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Discovery of of the Roman Fort at Cripplegate, City of London: Excavations by W. F. Grimes 1947-68
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Discovery of of the Roman Fort at Cripplegate, City of London: Excavations by W. F. Grimes 1947-68 (Paperback)

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Synopsis

When Grimes received a CBE for the discovery of the Temple of Mithras, he remarked that he was proud but wished that it had been in recognition for his work at Cripplegate - the discovery of the Mithraeum was "a fluke". His initial objective at Cripplegate was to understand more about the dating sequence of the city's defences. He soon discovered that the outline of the walls there represented the location of a 2nd-century fort. Over a 15-year period the piecing together of the main sequence of the Cripplegate fort required detailed research and also in-depth negotiations with a large number of property owners. The result of this work significantly enhanced our understanding of the Roman city of Londinium. The fort was constructed in the first two decades of the 2nd century - probably in the early Hadrianic period. There is evidence of earlier occupation in the area, but nothing that suggests a precursor to the 2nd-century military phase. By c.AD 200 the fort had been incorporated into the city defences and would appear to have gone out of use then or soon after. Thereafter, the area was very sparsely occupied - it might well have been open ground until the end of the Roman period.

This report gathers together the results of Grimes' work and presents them as an account of this work. The politics of the discovery are also considered, concerns about the discovery of the fort gate, following on from the Mithraeum affair, also attracting attention in Parliament.

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