Ancient Monuments

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Roman fort 600m west of Roall Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Kellington, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.7203 / 53°43'13"N

Longitude: -1.1464 / 1°8'47"W

OS Eastings: 456424.465285

OS Northings: 425218.13906

OS Grid: SE564252

Mapcode National: GBR NTFF.L3

Mapcode Global: WHDC3.CRB9

Entry Name: Roman fort 600m west of Roall Hall

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017822

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30128

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Kellington

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kellington St Edmund

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes the buried remains of a Roman fort and associated
features located on a sandstone promontory on the south side of the River Aire
flood plain.
The fort was identified from aerial photographs of crop marks taken in the
summer of 1991 by the Royal Commission for Historical Monuments of England. In
the following winter the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service conducted a
geophysical survey of the monument which revealed further details of the site.
The remains of the fort are believed to be deeply buried, and there are no
upstanding earthworks. The fort is orientated to face the north east and
measures 154m north east to south west and 138m wide externally, 128m by 101m
internally. The remains of the double ditched defences are straight sided in
plan with curved corners. There are central breaks on both the north east and
south western sides for gateways (the porta praetoria and porta decumana
respectively) as well as just north east, and thus forward of the centre line
on the remaining two sides (for the porta principalis sinistra and dextra).
The geophysical survey also identified a number of internal features including
the street (the via principalis) linking the two principal gates, an area in
the southern corner considered to be the fort's workshops as well as a number
of other ditches and pits. Beyond the defences of the fort itself, the survey
identified a number of associated linear features. To the north of the fort,
leading to the north eastern gate, the side ditches of a track were
identified. Either side of this routeway there is a series of paddocks and an
area interpreted as the fort's bath house. To the south east and south west of
the fort there are two concentrations of features identified as associated
settlement remains, those to the south east being bisected by a track leading
to the south eastern gate. Just to the north east of the fort, there is the
line of a former river cliff where the land surface drops away by about 2.5m.
Up to 80m beyond the base of this scarp there is the still water-filled former
course of the River Aire, now surviving as a crescent shaped pond known as Old
Hee. Roman waterfront features associated with the fort are believed to
survive in this area between the abandoned river cliff and former river
A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are all water
hydrants, electricity poles and, all modern fences, although the ground
beneath these features 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

The complete layout of a Roman fort survives at Roall together with a number
of associated outlying features, including the settlement remains. There is no
known Roman road near to the fort and the garrison is believed to have been
supplied via the river. This factor, which is relatively rare, further
enhances the importance of the monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Yarwood, B, Marriott, J, 'Interim Report no.2' in Roall Roman Fort: Lower Aire-Calder Valley Survey, (1992)
2 APs with transcription, RCHME, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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