Ancient Monuments

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Roman camp, 400m SSW of Sills Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rochester, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2942 / 55°17'39"N

Longitude: -2.2767 / 2°16'36"W

OS Eastings: 382523.824681

OS Northings: 600047.492391

OS Grid: NT825000

Mapcode National: GBR D7J6.WZ

Mapcode Global: WHB0R.0636

Entry Name: Roman camp, 400m SSW of Sills Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1960

Last Amended: 13 August 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011393

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20947

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 camp situated on a gentle south-east facing
slope above the steep banks of the Sills Burn to the east and alongside Dere
Street, the Roman road from Corbridge to Newstead in Scotland. The camp is
rectangular in shape with rounded corners and measures a maximum of 150m east-
west by 130m north-south within an earthen bank 3.5m wide which stands 1.5m
high above the bottom of an external ditch 3.5m wide. The eastern side of the
camp has been levelled by ploughing. Gateways are located in each of the
remaining three sides and all are protected by internal claviculae, an
extension of the rampart which curves inwards and blocks the direct line of
access into the camp. Roman camps with this form of defensive gateway are more
common in the first century AD and this one is large enough to have been used
on a temporary basis by groups advancing northwards and also 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 camp 400m SSW of Sills Farm is part of a large network of Roman military
sites clustered around Bremenium Roman Fort and Dere Street. The camp is well
preserved and is a good example of its type. It will contribute to our
understanding of the Roman conquest and occupation of northern Britain.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Richmond, I A, 'Northumberland County History xv' in The Romans in Redesdale, (1940), 120-122
MCD: Roman Camps,

Source: Historic England

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