Clausentum, Southampton
ancient monument, roman town, town


refce: JandMN

otherwise: Southampton
The place is described in text Cox 1738
- roman town - Hampshire
refce: Cox 1738
It is not improbable that this Town [Southampton] was an ancient Colony of the Romans, and tho' the old Clausentum be demolished, as may appear from the Rubbish and pieces of old Walls, and the Trenches of an ancient Castle, half a Mile in Compass, which are discovered in the Field of St Maries, and reached as far as the Haven on the one Side, and beyond the River on the other; yet what remains, if it were not the Castle of the old Clausentum, was of those Forts, which the Romans erected on the South Coasts (as Gildas tells us) to hinder the ravenous Depredations of the Saxons. This may be sufficiently attested by the divers Roman Coins that are digged up here.

old map
otherwise: Bittern
Shown on an old map by Morden 1695
- settlement, hamlet - Waltham Hundred - Hampshire
Period - 1690s-1720s
refce: Morden 1695
( MRD2SU41.jpg )

The place is described in text Camden 1610
- Hantshire
Period - 1600s
refce: Camden 1610
neere unto which [Southampton] on the North-east, there flourished in old time another of that name: which may seeme to be Antonine his CLAVSENTVM, ... Clausentum in the same tongue [British], is ... the Haven of Entum. For, I have heard, that Claudh among the Britans, is that which the Graecians call [ ], that is, a forced Haven made by digging and casting up the earth.
What maner of towne that Clausentum was, it is hard to say: but seated it was in that place, where the field is which now they call S. Maries; and reached eveun to the Haven: and may seeme also to have taken up the other banke or strand of the river: For, a little above at Bittern over against it, Francis Mills a right homest gentleman there dwelling, showed unto to me the rubbish, old broken wals, and trenches of an antient castle, which carried halfe a mile in compasse, & at every tide is compassed for three parts of it with water a great breadth. The Romane Emperors ancient coines now and then there digged up, doe so evidently prove the antiquitie thereof, that if it were not the Castle of old Clausentum, you would judge it to be one of those forts or fences which the romans planted upon the South coast of the Ocean, to represse, as Gildas writeth, the piracies and depredations of the Saxons.

old map
Shown on an old map by Norden 1607
- Waltham Hundred - Hamshire
Period - 1590s-1600s
refce: Norden 1607
( NRD1SU41.jpg )


refce: Roman Place Names
The Antonine Itineraries list:-
Listed in itinerary VII at xx roman miles from Chichester, x to Winchester; but the 20 may be an error for 30, xxx, and there are other difficulties with the distances in the table (NB you must understand the system of measuring and the size of roman miles).
The name derivation is difficult, a possible meaning is to a nailed or hewn path, ie a quay or causeway? this is either the roman town and naval base at Bitterne, SU4313, or perhaps, but less likely? the roman settlement at Wickham, SU5711.

Hampshire Gazetteer - JandMN: 2001