Ancient Monuments

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Roman milestone, 180m north west of Spitals

A Scheduled Monument in Temple Sowerby, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.6317 / 54°37'54"N

Longitude: -2.5903 / 2°35'25"W

OS Eastings: 361989.618019

OS Northings: 526443.843807

OS Grid: NY619264

Mapcode National: GBR BGCW.0G

Mapcode Global: WH92K.5VS4

Entry Name: Roman milestone, 180m north west of Spitals

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1962

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007172

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 263

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Temple Sowerby

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kirkby Thore St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the remains of a Roman milestone situated on the north side of the Roman road that crosses the Pennines from Scotch Corner to Brougham. The cylindrical milestone, which stands to a height of about 1.3m, is carved from red sandstone and is thought to stand in its original position. It also stands on the parish boundary between Temple Sowerby and Kirkby Thore.

PastScape Monument No:- 13558
Cumbria HER:- 2801

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Roman milestones were generally stone pillars with Latin inscriptions set up when a road was first constructed or when it was repaired. The inscriptions usually give the distance to the next, named, town. They also give the name of the reigning emperor and the particular year of his reign in which the milestone was erected, thus allowing milestones to be accurately dated. Later emperors were often commemorated by a second inscription added to the existing milestone, or by a milestone set up nearby. Later examples from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD seem to have been erected for propaganda purposes and they usually give only the emperor's name and titles. Although the Roman road network was extensive in England, serving both military and economic needs, and although many survive in museums, milestones in their original locations are comparatively rare, with only around fifty examples recorded. As a rare monument class, all surviving examples will be considered to be of national importance.
Roman milestone, 180m north west of Spitals is rare nationally as it is believed to still stand in its original position. The monument is representative of its period and provides insight into the Roman road system and its importance both militarily and economically. The fact that it also marks a parish boundary is of additional significance, a demonstration of the influence of the Romans on modern administrative boundaries.

Source: Historic England

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