Community excavation at Segelocum on pause

The Retford Times has reported that the latest phase of an excavation project at the Roman small town at Littleborough on Trent (Segelocum) has been put on hold for a year due to the agricultural cycle at the site. Following successful geophysical surveys last year, the team were keen to test some of the anomalies and add to our understanding of this key town, situated at a key crossing of the River Trent and straddling the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire sides of the river.

roman roads base map

Major Roman roads in Lincolnshire

Segelocum lay at the junction of the road between Lincoln and Doncaster and the River Trent, both major trade routes which the town doubtless took advantage of. The town also formed the crossing point of the Trent (something that would still be valuable nowadays at that location), though the nature of the crossing is uncertain. Some have suggested that, as the river is tidal, crossing may have been possible at low tide. Otherwise, a ferry system may have been employed. Little is known of the dating and layout of the town, however, and it has been little studied in the latter 20th Century, so the current project is extremely valuable.

The Roman road running from Lincoln to Littleborough, seen here close to the site of the villa at Scampton

The Roman road running from Lincoln to Littleborough, seen here close to the site of the villa at Scampton

Segelocum‘s importance led to it featuring on a milestone set up in the late AD260s in the heart of Lincoln. Established during the reign of the breakaway Gallic Emperor Victorinus, the milestone was positioned outside the forum, where the Lion and Snake pub now stands. It records that the distance between Lindum and Segelocum was 14 miles. That Segelocum would be highlighted in this way over other towns in the area is an indicator of its importance in local trade networks.

Antiquarian illustration of the milestone of Victorinus from Bailgate, Lincoln. The Collection

Antiquarian illustration of the milestone of Victorinus from Bailgate, Lincoln. The Collection

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