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Historic England Research Records

Brampton Old Church Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 12784
Location :
Grid Ref : NY5100061460
Summary : The site of a Roman Fort at Brampton Old Church. The are slight earthwork remains of the fort, which was one of the Trajanic Stanegate forts. It was carefully demolished, presumably after the construction of Hadrian's Wall.
More information : (NY 51006146) Roman Fort (GS) (Site of) (1)

Investigation, including some excavation, in 1935 established the existence of a Trajanic fort (see plan) measuring over the ramparts 410' N-S and 396' E-W. The single rampart was 16' wide and the ditch 13' wide by 5' deep. The northern part of the fort lies within the old churchyard and could not be excavated, but the south gate was marked by a 24' gap in the rampart foundation and a 14' roadway. Carefully sealed postholes indicated that the fort had been deliberately dismantled. Foundations found indicated the sites of the principia, two granaries, a barrack block and an unspecified building, possibly part of the commandant's house or a workshop.

A Republican denarius of 88 BC had previously been found in the churchyard. Coarse pottery found during the excavations was "strikingly like that obtained at Haltwhistle Burn and Throp" and it may be supposed that this fort belongs to the same series and was systematically demolished when the Wall and the fort of Aesica were built further north. The recovery of this, the first plan of a large Stanegate fort, gives the first hint that the Trajanic arrangement of the Stanegate was a series of alternate large and small forts.

At the foot of the cliff edge to the north-west of the fort is a large tilted mass of apparently Roman concrete. No certain explanation of its original purpose can be offered, but it may have underpinned a building at the edge of the cliff, possibly a watch-tower or shrine. (2)

The Roman fort at Old Church, Brampton is connected with the Stanegate, which runs in the flats to the North, by a road descending in a steep cutting to an embankment across the old river bed at Crooked Holme (For survey see OS 495). (3)

No intelligible remains of the fort survive on the ground. The NE angle, however, can be traced in the churchyard as a well-spread scarp, and parts of the west and south sides, including the angle, are represented by a field boundary, with a small outward-facing scarp, part of which may be original. Surveyed at 1:2500. Remains of the access road from the Stanegate to the fort survive in the form of a deep cutting, and a small section of raised track is visible to the NE of Old Church. (4)

NY 510615. Brampton Old Church. Erosion and soil-slip at the north-west corner of the fort has revealed the rampart core and cobble base. (5)

NY 510615. Old Church Roman fort, scheduled. (6)

Old Church Brampton Roman fort is rarely responsive to aerial photography, probably due to its having been deliberately dismantled and the slight nature of any surviving earthworks. The very slight scarp of the south western corner which has been adopted as a field boundary is partially obscured by trees on the available aerial photographs. (8-9)

Located on the English Heritage map of Hadrian's Wall 2010. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1957
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details : (F G Simpson and I A Richmond)
Page(s) : 172-82
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 36, 1936
Source Number : 3
Source : Handbook to the Roman Wall
Source details : Collingwood and Bruce 1965 Handbook to the Roman Wall 12th Edn
Page(s) : 188
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHP 30-NOV-71
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 5
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : (N B Rankov)
Page(s) : 343
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 13, 1982
Source Number : 6
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details : DOE (IAM) Ancient Mons England 1 1978
Page(s) : 15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : EH Scheduling amendment, 01-JUL-1996
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 8
Source : Hadrian's Wall from the air
Source details : Old Church Brampton, NY510615
Page(s) : 58-59
Figs. : 27
Plates : 8
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/71038 151-152 10-APR-1971
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall, 1:25,000 scale
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Late C1st/early C2nd
Monument End Date : 132
Monument Start Date : 67
Monument Type : Fort, Shrine, Watch Tower, Granary, Office, Barracks, House, Workshop
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence, Stratified Find

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 27705
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cumbria)
External Cross Reference Number : 286
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 56 SW 20
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 911991
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 12756
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD CHURCH, BRAMPTON
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1935-01-01
End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 56 SW 20
Start Date : 1971-11-30
End Date : 1971-11-30
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD CHURCH FORT, BRAMPTON
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31