ^ Pastscape entry

Coordinates: 52°28′30″N 0°06′04″E / 52.4751°N 0.1010°E / 52.4751; 0.1010