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Roman camp 300m west of Upton Grange Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Upton-by-Chester, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.2165 / 53°12'59"N

Longitude: -2.8698 / 2°52'11"W

OS Eastings: 342012.038989

OS Northings: 369177.440835

OS Grid: SJ420691

Mapcode National: GBR 7B.1CF1

Mapcode Global: WH887.WFL0

Entry Name: Roman camp 300m west of Upton Grange Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 September 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014376

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25726

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Upton-by-Chester

Built-Up Area: Chester

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Upton The Holy Ascension

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument includes part of a Roman camp lying in two fields to the west of
Upton Grange Farm. It is divided into two separate areas by Long Lane. The
camp was identified by aerial photographs and the southern part has been
confirmed by an excavation in 1995. The enclosure is rectangular with the
longer sides running north east to south west, and only a third of the
original extent can now be traced. The east side and part of the north side
survive but the monument has been cut and partly destroyed by the
construction of Long Lane passing to the south. The southern side of the
enclosure ditch has been located to the south of the road in the field used
by Plas Newton School and tennis courts have been built over the western
quarter of the camp. The excavation has revealed that the ditch is 3m wide
with a ploughed down bank inside it 6m wide at the base and 0.2m high. The
north west corner is rounded in the characteristic shape of a Roman
earthwork camp. The extent of the northern side still remaining is 50m and
the remaining eastern side is 80m. On the south side of Long Lane the
excavation has revealed the ditch to have a V-cut bottom. The western two
thirds of the camp have been destroyed by house foundations and the service
road to the estate which includes Glastonbury Avenue.
The camp is one of an important group of five found in the fields to the west
and north west of Upton Grange. Their proximity to each other suggests that
they were practice camps erected by troops from the garrison at Chester during
the Roman occupation.
The surface of the tennis courts on the western quarter of the camp are not
included in the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 at Upton is one of an important group of five in the square kilometre
to the west of Upton Grange Farm. Such groupings are rare and they will
provide evidence of the construction and use of camps throughout the British
Isles. Additionally, they will provide information on the activities of troops
based in Chester. This camp remains identifiable in those areas where the road
and the houses to the west have not destroyed it. It will retain information
on its defences, and the interior will contain evidence of any temporary
buildings and pits for latrines and refuse.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wilson-North, R, Enclosure on Upton Heath, (1990)
Collens, J and Philpott, R, (1990)
Matthews, KJ. et al, Upton by Chester County High School 1994, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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