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Richborough

Richborough, site of the Claudian invasion, major port, and supply base, was later a fort of the Saxon Shore. Lying at the southern entrance to the Wantsum channel between the mainland and the Isle of Thanet, Richborough was the site of the Roman invasion in 43. Excavation in the 1930s revealed the double ditches and a gate of the beachhead defences. In the Flavian period a monumental four-way arch commemorated the acquisition of Britain. In the later 1st and 2nd cents. Rutupiae was a cross-channel port and a major military supply base. In the mid-3rd cent. the arch base was surrounded by triple-ditched earthwork defences. These were replaced in the later 3rd cent. by the stone defences of a square 8-acre fort of late Roman type. In the Notitia dignitatum the garrison is listed as legio II Augusta. The fort probably had a church in its north-western corner. A civil settlement with possible amphitheatre lay to the south.

Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary

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