Ancient Monuments

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Roman camp, 250m north-west of Silloans

A Scheduled Monument in Rochester, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3002 / 55°18'0"N

Longitude: -2.2813 / 2°16'52"W

OS Eastings: 382236.325556

OS Northings: 600708.170939

OS Grid: NT822007

Mapcode National: GBR D7H4.WV

Mapcode Global: WH8ZL.X1TN

Entry Name: Roman camp, 250m north-west of Silloans

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1962

Last Amended: 27 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011391

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20945

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Rochester

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 gentle south-east
facing slope. Dere Street, the Roman road from Corbridge to Newstead in
Scotland, bisects the camp and passes through its northern and southern
gateways. The camp is rectangular in shape with rounded corners and measures a
maximum of 520m north-south by 370m east-west within an earth and stone bank
3.5m wide and 0.5m high. There is an external ditch 4m wide on all sides
although it cannot now be traced for much of the east side. Gateways are
located in each of the four sides although that on the west is not now
visible. The eastern and western gateways are protected externally by a
detached length of rampart and ditch known as a traverse, placed across it at
a distance and blocking the direct line of access into the camp. There are no
features visible on the ground within the camp but traces of occupation will
be preserved beneath ground level. The camp is earlier than Dere Street and
therefore dates from the Roman occupation of Britain in the first century AD.
It is large enough to have been used on a temporary basis by an expeditionary
force to Scotland. The metalled road which bisects the camp from north to
south, the road to Silloans Farm, the tarmac turning area at the northern end
of the camp, the base of the barrier and all fences which are situated within
the area of the camp are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath
all of 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 some damage by later works, the Roman temporary camp at Silloans is
well preserved and is a good example of its type. It is one of the largest and
earliest of a network of camps in Redesdale associated with Dere Street and
the fort of High Rochester and will contribute to our understanding of the
Roman occupation of northern Britain.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Richmond, I A, 'Northumberland County History xv' in The Romans in Redesdale, (1940), 118-125
Richmond, I A, St Joseph, K, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle ser 4 9 1939-41' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle ser 4 9 1939-41, (1941), 110-113

Source: Historic England

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