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Monument Name Harlow Roman Temple
SMR Number 17
Summary Situated on a natural hillock overlooking the Stort.
Media
Virtual model reconstruction of Harlow Roman temple
Virtual model reconstruction of Harlow Roman temple
Virtual model reconstruction of Harlow Roman Temple
Virtual model reconstruction of Harlow Roman Temple
Associated Media
Still from virtual model reconstruction of Cressing Temple Barns
Virtual model reconstruction of Harlow Roman Temple
Description Situated on a natural hillock overlooking the Stort. A ditch surrounding the hill was interpreted as a temenos ditch, a hollow at the north end of the hill was originally thought to be sacred pool or theatre, excavation has since shown this to be natural. Middle bronze age cremations and early iron age pottery were recovered (see 107, 108). A large number of pre-Roman coins and brooches were deposited, in mint condition, on the hilltop (see 109). This practice continued into the reign of Vespasian when the temple was built. The temple was remodelled in the 2nd century, with a final remodelling at the end of the 2nd century, coming to an end during the reign of Constantine (306-337). At this time there appears to have been a reversion to ritual coin deposition, continuing into the reign of Gratian (367-383) <1> The temple plan consists of a 25ft square cella, surrounded by a verandah 12ft wide set in a rectangular courtyard <2> Other refs <3> - <6> Roman finds included coins, brooches, pins, pottery, glass, painted plaster. Exacavtions between 1962-71 revealed that the Romano- British temple was the last stage in a long religious development of the site. More coins, brooches and small bronze, iron and bone objects were found. <7> In 1972, during landscaping of the site a bronze buckle plate was recovered. This had a Christian symbol of a peacock pecking the fruit of a small tree punched into it. <8> Further excavations in 1985-87 recovered more votive finds including a number of worked and carved stone items, one a limestone head of a helmeted deity believed to be Minerva. <9> <10> The last season of work concentrated on the eastern half of the temple courtyard. Several phases of cobbling and ballast make-up covered most of the site dating from C1-C4. Finds included bronze and gold priestly regalia, votives, horse fittings and C1 brooches and metalwork. <11> AP refs <14> - <23> Site Management: = Site in good condition, in care of Harlow District Council, foundations outlined in concrete. Site landscaped <1> In 1982 the site was visited by English Heritage. The temple site was fully excavated in 1927 but there may be other buildings on the hill which would justify further excavations. The whole site was landscaped during the building of Harlow New Town. The outline of the temple is laid out with flagstones. The ditch is not very clear. Generally in good condition and not vandalised. <13> See 16965 for Saxon occupation of the site.
Monument Type(s) STATUE (Dated 43AD to 409AD)
TEMPLE (Dated 43AD to 409AD)
Monument Class(es) STONE
SUB SURFACE DEPOSIT
Period 43AD to 409AD Roman
Status Not Known
Administration Area HARLOW, HARLOW, ESSEX
National Grid Reference Square: TL41SE
Ref: 468123
Finds BRONZE BROOCH (Dated 43AD To 400AD)

BRONZE BUCKLE (Dated 350AD To 400AD)

BRONZE COIN (Dated 43AD To 400AD)

GOLD COIN (Dated 43AD To 400AD)

BRONZE PIN (Dated 43AD To 400AD)

STONE STATUE (Dated 43AD To 400AD)

POTTERY VESSEL (Dated 43AD To 400AD)

GLASS VESSEL (Dated 43AD To 400AD)

BONE WORKED OBJECT (Dated 43AD To 400AD)

Events PART EXCAV by Christy, M,

PART EXCAV by France, N and Gobel, B

Part Excav by Bartlett, R

Field visit to 17 by Paterson, H, FMW on APR-1980

Field visit to 17 by Chant, K, FMW on SEP-1982, AA 46148

Field visit to 17 by Paterson, H, FMW on MAY-1986

Field visit to 17 by Paterson, H, FMW on SEP-1988

Field visit to 17 by Paterson, H, FMW on JAN-1991

Field visit to 17 by Paterson, H, FMW on NOV-1993

Field visit to 17 by Miller, I, FMW on OCT-1995

Sources <1> Desc Text : SMR form unknown Dated : 1960 0nwards

<10> Desc Text : The Harlow Celtic Temple (Bartlett, R) no 112 p163-6 Dated : 1988

<11> Desc Text : Latton, Harlow Temple (Bartlett, R) vol 21 p133 Dated : 1990

<12> Desc Text : Harlow: Historic Town Assessment Report (Medlycott, Maria) Dated : 1999

<13> Desc Text : Harlow Roman Temple - EX62 (English Heritage) Dated : 2000

<14> Aerial Photo : TL4612/2/8 (NMR) 3/4/1984 Dated : 1984

<15> Aerial Photo : TL4612/1/7 (NMR) 3/4/1984 Dated : 1984

<16> Aerial Photo : TL4612/4/10 (NMR) 3/4/1984 Dated : 1984

<17> Aerial Photo : TL4612/3/9 (NMR) 3/4/1984 Dated : 1984

<18> Aerial Photo : TL4612/7/195 (NMR) 15/6/1984 Dated : 1984

<19> Aerial Photo : TL4612/7/194 SF2159 (NMR) 15/6/1984 Dated : 1984

<2> Desc Text : Harlow Roman Temple (unknown) No 11, pp287-290 Dated : 1968

<20> Aerial Photo : TL4612/6/192 SF2159 (NMR) 15/6/1984 Dated : 1984

<21> Aerial Photo : TL4612/6/193 SF2159 (NMR) 15/6/1984 Dated : 1984

<22> Aerial Photo : TL4612/8/196 SF2159 (NMR) 15/6/1984 Dated : 1984

<23> Aerial Photo : TL4612/8/197 SF2159 (NMR) 15/6/1984 Dated : 1984

<24> Map : NMP Cropmark Plot - 1:10,000 (Ingle, CJ, Strachan, D, Tyler, S and Saunders, H) Dated : 1993-2012

<3> Desc Text : VCH - Essex Vol 3 (Hull, MR) Vol 3, pp139-142 Dated : 1963

<4> RECORD SHEET/FORM : OS cards (Ordnance Survey) TL41SE06 Dated : unknown

<5> Excavation report : Antiq J (Wheeler, REM) Vol 8, p300 Dated : 1928

<6> Artifact : ARTEFACT Harlow Mus (Harlow Museum) Dated : unknown

<7> Excavation report : The Romano-British Temple at Harlow (France, NE and Gobel, BM) Dated : 1985

<8> Desc Text : A Late Roman buckle from Harlow Temple (Bartlett, R) vol 18 p114-120 Dated : 1987

<9> Excavation report : Excavations at Harlow Temple 1985-87 (Barlett, R) vol 23 no 1 p9-13 Dated : 1988