Marton

Marton's Norman and Saxon church of Saint Margaret of Antioch and the Medieval stone buttercross. Photograph: Brian Hedley.

Marton in Lincolnshire is situated to the north west of Lincoln and just east of the river Trent.

The village has a long history, its Norman church with a Saxon stone tower is the most visible of these. Marton's establishment has long been associated with the river and the crossing at Littleborough on the opposite side of the Trent. Until recently it was possible to ford the river at this point until modern dredging removed the sunken causeway. The settlement at Littleborough is thought to be the town identified as Segelocum in the Antonine Itinerary, a 3rd century A.D. register of the stations and distances along the various roads of the Roman Empire.

An important building or maybe a mansio, a hostel for Roman officials, stood on this site and a Roman milestone found in Lincoln reads 'For the Emperor Caesar Marcus Piavonius Victorinus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus, pontifex maximus with tribunican power, father of his country from Lindum to Segelocum 14 miles.' If it had been a mansio then any important Roman on official business would have stayed at Littleborough passing through Marton, as it was the last settlement on the east side of the river before the crossing. Within the mansio all the comforts of Rome could be found, with rest and recreation Roman style.

Between the village and the river a small Roman fort and settlement site has been identified. For many years the fields both sides of the river have unearthed Roman coins and artifacts. William Camden's account 1607 edition of Britannia identifies Littleborough as Segelocum and says, 'but I am now clear I have found it, both by its situation on the military way, and because an adjoining field shows evidence traces of walls, and daily in ploughing yields innumerable coins of Roman Emperors, which often being turned up by the hogs (quos quia porci eruncando saepius detegunt), are called Swine's Pennies (porcorum denarius) by the country people.'

Marton's close association with this major site has meant that it still produces Roman finds from the surrounding fields.