Ancient Monuments

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Roman temporary camp at Dargues

A Scheduled Monument in Rochester, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2379 / 55°14'16"N

Longitude: -2.2219 / 2°13'18"W

OS Eastings: 385983.77454

OS Northings: 593764.433187

OS Grid: NY859937

Mapcode National: GBR D7XW.R5

Mapcode Global: WHB0Y.VL3X

Entry Name: Roman temporary camp at Dargues

Scheduled Date: 17 July 1961

Last Amended: 1 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009376

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25091

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Rochester

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Otterburn St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a Roman camp situated on a gently sloping
plateau immediately to the west of Dere Street, the Roman road from Corbridge
to Newstead in Scotland. The camp, a regular rectangle with rounded corners,
is orientated north east to south west and has maximum dimensions of 300m by
194m within an earthen bank and an external ditch. The rampart is on average
3m wide and ranges from 0.1m to 0.6m high on the northern side where it is
best preserved. The ditch, 2m-3m wide is a maximum of 0.4m deep but in many
places it has become silted and is traceable only as a slight groove. There
are four opposing gateways into the camp, one in each side. They are each
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
and expose attackers. The claviculae are 0.2m to 0.5m high. 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 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 at Dargues is very well preserved and is a 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, The Victoria History of the County of Northumberland: Volume XV, (1940), 118-20
forthcoming, RCAME, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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