A temporary camp due east of Whitehouse
Farm, close to the course of the Roman Road was discovered in
1969. It could easily have housed an entire legion of 5,000 men
and could have been a temporary marching camp for the 14th
Legion, who established Wroxeter in A.D. 47. Three more
temporary camps were discovered from aerial photographs and
field walking, and numerous finds of civilian material were made
in the 1970s in an area south of Camp Hill7.
All in all this is an important site, which
held the largest local population up to that time. It was linked
by a number of roads to other forts and centres of population.
To the south was the road to Droitwich, Worcester and
Gloucester, and to the north-west was the road to Bridgnorth,
Wroxeter and Wales. To the North was the road to Watling Street
and Pennocrucium, which was built near to modern Penkridge and
would have passed through Lower Penn.
The northern course of the road from
Greensforge is only known for the first half mile to Hinksford8.
The southerly course from Pennocrucium is known as far as
Pendeford9. The section through the western outskirts
of Wolverhampton to Wombourne and Hinksford has not been
discovered and much of it will have been lost due to the large
areas of housing that now covers much of it. The road would have
gone very close to where the Dovecote now stands at Pendeford,
through to Claregate, Newbridge, Compton, Castlecroft, Lower
Penn, Wombourne and Hinksford. This was probably the first road
to have been built in Penn.
If the road was fairly straight it could
have gone directly through the centre of Lower Penn, or to Lower
Penn Farm and across the hill to Orton, to roughly follow Orton
Lane into Wombourne. It could have equally have gone over Orton
Hill past Bearnett Farm. Modern day farming has probably removed
most of the traces that are left, but modern archaeology and
field walking may one day locate the exact course of the road.
Gerald P. Mander, A History of Wolverhampton to the Early
Nineteenth Century, Wolverhampton, 1960, p.1
Angus Dunphy, A Millennium History of Lower Penn, 2000
David Cox, Greensforge Roman Sites, The BlackCountryman,
vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 60-63.
Professor J.K. St. Joseph, Journal of Roman Studies.
Dr. Graham Webster, Birmingham Archaeological Society
Transactions, vol. 80, 1962.
An account of the Greensforge forts based on aerial
photographs, Antiquity vol. XL, 1966.
Dr. Graham Webster, Transactions of the Birminghan and
Warwickshire Archaeological Society, vol. 91, 1981.
The northerly course of the road starts at map reference
SO864888 and has been traced to map reference SO867900. Ordnance
Survey, Explorer Series, no. 219.
The southerly course of the road has been traced to map
reference SO896038. Ordnance Survey, Explorer Series, no. 219.