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Bagraw Roman camp and section of Roman road, 463m NNW of Bagraw

A Scheduled Monument in Rochester, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2626 / 55°15'45"N

Longitude: -2.2387 / 2°14'19"W

OS Eastings: 384927.022258

OS Northings: 596523.817024

OS Grid: NY849965

Mapcode National: GBR D7TL.39

Mapcode Global: WHB0R.LZ5G

Entry Name: Bagraw Roman camp and section of Roman road, 463m NNW of Bagraw

Scheduled Date: 3 February 1961

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006506

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 320

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Rochester

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Horsley with Byrness

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes the remains of a Roman temporary camp and section of Dere Street, situated on a long narrow ridge oriented north west to south east overlooking the River Rede to the west, and naturally defended on its east side by the steep slope descending down into Bagraw Burn. The camp is situated equidistant between the Roman forts of Blakehope and High Rochester. Local topography has dictated that this camp is of unusual form comprising two separate enclosures set end to end to form a narrow irregular rectangle. Both enclosures are of similar size and shape being c. 3.5ha. in area and both are surrounded by a rampart and outer ditch, visible as earthworks. The maximum height of the rampart is approximately 1.1m to 1.4m externally and the maximum depth of the ditch is 0.7m. The more northerly enclosure has entrances through its eastern and southern sides, that in the latter being 6.5m wide and providing access between the two enclosures. A section of Roman road some 5m to the west of the Roman camp is visible as a slight earthwork.

PastScape Monument No:- 17356
NMR:- NY89NW20
Northumberland HER:- 8104

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.

Bagraw Roman camp is reasonably well-preserved and contains significant archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. It is one of a group of similar camps constructed along the Roman Road Dere Street, one of the principal routes northwards, and provides insight into Roman military strategy in the area to the north of Hadrian's Wall. Taken together with other Roman monuments in the area it will contribute to our understanding of the Roman military occupation of North Britain.

Source: Historic England

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