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Three temporary camps at Farnley Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Corbridge, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.9628 / 54°57'45"N

Longitude: -2.0058 / 2°0'20"W

OS Eastings: 399726.599667

OS Northings: 563126.084542

OS Grid: NY997631

Mapcode National: GBR GCF1.KS

Mapcode Global: WHB2F.5J4B

Entry Name: Three temporary camps at Farnley Grange

Scheduled Date: 17 August 1961

Last Amended: 5 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009156

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26000

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Corbridge

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Corbridge with Halton and Newton Hall

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the whole of one Roman temporary camp and the northern
sections of two adjacent camps, located on a river terrace near the south
bank of the Tyne near Farnley Grange. This group of sites lies 2km south east
of the Roman fort at Corbridge.
None of the camps survive as upstanding earthworks but they are clearly
visible on aerial photographs; these have allowed their position and extent
to be confirmed.
Camp 1, the smallest and most westerly in the group, measures about 75m
across and has a main north-south axis. Approximately half of the camp has
been identified. However, its southern extent is obscured by the modern road
(A695) and Farnley Grange.
The central camp, 2, is about 100m across and also has a main north-south
axis. About two thirds of its interior has been identified, but again its
southern extent has been obscured.
The largest of the camps, 3, lies to the east of camps 1 and 2 and its full
extent has been identified. It measures about 160m WSW to ENE by 120m. Unlike
the two adjacent sites, its main axis lies east-west. Breaks in the enclosing
defences visible on the aerial photographs are identified as gateways.
The three camps lie very close to Dere Street, the principal Roman road
between York and Scotland. The differing orientations of the camps reflect
their subtle placing to exploit minor topographical features.
The field boundaries which encroach onto the temporary camps are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath the boundaries is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Although the Farnley camps do not survive as upstanding earthworks they remain
clearly visible on aerial photographs and will retain significant information
about their original form and date. Additionally, they lie close to Dere
Street Roman road, the main road between York and Scotland, and will therefore
contribute to an understanding of the Roman military conquest of the north.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
St Joseph, J K, 'Journal of Roman Studies' in Air Reconnaissance of North Britain, (1951), 53
St Joseph, J K, 'Journal of Roman Studies' in Air Reconnaissance of North Britain, (1951), 53

Source: Historic England

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