Ancient Monuments

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Roman fort at Wensley

A Scheduled Monument in Wensley, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.299 / 54°17'56"N

Longitude: -1.8768 / 1°52'36"W

OS Eastings: 408116.627249

OS Northings: 489266.207263

OS Grid: SE081892

Mapcode National: GBR HLBQ.HQ

Mapcode Global: WHC6X.46KP

Entry Name: Roman fort at Wensley

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012004

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24561

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Wensley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The fort is situated in meadowland on the north bank of the River Ure, west of
the village of Wensley. It has been identified from aerial photographs,
surviving in the form of below ground features with the ditches and entrances
discernible as crop marks. It measures 130m north west to south east by 100m
north east to south west internally, an area of 1.3ha. The area is enclosed by
two ditches each 4m wide and spaced 6m apart. The north west, south east and
south west sides are clearly discernible on the photographs, also the north
angle and part of the north west side. Three of the gateways are visible as
breaks in the ditches: these consisted of earthern causeways, situated
centrally on all four sides of the fort. The entrances are protected
externally by a traverse, a detached section of rampart and ditch in front of
the entrance, blocking the line of direct access to it.
The plantation wall which clips the southern corner of the monument is
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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 forts served as permanent bases for auxiliary units of the Roman Army.
In outline they were straight sided rectangular enclosures with rounded
corners, defined by a single rampart of turf, puddled clay or earth with one
or more outer ditches. Some forts had separately defended, subsidiary
enclosures or annexes, allowing additional storage space or for the
accommodation of troops and convoys in transit. Although built and used
throughout the Roman period, the majority of forts were constructed between
the mid first and mid second centuries AD. Some were only used for short
periods of time but others were occupied for extended periods on a more or
less permanent basis. In the earlier forts, timber was used for gateways,
towers and breastworks. From the beginning of the second century AD there was
a gradual replacement of timber with stone.
Roman forts are rare nationally and are extremely rare south of the Severn
Trent line. As one of a small group of Roman military monuments, which are
important in representing army strategy and therefore government policy, forts
are of particular significance to our understanding of the period. All Roman
forts with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be nationally

Although no upstanding earthworks survive at this site, the full extent of the
fort is discernible from aerial photographs, with the ditch system surviving
intact. Significant information on the date and internal layout of the site
will be preserved.

Source: Historic England


White, R, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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