Stonea is a hamlet in Cambridgeshire, England, south east of March and part of the parish of Wimblington. 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. 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.
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. 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. To prevent further damage by agriculture, the area is now designated as a pocket park.
The remains of a multi-storey Roman tower have been excavated to the north of the Stonea Camp fortifications. 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. 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stonea.|
- Wimblington at Genuki.org.uk, accessed 20 September 2013
- Golden Lion pub, accessed 20 September 2013
- Stitches Farm, Geograph, accessed 20 September 2013
- Painting of the demolished farmhouse, BBC "Your Paintings", accessed 20 September 2013
- Pastscape, English Heritage, accessed 20 September 2013
- Stonea Camp Archived 21 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Cambridgeshire County Council, accessed 20 September 2013
- Pastscape entry
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