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Two Roman forts, two Roman camps, vicus, Iron Age enclosure, Bronze Age barrows and Neolithic henge monument west of Newton Kyme

A Scheduled Monument in Newton Kyme cum Toulston, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9002 / 53°54'0"N

Longitude: -1.3076 / 1°18'27"W

OS Eastings: 445590.247338

OS Northings: 445109.806435

OS Grid: SE455451

Mapcode National: GBR MR9B.PN

Mapcode Global: WHDB7.W7HD

Entry Name: Two Roman forts, two Roman camps, vicus, Iron Age enclosure, Bronze Age barrows and Neolithic henge monument west of Newton Kyme

Scheduled Date: 1 August 1961

Last Amended: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017693

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26907

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Newton Kyme cum Toulston

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Newton Kyme St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes two Roman forts and an associated vicus, two Roman
camps, an Iron Age enclosure, Bronze Age barrows and a Neolithic henge
monument. Also included are a cemetery, remains of a regular field system and
trackways whose date is yet to be determined. The monument lies on a raised
river terrace south of the River Wharfe, bounded to the south by the A659 and
to the west by the course of the Rudgate, which is believed to follow the line
of a Roman road. The monument has been identified through aerial photography
and some areas have been partly excavated. Although few upstanding earthworks
or archaeological features are visible at ground level, extensive buried
remains are clearly visible on aerial photographs.
The Roman forts lie in the northern part of the site close to the crossing of
the river. The larger fort is rectangular in shape, measuring 220m east to
west by 300m north to south and extends over an area of about 5ha. This
partly overlies the southern part of a smaller and earlier rectangular fort,
which measures 240m in length from east to west. There are the remains of a
network of roadways, buildings and other features surviving within the forts.
To the south of the larger fort the buried remains of a wide road extend south
for at least 550m. This road formed the focus for the vicus and is flanked on
each side by the remains of a series of buildings, rectangular enclosures,
ditches and trackways extending over an area of 15ha.
One of the Roman camps lies 250m to the west of the forts. Only the north east
corner of the camp and 150m of the north side and 250m of the east sides are
visible on the aerial photographs. The other camp lies in the centre of the
monument and as it is overlain by the forts it can be dated as earlier than
both the forts and the vicus. Only 200m of the south side and 380m of the east
side of this camp are visible on the aerial photographs. Both these camps have
the characteristic shape of a first century AD marching camp, and may
represent the first Roman occupation of the site. Further remains of the Roman
period have been identified; these include a polygonal structure east of the
vicus which has been interpreted as a Roman temple or mausoleum and, in the
area known as the Adaman Graves in the south west corner, two human burials
were found associated with jewelry and pottery of the third and fourth century
AD. In the western edge of the monument lies the Rudgate, a trackway thought
to follow the line of a Roman road which extended from the south, crossed the
Wharfe at St Helen's Ford and joined the main road from York.
Excavations in 1908 and 1956 have shown a sequence of Roman occupation for the
site. The first fort was constructed of earth and timber enclosed by a turf
and clay rampart flanked by two ditches. This fort and its associated vicus
were abandoned by AD 290 and a new fort constructed with stone walls up to 3m
thick, within a ditch 15m wide which remained in use throughout the fourth
century. The forts were part of a network of Roman military installations
throughout the north of England to support the Roman presence. At Newton Kyme
the forts were located to defend the river crossing of an important routeway.
The Iron Age enclosure lies in the north west of the monument. It was partly
excavated in 1979 when a double ditched enclosure about 25m in diameter was
revealed. Within the enclosure human remains and fragments of pottery
were found. The enclosure has been interpreted as forming part of a large and
substantially built defended farmstead occupied before the Roman occupation.
The monument includes the remains of at least four Bronze Age round barrows,
each of which were originally formed of a mound surrounded by a quarry ditch.
One of these barrows, within the southern part of the later fort has been
partly excavated and revealed a mound 7m in diameter which contained two human
burials associated with a food vessel.
The henge monument lies in the eastern part of the monument and consists of
three concentric ditches with a bank lying between the central and innermost
ditch. The outermost ditch has a diameter of 220m and the innermost a diameter
of 100m. There are two opposing entrances to the north and the south of the
henge. There are traces of small circular features lying within the central
area of the henge. The bank is much reduced but is visible as a slight rise at
a field boundary.
Throughout the monument are a range of archaeological remains of uncertain
function and date. To the west of the forts is a cemetery confined within a
ditched enclosure and containing numerous graves orientated east to west. It
is not yet clear whether these are late Roman or medieval in date. Elsewhere
across the monument are pits, ditches and linear features which are
interpreted as field systems of the prehistoric or Roman periods.
St Helen's Cottage, all fences walls and gates and the surface of tracks are
excluded from 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 forts served as permanent bases for auxiliary units of the Roman Army.
In outline they were straight sided rectangular enclosures with rounded
corners, defined by a single rampart of turf, puddled clay or earth with one
or more outer ditches. Some forts had separately defended, subsidiary
enclosures or annexes, allowing additional storage space or for the
accommodation of troops and convoys in transit. Although built and used
throughout the Roman period, the majority of forts were constructed between
the mid first and mid second centuries AD. Some were only used for short
periods of time but others were occupied for extended periods on a more or
less permanent basis. In the earlier forts, timber was used for gateways,
towers and breastworks. From the beginning of the second century AD there was
a gradual replacement of timber with stone.
Roman forts are rare nationally and are extremely rare south of the Severn
Trent line. As one of a small group of Roman military monuments, which are
important in representing army strategy and therefore government policy, forts
are of particular significance to our understanding of the period. All Roman
forts with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be nationally

Roman camps were enclosures constructed and used by the Roman military usually
either as practice camps or when out on campaign, and most were only temporary
bases. At Newton Kyme the camps were probably used initially to defend the
crossing point of the river and also to house the troops whilst the forts were
being constructed. A vicus was a settlement which developed in association
with a Roman military centre. They included domestic dwellings and commercial
premises as well as bath houses and temples and were used by both Roman
soldiers and civilians as well as the native population. Although they
supported their own agricultural systems and economic and industrial
activities they were heavily dependent on the Roman military presence.
The Roman remains at Newton Kyme will preserve important information about the
form and functions of a major Roman military centre and its development
through the Roman period.
Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic
period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval-
shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a
ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the
interior of the monument, which may have contained a number of features
including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits burials or
central mounds. Finds from the ditches provide important evidence for the
chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occoured
within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed.
They are generally situated on low ground, often close to springs and
water-courses. Henges are rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As
one of the few types of identified neolithic structures and in view of their
comparitive rarity all known examples are considered to be of national
Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic to the
Late Bronze Age. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds which
covered single or multiple burials.
Enclosed Iron Age farmsteads are small defended settlements enclosed by an
earthen rampart. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built round
houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may aslo have been kept in
these houses or in enclosed yards nearby. The communities occupying these
sites were probably single family groups.
Although diturbed by agricultural activity, the prehistoric remains at Newton
Kyme will retain significant information about their form and function. The
barrows will preserve evidence of the form and development of burial rituals
and the farmstead will retain evidence of domestic and agricultural practices.
Taken together the prehistoric features at Newton Kyme offer important scope
for understanding the different use of the land for social ritual and domestic
purposes throughout the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Boulwood, Y, Newton Kyme, N Yorks: Roman Fort, Henge Monument and Environs, (1995), 4
Boulwood, Y, Newton Kyme, N Yorks: Roman Fort, Henge Monument and Environs, (1995), 13
Boulwood, Y, Newton Kyme, N Yorks: Roman Fort, Henge Monument and Environs, (1995), 4
Boulwood, Y, Newton Kyme, N Yorks: Roman Fort, Henge Monument and Environs, (1995), 15-17
Boulwood, Y, Newton Kyme, N Yorks: Roman Fort, Henge Monument and Environs, (1995)
Boulwood, Y, Newton Kyme, N Yorks: Roman Fort, Henge Monument and Environs, (1995), 9-11
Boulwood, Y, Newton Kyme, N Yorks: Roman Fort, Henge Monument and Environs, (1995)
Boulwood, Y, Newton Kyme, N Yorks: Roman Fort, Henge Monument and Environs, (1995), 13-14
Harding, A, Lee, G E, 'Henge Monuments and Related Sites in Great Britain' in Henge Monuments and Related Sites in Great Britain, , Vol. BAR 175, (1987), 310
Monaghan, J S, 'The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in A Roman Marching Camp And Native Settlement At Newton Kyme, , Vol. VOL 63, (1991), 51-58
Keith, K and Roberts, I,
Manby T G, The Lowlands and eastern Foothills, 1993,
NY SMR BDE 88,935,91,
NY SMR DMR 980/16, 18-21,
NY SMR DNR 980/16, 18-21,
NY SMR DNR 980/16,18-21,
Robert, I and Keith, K, (1983)
Robert, I and Keith, K, (1993)
Roberts, I and Kieth, K,

Source: Historic England

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