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Maiden Castle Roman Fortlet

Hob Uid: 15918
Location :
Cumbria
Eden
Stainmore
Grid Ref : NY8721013140
Summary : The site of a Roman fortlet at Maiden Castle. It survives as earthworks and dates from the first/second century through to the fourth/fifth century.
More information : (NY 8721 1314) Maiden Castle (NAT) Roman Fortlet (R) (Site of) (NAT)
(1)

Ro fort and settlement. Fort about 50 yds x 40 yds, giving an internal area of nearly 1/2 acre. Rampart much robbed and only near NW angle can any facing stones be seen. In 1862 Preby Scarth found some 20' of rampart exposed and noted that the wall was 6' thick, with a rubble core. Rampart completely destroyed at NE angle, while the SW angle has slipped down the hillside. Ditch system uncertain, though there was apparently at least one ditch on the N side. There appears to have been a central gateway in the E and W sides and through these gates and across the fort runs a packhorse track 6'-8' wide, with a secondary track. It is suggested that this occupies the site of the Roman road, which was later diverted round the N side of the fort. There are now no indications of the internal arrangements, though in 1914 Rev T Westgarth found traces of stone buildings. Other find include pottery dating from late 2ndC-4thC and a 4thC coin. About 100 yds to the E are some ruined stone enclosures, mostly about 30' x 20', some of them roughly rectangular, which may be part of a village settlement. (2)

"An inscription, presumably a building stone, was recorded as having been seen (before 1885) not far from the Ro fort of Maiden Castle. It read 'in all probability LEG .... X ..... V', which may be interpreted as LEGX(XV)V". (3)

AP of fortlet. (4)

A fortlet, mainly as described by the RCHM. No ditches survive, but the remains of a substantial wall, 2.0m wide and up to 0.7m high, on all but the south side may represent part of an outer defence system. The suggestion that the through packhorse track occupies the site of the road is probably correct, and it may be that the northern diversion is post-Roman (see RR 82). About four enclosures are recognisable to the immediate south east, constructed of slight earthen banks studded with boulders. The age of these features is uncertain, but from appearances they seem unlikely to constitute part of any vicus. Surveyed at 1:10 000. (5)

The excavation of a native settlement at Maiden Castle, Stainmore (possibly that lying 100yds east of the Roman fortlet) dating from the 2nd century AD was undertaken by T Clare on behalf of the Cumbria County Planning Dept. Excavation of a circular hut was completed without revealing any directly associated material. The remains of a 3rd century rectangular flagged building overlain by a possible 4th century wall were also recovered. This suggests that the settlement was multi-phase as well as being overlain by post-Medieval farm building. The woodland clearance appears to be late-prehistoric/early Roman in date. (6-7)

Description as above with air photograph. (8)

Scheduled under 'Roman Remains'. (9)

Surveyed at 1:500; (roughed-out unpenned drawing (undated) held in NMR archive. (10)

The Roman fortlet of Maiden Castle at NY 8721 1314 was examined in the field by RCHME Newcastle in January 1992 in advance of a proposed publication. The 1:500 plan by Farrar was revised and fair-drawn; this and a full field account are held in the NMR. The fortlet, set on a high shoulder of Beldoo Hill, was defended by a wall, which is now reduced to a massive bank of rubble up to 1.7 m high externally and 1.1 m internally. Beneath the debris, the wall is said to survive to a height of at least five courses in places, but only a single course of facing stones is at present exposed at the W end of the N side. On the N side beyond a narrow berm, is a ditch, now 0.4 m deep; immediately outside of this is a stony bank, 0.5 m high, which can be traced around three sides of the fortlet.
Within the interior, the remains of stone-founded buildings were apparently revealed by excavation in 1914 (11a), but no adequate record of the work has survived. Serious disturbance has been caused by two linear features. The first, crossing the S half of the fortlet consists of a shallow trench, possibly an antiquarian excavation trench or more likely a result of mining prospection; the second, a much deeper incision, marks the line of a graded pack-horse track. (11)

(The enclosures and native settlement are now recorded separately as NY 81 SE 29 and NY 81 SE 30.)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1956
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland
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Page(s) : 215-6
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Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Humphrey Welfare/13-JAN-1992/RCHME: Maiden Castle Survey
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Source Number : 11a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Collingwood, R G, 1927. Maiden Castle in Stainmore in Trans Cumberland Westmorland Antiq Archaeol Soc n ser 27 1927 170-7
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Source : Maiden Castle, Stainmore/pencil 4
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Source : Maiden Castle, Stainmore/ink
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Source : Maiden Castle, Stainmore/report
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Source : Maiden Castle, Stainmore/pencil 1
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : J Roman Studies 52 1962 p193 (R P Wright)
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : St Joseph AP (DO 092 9 7 49)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RWE 13-MAY-75
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : CBA Newsletter and Calendar Mar 1977 p10
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : CBA Newsletter and Calendar Jan 1978 p107
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Source Number : 8
Source : Roman frontier studies 1979: papers presented to the 12th International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 211-231
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Vol(s) : 71
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) Anc Mons in England 1 1978 p17
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Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Unpublished mss notes and plan (Farrar RAH, undated)
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Fortlet
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CU 283
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 81 SE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1031457
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 992867
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 992918
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : MAIDEN CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 81 SE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1975-05-13
End Date : 1975-05-13
Associated Activities : RCHME: MAIDEN CASTLE SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-01-17
End Date : 1992-01-17