Observations and Excavations at North Gate, Exeter, 1978 (Exeter archive site 69)

Exeter City Council, Cotswold Archaeology, 2015

Data copyright © Exeter City Council unless otherwise stated


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Exeter City Council, Cotswold Archaeology (2015) Observations and Excavations at North Gate, Exeter, 1978 (Exeter archive site 69) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1035206

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Introduction

Observations and Excavations at North Gate, Exeter, 1978 (Exeter archive site 69)

In March 1978 the Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit undertook a watching brief at a site known as the North Gate, this being the suspected site of the Roman city gate on its north-western side.

The site consisted of two excavation areas (A and B) situated immediately behind the City Wall in Paul Street at SX 9179/9271 and an observation trench, sited at right angles to the wall and cutting across its foundations, in Lower North Street at SX 9178/9270. The site is outside the north-western defences of the former Roman legionary fortress at Exeter.

Excavation was restricted in the observation trench to the recording of sections and the partial planning of features. The two areas, A and B, of the later operations were fully excavated. Area A was approximately 10.5 metres in length north-east to south-west with a maximum width of 5 metres north-west to south-east. Area B was 13 metres in length north-east to south-west with a maximum width of 9 metres north-west to south-east.

Deposits suspected to be of early Roman military date were discovered along with a ditch that may have served to drain the defensive ditch of the legionary fortress. These discoveries were thought to belong within the Roman military period which, at Exeter, is dated from c AD 55/60 - c 75/80. The bulk of the discoveries at the site concerned the much later Roman town wall and its development during the Roman civil and later periods.