Ancient Monuments

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Roman camp, 900m NNE of Featherwood

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3444 / 55°20'39"N

Longitude: -2.285 / 2°17'6"W

OS Eastings: 382019.563391

OS Northings: 605629.327168

OS Grid: NT820056

Mapcode National: GBR D6HN.20

Mapcode Global: WH8Z6.WX2T

Entry Name: Roman camp, 900m NNE of Featherwood

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1962

Last Amended: 15 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008881

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20917

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a Roman temporary camp situated on a spur of land which
shelves gently to the south. It lies immediately east of Dere Street, the
Roman road from Corbridge to Newstead in Scotland. The camp, almost square in
shape with rounded corners, measures a maximum of 396m east to west by 400m
north-south within a substantial rampart 3.8m wide and surviving 1.2m above
the bottom of an external ditch 2.6m wide. The western side of the camp is
markedly convex. There is a gateway 5m wide in each side of the camp; those
in the east and west sides are placed centrally whilst those in the north and
south are offset slightly to the west. Each gateway is protected externally
by a detached length of rampart and ditch, known as a traverse, placed across
it approximately 10m from the entrance and blocking the direct line of access
into the camp. The camp dates from the Roman occupation of Britain in the
first century AD. It is large enough to have been used periodically on a
temporary basis by soldiers advancing northwards and may also have been used
by smaller groups engaged in routine maintenance. The road surface which
crosses the camp from south-west to north-east is excluded from the
scheduling, but the ground beneath it 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.

The Roman temporary camp near Featherwood survives in an excellent state of
preservation and is a good example of its type. It is one of a group of camps
constructed along Dere Street, one of the principal routes northwards, and
greatly contributes to our understanding of the Roman occupation of northern

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Richmond, I A, 'Northumberland County History xv' in The Romans in Redesdale, (1940)
NT 80 NW 04,

Source: Historic England

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