Ancient Monuments

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Two Roman camps north of Water Eaton

A Scheduled Monument in Lapley, Stretton and Wheaton Aston, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.6986 / 52°41'55"N

Longitude: -2.1442 / 2°8'39"W

OS Eastings: 390350.529791

OS Northings: 311225.388609

OS Grid: SJ903112

Mapcode National: GBR 181.YGB

Mapcode Global: WHBFD.1F7J

Entry Name: Two Roman camps N of Water Eaton

Scheduled Date: 13 June 1973

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006097

English Heritage Legacy ID: ST 158

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Lapley, Stretton and Wheaton Aston

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Penkridge St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


Two Roman camps 250m north east of Water Eaton Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 June 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes two Roman camps situated on the eastern bank of the River Penk. Both camps have been discovered from cropmarks on aerial photographs. The most northerly of the camps is visible as a single ditch roughly rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measures externally up to 165m south west to north east and up to 100m north west to south east enclosing an area of approximately 1.5 hectares. Just under 50m south east is what appears to be the northern corner of another camp. A single ditch appears to extend 200m in length on its north west side, and its north east side appears to extend 175m in length, taking advantage of a pronounced crest at the south east corner of the field. Its south west and south east sides cannot be currently traced but the camp is estimated to be rectangular in plan enclosing an area of approximately 3.5 hectares.

The two camps lie just over 320m north of Watling Street, the early Roman road from London to the legionary fortress of Wroxeter. A number of Roman military sites have been identified in the vicinity of Stretton Mill and Water Eaton, including two forts, a number of camps and a small defended settlement known as Pennocrucium. They occupy a strategic location and a nodal point in the Roman road system, with roads leaving Watling Street for Chester, Wroxeter, Greensforge, and perhaps Metchley.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Roman camps are rectangular or sub-rectangular enclosures which were constructed and used by Roman soldiers either when out on campaign or as practice camps; most campaign camps were only temporary overnight bases and few were used for longer periods. They were bounded by a single earthen rampart and outer ditch and in plan are always straight-sided with rounded corners. Normally they have between one and four entrances, although as many as eleven have been recorded. Such entrances were usually centrally placed in the sides of the camp and were often protected by additional defensive outworks. Roman camps are found throughout much of England, although most known examples lie in the midlands and north. Around 140 examples have been identified and, as one of the various types of defensive enclosure built by the Roman Army, particularly in hostile upland and frontier areas, they provide an important insight into Roman military strategy and organisation. All well-preserved examples are identified as being of national importance.

The two Roman camps 250m north east of Water Eaton Farm survive as buried archaeological features and deposits which will contain important evidence relating to Roman military strategy and organisation.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Welfare, H, Swan, V, Roman Camps in England: The Field Evidence, (1995)
Pastscape: 77292 & 77262, HER: DST578, NMR: SJ91SW27 & SJ91SW37

Source: Historic England

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