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Roman temporary camp, 350m south-west of Fourlaws

A Scheduled Monument in Corsenside, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.137 / 55°8'13"N

Longitude: -2.1512 / 2°9'4"W

OS Eastings: 390455.743463

OS Northings: 582527.342715

OS Grid: NY904825

Mapcode National: GBR F9F1.2B

Mapcode Global: WHB1K.X4SQ

Entry Name: Roman temporary camp, 350m south-west of Fourlaws

Scheduled Date: 5 June 1961

Last Amended: 25 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007522

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21036

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Corsenside

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Corsenside St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a Roman temporary camp situated on the top of a local
hillock known as Swine Hill. It lies some 82m west of Dere street, the Roman
road from Corbridge to Newstead in Scotland. The camp, the smallest of a group
in the vicinity of Dere Street, is almost square in shape with rounded
corners. It measures a maximum of 165m north-south by 160m east-west within a
broad rampart 3.6m across which survives to a height of 1.2m above the bottom
of an external ditch 2m wide. There are gateways 5m wide in all sides except
in the western side; that on the eastern side facing Dere Street is centrally
placed while those in the north and south sides are situated off centre. Each
gateway is protected by an internal clavicle, an extension of the rampart on
one side of the gateway which swings inside the entrance in order to protect
defenders and expose attackers. The camp dates from the Roman occupation of
Britain in the first century AD and is large enough to have been used
periodically on a temporary basis by soldiers advancing northwards and also by
smaller groups engaged in routine maintainance

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 Roman temporary camp at Fourlaws survives in an excellent state of
preservation and is a very good example of its type; additionally it is one of
a group of camps constructed along Dere Street, one of the principal routes
northwards, and will contribute to our understanding of the Roman occupation
of northern Britain.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Richmond, I A, 'Northumberland County History xv' in The Romans in Redesdale, (1940), 118

Source: Historic England

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