Ancient Monuments

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Roman camp at Upton, 400m east of the water tower north of Long Lane

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

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Latitude: 53.2199 / 53°13'11"N

Longitude: -2.8686 / 2°52'7"W

OS Eastings: 342096.599383

OS Northings: 369560.855526

OS Grid: SJ420695

Mapcode National: GBR 7B.15PN

Mapcode Global: WH887.XB4C

Entry Name: Roman camp at Upton, 400m east of the water tower north of Long Lane

Scheduled Date: 2 September 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015608

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25723

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 a Roman camp lying in two fields to the west of the lane
from Acres Lane to Upton Grange. The camp was first identified from an aerial
photograph taken in 1989 and confirmed in 1990. It is one of an important
group of five camps in the square kilometre to the west of Upton Grange.
The camp is rectangular in shape with rounded corners and measures 100m by
120m internally, with the longer sides running north to south. The area
enclosed by the camp is 1.2ha. In the southern half the camp is bisected by a
hedge boundary with a pond separating the two fields.
The camp is of medium size in the range of Roman earthwork camps and has
typical rounded corners in the shape of a playing card. The single outside
ditch will have a V-shaped cut and a rampart of earth and turf inside. The
camps were probably practice camps for the Roman troops stationed in the
fortress at Chester.

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 at Upton Grange survives in its complete circuit as a well
defined cropmark visible on aerial photographs taken in 1989 and 1990. This is
one of a group of five practice camps connected with the military occupation
of the fortress at Chester. This camp will retain evidence of its construction
and the interior will contain traces of temporary buildings and pits for
latrines or refuse.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Higham, N, A Cropmark at Upton Grange near Chester, (1986)
Ainsworth, S, 'Journal of the Chester Arch. Soc.' in Two Rectangular Enclosures at Stamford Heath, (1988), 81-85
Ainsworth, S, 'Journal of the Chester Arch. Soc.' in Two Rectangular Enclosures at Stamford Heath, (1988), 81-85
Collens J and Philpott R, Cheshire County Council SMR, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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