Ancient Monuments

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Roman camp, 1.05km north of Featherwood

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3458 / 55°20'44"N

Longitude: -2.2957 / 2°17'44"W

OS Eastings: 381342.120674

OS Northings: 605794.273201

OS Grid: NT813057

Mapcode National: GBR D6DM.SH

Mapcode Global: WH8Z6.PWZP

Entry Name: Roman camp, 1.05km north of Featherwood

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1962

Last Amended: 15 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008882

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20918

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Horsley with Byrness

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a Roman temporary camp situated on a gently sloping
south-facing slope. It lies immediately west of Dere Street, the Roman road
from Corbridge to Newstead in Scotland. The camp is irregular in shape, being
almost trapezoidal in plan with the usual rounded corners. It has maximum
dimensions of 488m north-south by 366m east to west within a substantial
rampart 7m wide in places and up to 0.8m in height. Outside the rampart there
is an intermittent ditch, a maximum of 4m across and varying between 0.2 and
0.5m deep. There are five gateways into the camp, one in each side and an
additional one in the western side. The gateways on the western side of the
camp are protected by detached lengths of rampart and ditch known as
traverses, placed across them at a distance of 10m from the entrance and
blocking the direct lines of access into the camp. There are also traces of a
traverse on the northern side but those which would have existed on the other
gateways have been levelled. 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 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 north of 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 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)

Source: Historic England

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