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Minchinhampton Bulwarks Lethal Force Training Ground For Roman Cavalry

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posted on Jan, 22 2020 @ 09:51 AM
The Bulwarks are an unsolved mystery. Huge effort went into digging the ditch in bedrock. It must have been for a valuable cause. I estimate it would have remained usable for around two hundred years. The design is obviously to keep people in. The shape is an open U.

This is what they look like now.

Originally there was a stone wall backed by earth and rubble. In front of the wall was a nine foot wide berm and in front of that a ditch seven and a half feet deep. There is a drawing at this pdf link.

This diagram shows the shape of the bulwarks.

It's said Caratacus may have based his resistance at Minchinhampton. If this is true it would have been a symbolic location to train Roman cavalry scouts before sending them ahead into the hills where the resistance fighters lived.

It was probably at this time that Caratacus realised that the south east of England was a lost cause. This included his family tribal base at Colchester. This was due to the might and organisation of the Roman Army that had defeated the British at the Battle of the Medway. He therefore went northwest with his forces towards the Druid base on Anglesey, possibly basing himself first at Minchinhampton, near Stroud in Gloucestershire.

My thought is that British captives would be taken to the open mouth of the trap. Probably given a chance to 'escape', possibly at night. Then hunted by new recruits to harden them and train them in efficient methods of rounding up and killing native warriors. We can imagine the despair of the Britons on finding the ditch, berm with guards on duty, and the wall probably surmounted with a wooden overhanging fence. Like rats in a trap they'd fight to the last giving real world training to the Romans.

I can't see any other realistic use for this otherwise unexplained barrier. It makes no sense as a boundary to be defended or an animal enclosure.

posted on Jan, 22 2020 @ 09:59 AM
a reply to: Kester

Interesting. It appears to close off a pass topographically. Perhaps it was a way to channel the continuing movements of an opposing force?

Humans used these types of barriers to hunt herds, why not opposing armies?

posted on Jan, 22 2020 @ 10:29 AM
It's very difficult to launch an attack on an angle and angles are very deceptive. Hard to tell without being on the ground. I went to some old Civil War battleground once and this once berm / hill was responsible for a lot of deaths. Looked easy to charge up it but we tried and it was damn near impossible. It was basically a death sentence. Not sure if that is what is going on here. Assume it would get mushy at the bottom and cause footing issues but the pics, the angles are all over the place.
Maybe trap rain idea.

posted on Jan, 22 2020 @ 11:07 AM
One theory they are not discussing is the rock they were digging through, oolite, could have been iron-bearing goethitic (limonitic) ooids. I was looking at this type of rock and sometimes it holds lots of iron.

Would they have been extracting iron from it? I do not know but their other theories are not very good. Some have already been debunked.

Here's a google earth of some of it but it's so long ago. No telling what it looked like originally.,-2.2081615,3a,75y,147.89h,60.56t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srg3LEX6Oay-Kyz47ZRySHA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
edit on 22-1-2020 by Stupidsecrets because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2020 @ 11:34 AM
a reply to: Stupidsecrets

Thats an astute observation regarding the bedrock and limonite. "Gold rides an Iron Horse" is a mining phrase. If theres iron, there is often gold on one side and lead on the other....all highly important "heavies" that settle to bedrock.

I know Britain was a big source of Bronz Age tin, an essential in bronze as well as a lead based alloy used in sealing seams.

posted on Jan, 22 2020 @ 12:15 PM
a reply to: BlueJacket

I'm in no way an historian but the Romans were mining the crap out of Britain. And right there, Iron Forest of Dean is very close to these bulworks. Assuming they were finding shallow veins then abandoning them. If you look at old Roman mining sites, further north is where the mining got more intense. Lead and Silver usually are found together and if a society is based off of Silver coins then it makes sense to me. Start digging boys!

posted on Jan, 22 2020 @ 12:28 PM
a reply to: Kester
Any British captives would not have been killed. Captives were an essential part of legionnaires wages. All captives were sent to Rome, the elite captives were used for display ie. "look who we caught". All other captives were sold into slavery and the monies were put into the legions coffers. The taking of captives to be sold as slaves were the legions bonuses.

posted on Jan, 22 2020 @ 02:01 PM
The romans loved to fortify and made quite strong camps even when stopping for just the night somewhere as large walls stop armies in their tracks and make them easier to pick off for archers etc and it probably would of been an older fortification that the romans would of expanded on to shore up anything near tribes who were not friendly and if theres a load of free stone from mining going why not use it.

Sometimes they don't have to be that practical as much as being a sign of this is the border and if theres gold or other wanted minerals they'd want them secured against natives stealing them.

Is there a major roman fort in the area as it could of been a practice area for them to keep the troops skills up building walls?

posted on Jan, 23 2020 @ 08:11 AM
Used to live in that part of the Cotswolds, though never knew about this feature. But the Romans definitely weren't doing any mining there. The limestone is quite good for building use though. And there are plenty of villas in the area, so that might at least have given some use for the removed bedrock.

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