Rochester : Late Antiquity
The evidence regarding the date the fort of High Rochester was relinquished by permanent Roman garrisons presents some intriguing contradictions (cf. Crow 2004a, 222-3). The coin evidence recovered to date suggests that the fort was abandoned in the first or second decade of the 4th century, whilst examination of the pottery from the recent excavations directed by James Crow has revealed an almost complete absence of the East Yorkshire grey wares (Crambeck etc.) which become common on the northern frontier from the late 3rd century onwards (J Shipley pers. comm.).
Yet the repairs to the west curtain between the west gate and the south west angle appear more characteristic of modifications made at other northern frontier forts, such as Housesteads and Vindolanda along Hadrian’s Wall, much later in the 4th century or even later still. Could this reflect continued military occupation of the fort by a reduced force until at least the middle of the 4th century, or perhaps even its transfer to a friendly federate Britthonic chieftain?