Ancient Monuments

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Roman camp on Fox Covert Lane 650m north west of Picton Gorse

A Scheduled Monument in Mickle Trafford and District, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.2251 / 53°13'30"N

Longitude: -2.8632 / 2°51'47"W

OS Eastings: 342465.94604

OS Northings: 370131.748317

OS Grid: SJ424701

Mapcode National: GBR 7C.0T5F

Mapcode Global: WH887.Z6QD

Entry Name: Roman camp on Fox Covert Lane 650m north west of Picton Gorse

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015130

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27597

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Mickle Trafford and District

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Plemstall St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument includes a Roman camp visible as a cropmark on aerial
photographs. These reveal a rectangular enclosure bounded by a ditch and
divided into two separate areas, lying in two fields on either side of Fox
Covert Lane. The camp is one of a group found in the fields to the east of
Chester City and is close to the camps at Upton. They are interpreted as
practice camps built by troops from the Roman garrison at Chester.
The camp measures 170m from north to south and 150m from east to west and is
overlaid by the lane surface running from the north east corner to a point
midway along the southern side which has destroyed the remains at this point.
Each of the remaining corners has the rounded shape of a typical Roman
earthwork camp.
By analogy with other camps the ditch would have had a V-cut about 3m wide
inside of which there would have been a rampart of earth about 6m wide at the
base. The rampart has been spread and the ditch infilled by later ploughing.
The interior will contain traces of temporary buildings and pits for latrines
and rubbish disposal.

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 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 Roman camp on Fox Covert Lane is one of an important and unusual group in
the area. They will provide evidence of the construction and use of camps
elsewhere in the British Isles. Additionally they will provide information on
the activities of the troops based in Chester during the Roman occupation.
This camp survives reasonably well except for the undoubted destruction of
some of the remains by the construction of the lane. The ditch and base of the
rampart will survive under the ploughsoil and the interior will contain
evidence of the temporary buildings and latrine or rubbish pits.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
RCHME, , Upton Heath, (1989)
Collens, J ,

Source: Historic England

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