Ancient Monuments

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Roman fortlet at Ince, 150m north east of Hall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Ince, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.2878 / 53°17'16"N

Longitude: -2.8284 / 2°49'42"W

OS Eastings: 344873.323848

OS Northings: 377081.460857

OS Grid: SJ448770

Mapcode National: GBR 8ZPF.G3

Mapcode Global: WH87W.JMCB

Entry Name: Roman fortlet at Ince, 150m north east of Hall Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014723

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27589

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Ince

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Thornton-le-Moors with Ince and Elton

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument includes a double ditched enclosure to the north of the village
of Ince identified as a Roman fortlet. The enclosure was first discovered by
aerial photographs in 1994 and subsequent excavation has confirmed its form
and established a date in the Roman period.
The enclosure has two rock-cut ditches surrounding the site. These enclose an
area of 0.48ha. Excavation has established that there are postholes for
wooden buildings on the site, and that these buildings were in occupation
during the time of the occupation of the Roman fortress at Chester. The area
enclosed is rectangular with well rounded corners. The interior measures 80m
by 60m, the ditches being 9m apart.
The site commands a wide view of the estuary of the Mersey, being on a
promontory overlooking the former channel of the river which used to flow
beneath the cliffs.
The fortlet is comparative with that near Castleshaw in Greater Manchester.
Its function seems to have been the observation of sea traffic in the estuary.
Buildings shown on the 1:10000 map to overlie the monument no longer exist.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 10 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Roman fortlets are small rectangular enclosures with rounded corners defined
by a fortified rampart of turf and earth with one or more outer ditches. The
ramparts were originally revetted at the front and rear by timber uprights in
shallow trenches and were almost certainly crowned with timber wall walks and
Fortlets were constructed from the first century AD to at least the later
fourth century AD to provide accommodation for a small detachment of troops
generally deployed on a temporary basis of between one to two years and
supplied by a fort in the same area. The function of fortlets varies from
place to place; some were positioned to guard river crossings or roads,
particularly at vulnerable points such as crossroads, whilst others acted as
supply bases for signal towers. Roman fortlets are rare nationally with
approximately 50 examples known in Britain, half of which are located in
Scotland. As such, and as one of a small group of Roman military monuments
which are important in representing army strategy and therefore government
policy, fortlets are of particular significance to our understanding of the
period and all surviving examples are considered nationally important.

The Roman fortlet at Ince is visible as a cropmark in aerial photographs and
excavation has shown that it is well preserved beneath the topsoil. The
interior will have much evidence of the form and function of the monument and
the ditch bottoms will have evidence of the refuse discarded by the original

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Philpott, R, 'Cheshire Past' in Cheshire Past, (1995), 4
Philpott, R, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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