Regulbium was the name of an ancient Roman fort of the
Saxon Shore in
the vicinity of the modern English resort of
Reculver in Kent. Its
name derives from the local Celtic language, meaning "great headland"
2 Location and construction
5 External links
The first Roman military installation in the area was a small fort
built directly after the invasion of Britain in the reign of Claudius,
protected by earthworks. It was connected to
by a road. The fort, strategically located at the entrance of the
Wantsum Channel, possibly housed a signal tower, perhaps a lighthouse,
and continued in operation at least until the late 60s, since coins
dating to the reign of
Nero were found on site. This structure lay
within the bounds of the later, larger stone fort, which was built in
the early 3rd century, probably in c. 210, since the sole stone
inscription found at the fort (in 1960) mentions the then governor of
Britain, Aulus Triarius Rufinus. This construction occurred at a
time when cities and strategic sites all over Western Europe were
fortified in response to the greater threat posed by barbarian raids.
The archaeological remains display another period of great activity
towards the end of the century, the time of the Carausian Revolt, and
again in the first half of the 4th century. However, it appears that
after 360, the fort was abandoned by the Roman military.
The masonry castrum at
Reculver is unusually early for its location
and type, but it can be compared in both age and design with the
forts at Brancaster and Caister-on-Sea, both in Norfolk, and it may
be that "the east coast was in need of protection before the south
coast, which was patrolled by the Roman navy, the Classis
Britannica." The design of the fort at
Reculver can also be
compared with those along Hadrian's Wall, in northern England. The
Notitia Dignitatum (whose western records date from the early 5th
century but probably describe the situation at a slightly earlier
date), reports the garrison at
Reculver as the Cohors I Baetasiorum,
and this is reflected in the discovery there of tiles stamped with the
initials "CIB". The Cohors I Baetasiorum were previously stationed
at Maryport, in Cumbria, and, since they probably built the fort at
Reculver, this may explain the similarity between it and the forts
along Hadrian's Wall.
After the arrival of the
Anglo-Saxons in Britain, the site continued
to be inhabited, and, now called Raculf, became a residence of the
Kings of Kent. In 669, King Ecgberht of
Kent founded a monastery on
the site of the fort. It clearly was important, since in 690, its
abbot, Bertwald, became Archbishop of Canterbury.
Herne Bay Museum display centred on the Roman fort at Reculver
Location and construction
The fort stood on the mainland side of the northern entrance to the
mile-wide Wantsum Channel, which separated the
Isle of Thanet
Isle of Thanet from the
mainland. The Channel was a favoured passage for shipping, and the
fort was built to both control it and act as a navigational marker.
The construction was typical of a
Saxon Shore fort, square-shaped with
rounded corners. The single rampart was 10 feet (3 m) thick at the
base tapering to 8 feet (2.5m) at the top, with a height of probably
20 feet (6 m). It was additionally strengthened by an earthen rampart
on the interior, and surrounded by two external ditches. The fort
covered an area of 3.06 ha, but almost half of that has been lost to
the sea due to erosion.
^ Philp, Brian (1969). "The
^ Allen, J.R.L. & Fulford, M.G. (1999), "Fort Building and
Military Supply along Britain's Eastern Channel and North Sea Coasts:
The Later Second and Third Centuries", Britannia 30, pp. 163–4.
^ Philp 2005, pp. 225–6; Harris 2001, pp. 32–3
^ Harris 2001, p. 33.
^ Harris 2001, p. 32.
^ a b Philp 2005, pp. 224–5.
^ Garmonsway, G.N., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Dent, Dutton, 1972
& 1975, pp. 34-5.
Fields, N. (2006), Rome's
Saxon Shore - Coastal Defences of Roman
Britain AD 250-500 (Fortress 56), Osprey Publishing,
Harris, S. (2001), Richborough and Reculver, London: English Heritage,
Johnston, D.E.; et al. (1977), "The Saxon Shore" (PDF), CBA Research
Report (18), retrieved 2007-08-20
Philp, B. (1969), "The Roman Fort at
Reculver Excavations 1968 --
Kent Archaeological Review (15), retrieved
Philp, B. (2005), Report on the Excavations of Roman Reculver, Kent
Archaeological Rescue Unit, ISBN 0-947831-24-X
Military of ancient Rome portal
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Regulbium.
Reculver Towers and Roman Fort at English Heritage