Ancient Monuments

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South-western section of the Roman Fort of the Classis Britannica, near Albany Place

A Scheduled Monument in Dover, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1241 / 51°7'26"N

Longitude: 1.3117 / 1°18'41"E

OS Eastings: 631831.686681

OS Northings: 141306.617327

OS Grid: TR318413

Mapcode National: GBR X2Z.GFJ

Mapcode Global: VHLHJ.P08L

Entry Name: South-western section of the Roman Fort of the Classis Britannica, near Albany Place

Scheduled Date: 9 March 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012478

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12610

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Dover

Built-Up Area: Dover

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The Classis Britannica (the Roman fleet in Britain) adopted Dover as its major
base on the British Coast for much of the second century A.D., where it
constructed a fort, harbour installations and two lighthouses. A vicus or
civilian settlement developed to the north of the fort. The fort, two-thirds
of which has been excavated, was occupied for three main periods in the second
century, and was subject to rebuilding and repair in each period. Initial
activity in the area of the fort, consisting of an open military settlement
covering 0.5 ha, has been dated to c. A.D. 117. In A.D. 130-140 a fort
covering 1 ha was completed for a garrison of 600-700 men, comprising a stone
defensive wall, ditched on three sides, and a variety of internal buildings.
This was abandoned c. A.D. 154-155.
A second phase of occupation has been dated to A.D. 163-165 to A.D. 180, when
substantial repairs and rebuilding works were carried out to the fort. A
final phase of occupation dating to A.D. 190-200 to c. A.D. 208 also involved
rebuilding works, perhaps to house an even larger garrison.
This monument is sited in the largely unexcavated south-western part of the
fort, where it is considered that the most complete and undisturbed remains of
the fort exist. It is probable that the principia, or headquarters building
of the fort, and further barrack blocks exist here. Trial trenches at Albany
Place were cut in 1980, and revealed a variety of important remains including
burials, occupation deposits and the fort wall and south gate.

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

The Classis Britannica fort at Dover is considered to be one of the most
important in Britain. It is known from excavated remains that it was the main
base of the Roman fleet in the second century A.D. Furthermore, it continued
in use as a military centre over several centuries during which time it
underwent several phases of reconstruction. The importance of the fort is
enhanced by the fact that its use can be directly linked to documented events
of the second century. It is associated with a variety of other monuments,
including the lighthouses, harbour works, bath-house and adjacent vicus.
The preservation within this area is good. Trial excavations in 1980
demonstated that Roman buildings of the second phase of the fort, still stood
to a height of up to 3m. The cellars of the 19th century houses built on the
site have caused only minor damage to underlying archaeological deposits.
Excavations in this area have been very limited, hence this part of the fort
remains largely intact and unexamined.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Philp, B, 'At Dover 1970-1977' in The Excavation of the Roman Forts of the Classis Britannica, (1981)

Source: Historic England

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