Ancient Monuments

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Roman Camp, 750m SSW of Sills Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rochester, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2911 / 55°17'27"N

Longitude: -2.2766 / 2°16'35"W

OS Eastings: 382530.045899

OS Northings: 599694.670388

OS Grid: NY825996

Mapcode National: GBR D7J8.X3

Mapcode Global: WHB0R.085N

Entry Name: Roman Camp, 750m SSW of Sills Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1960

Last Amended: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017597

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20948

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Rochester

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Horsley with Byrness

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a Roman camp situated on the haugh between Sills Burn to
the east and Dere Street, the Roman road from Corbridge to Newstead in
Scotland. The camp is rectangular in shape with rounded corners and measures a
maximum of 75m east-west by 220m north-south within an earthen bank 3.5m wide
and 1.5m above the bottom of an external ditch 3.5m wide. A substantial part
of the eastern side of the camp has been levelled by ploughing. Gateways are
located in the north and south sides protected by external claviculae, an
extension of the rampart which curves inwards and blocks the direct line of
access into the camp. Roman camps with this form of defensive gateway are
more common in the first century AD and this one is large enough to have been
used on a temporary basis by groups advancing northwards and also by smaller
groups engaged in routine maintenance.
The fence line which clips the south eastern corner of the monument is
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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

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 750m SSW of Sills Farm is part of a large network of Roman military
sites clustered around Bremenium Roman Fort and Dere Street. The camp is well
preserved and is a good example of its type. It will continue to contribute to
our understanding of the Roman conquest and occupation of northern Britain.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Richmond, I A, 'Northumberland County History xv' in The Romans in Redesdale, (1940), 120-122
MCD: Roman Camps,

Source: Historic England

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