Ancient Monuments

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Roman camp 200m south west of Knowe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hesket, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.7461 / 54°44'46"N

Longitude: -2.7955 / 2°47'43"W

OS Eastings: 348888.271037

OS Northings: 539310.304489

OS Grid: NY488393

Mapcode National: GBR 8FXK.LF

Mapcode Global: WH80R.1Y2X

Entry Name: Roman camp 200m south west of Knowe Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 November 1961

Last Amended: 7 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007870

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23668

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Hesket

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Plumpton Wall St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is a Roman camp located on flat land overlooking the narrow
valley of the River Petteril to the west. It lies c.850m NNW of Old Penrith
Roman fort (known to the Romans as Voreda) and a short distance west of the A6
trunk road which here follows the line of the Roman road that connected Old
Penrith with the fort at Carlisle (known to the Romans as Luguvallium). The
camp is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs which highlight features
such as infilled ditches. Aerial photographs show the camp perimeter ditch in
its entirety and indicate that the camp measures approximately 180m by 110m
internally. There are four gateways, one situated at the mid point of each
side, each defended by a tutulus - an earthen mound and ditch in front of the
gate constructed to prevent a direct approach and thus hinder an attacking
All drystone walls, post and wire fences, gateposts, telegraph poles and a
watering trough are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath
all these features is included.

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.

Despite the absence of any upstanding earthwork features, the Roman camp 200m
south west of Knowe Farm has been identified on aerial photographs. It is one
of many Roman camps lying adjacent to the main Roman road connecting the Vale
of York with Carlisle. Many of these camps display marked differences in plan,
defensive arrangements, numbers of gateways, size and subsequent troop
disposition. The monument will contribute to any study of Roman military
campaigning in northern England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
St Joseph, J K, 'Journal of Roman Studies' in Air Reconnaissance of North Britain, , Vol. 41, (1951), 54
AP No XPI 2521,29, Cumbria County Council, Roman Camp SW of Knowe Farm, (1984)
AP No. 2521,28, Cumbria County Council, Roman Camp SW of Knowe Farm, (1984)
Carlton, R.J., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Roman Camps, (1988)
SMR No. 2922, Cumbria SMR, Roman Camp SW of Knowe Farm, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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