"KENCHESTER, a parish in the hundred of GRIMSWORTH, county of HEREFORD, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Hereford, containing 94 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Hereford, rated in the king's books at £6. 5. 7., endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Crown. The church is dedicated to St. Michael. According to Camden this place was the Ariconium, but Dr. Horsley considers it as the Magna, of the Romans. The form of the station is that of an irregular hexagon, the site comprising fifty or sixty acres; there are two openings on the west side, and two on the north; some traces of the walls, which entirely surrounded the city, are discernible, but no vestiges of any foss or ditch. The remains principally consist of fragments of a temple at the eastern end, with a niche of Roman brick and mortar, called the Chair; around this are foundations and holes, similar to vaults; at different periods large vaults, tesselated pavements, a fine Mosaic floor, relics of pottery, urns, and large bones, have been discovered. An hypocaust, about seven feet square, with the leaden pipes entire, and those of brick a foot in length and three inches square, was found in 1670. At the close of the last century, a stone altar was dug up from the foundation of the northern wall, bearing an inscription implying its dedication to the Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius, and now in the possession of the Rev. J. C. Bird, rector of Dindon and Mordiford." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) ©Mel Lockie]
- The transcription of the section for Kenchester from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
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