The Roman Altar at Thick Hollins



In April 1597, two workmen were clearing stones in a field when they discovered a 3rd century Roman altar buried behind Thick Hollins house at Greetland.

The altar has an inscription:

DVI. CI BRIG. ET NVM. GG. T. AVR. AURELIANUS DD. PRO SE ET SVIS S. M. A. G. S

which may read:

Divi civitatis Brigantum et numinibus Augustorum Titus Aurelianus. Aurelianus dedicat pro se et suis susceptum merito animo grato solvit

and on the reverse:

Antoni III et Geta Coss

and which has been translated as:

To the goddess Victoria Brigantia and to the deities of the two emperors, Titus Aurelius Aurelianus gave and dedicated this for himself and for his family, whilst he himself was master of the rites. In the third consulship of Antoninus and second of Geta

The altar has been dated to AD 205-208 and may have been dedicated by Aurelianus on his way to the north.

Sir John Savile moved the altar to his home at Bradley Hall.

The altar then passed to Sir Robert Cotton, 5th Baronet of Connington near Stilton, Huntingdonshire, and was installed in the church there.

In 1750, Cotton gave the altar to Trinity College Cambridge, and it stood in the entrance to the library at the college [1961] and (possibly) in the Museum of Archæology & Anthropology there.

A copy can be seen at Clay House, Greetland


See Cambodunum, Hollins and Thick



© Malcolm Bull 2018
Revised 08:34 /5th March 2018 / mmt27 / 4611

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