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Roman camp on Clifton Moor, 275m NNE of Moor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Clifton Without, York

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.9863 / 53°59'10"N

Longitude: -1.0918 / 1°5'30"W

OS Eastings: 459649.036102

OS Northings: 454848.973564

OS Grid: SE596548

Mapcode National: GBR NQTB.FS

Mapcode Global: WHFC3.62BD

Entry Name: Roman camp on Clifton Moor, 275m NNE of Moor Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 May 1963

Last Amended: 6 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019859

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30152

County: York

Civil Parish: Clifton Without

Built-Up Area: York

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Clifton St Philip and St James

Church of England Diocese: York

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the southern part of
a Roman army camp. A second camp, centred about 250m to the east, is the
subject of a separate scheduling. The camp is one of a group of up to eight
camps noted in the area by 18th century antiquarians and lies about 2.5km
north of the site of Eburacum, the Roman legionary fortress at York. The camp
lies on level but low lying ground and, because of their proximity to the
fortress, the group have been interpreted as practice camps for the Roman
army. Originally a rectangular `playing card' shape orientated north west to
south east, the camp was defined by an earthen bank and external `V'-shaped
ditch. Only the southern part of the camp remains identifiable; the north
western half was disturbed and obscured by the construction of the World War
II airfield. The Roman camp has been surveyed by the Royal Commission on the
Historical Monuments of England, and areas to the north of the protected area
have been investigated archaeologically in advance of redevelopment. The known
remaining part of the Roman camp measures approximately 120m south west to
north east and extended at least the same distance to the north west. The
outer scarp of the bank can be seen within the southern field as a slight
break of slope; to the north it has been levelled. Single gates similar to
those of the camp to the east have been identified on all but the north
western side of the camp. If viewed from the centre of the camp, the bank on
the left side of the break forming the gateway is continued inwards to form a
curved bank or clavicula, the end of which lies opposite the end of the bank
on the right hand side. These gates are one of a number of designs employed
by the Roman army to make their camps more defensible in the event of a
surprise attack. Excavations immediately to the north of the protected area,
showed that the `V'-shaped external ditch measuring up to 0.7m deep, together
with number of post holes, survive as archaeological features. These post
holes are considered to be the remains of various temporary structures erected
by Roman soldiers in the interior of the camp.
All fence posts within the constraint area are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 15 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.

Whilst the Roman camp on Clifton Moor, 275m NNE of Moor Farm is barely
identifiable above ground, archaeological investigations immediately to the
north of the area of protection have confirmed that the Roman camp retains
archaeological information that will add to the understanding of such
monuments. The camp's importance is further enhanced by the survival of a
second camp 250m to the east, and by their proximity to the Roman fortress at
York, one of the main centres of Roman Britain. It is also one of only two of
an original group of up to eight camps to survive.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Welfare, H, Swan, V, Roman Camps in England: The Field Evidence, (1995), Indexed
Other
MAP Archaeological Consultancy, Archaeological Excavations at Clifton Moorgate, York, 1994, Typescript report

Source: Historic England

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