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Historic England Research Records

Carrawburgh Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 16704
Location :
Northumberland
Simonburn, Newbrough
Grid Ref : NY8591071170
Summary : The site of Carrawburgh (BROCOLITIA) Roman Fort. Substantial earthwork remains of the fort are attached to Hadrian's Wall. The defences, enclosing an area of 1.4 hectares, had consisted of a stone wall backed by an earthen rampart, but the site has suffered badly from robbing and former cultivation, and it now survives mainly as a turf-covered scarp or as a bank, up to 0.5 metres high internally. Short stretches of the outer wall face can be seen towards the south end of the west side, exposed for not more than one course; masonry is visible in the south guardchamber of the west gate and in the interval tower between the west gate and the south-west angle, both having been excavated. The north rampart lies beneath the modern road. Outside the wall was a berm, about 4 metres wide, still visible for most of the periphery as a terrace 2 metres below the crest of the rampart. Beyond this there were two, possibly three ditches, but the double ditches only survive in the south-west. The fort interior has been disturbed by stone-robbers, farmers and early excavators, and most of the low turf-covered scarps now remaining form no coherent pattern. The fort is in private hands but open to the public.
More information : [NY 8591 7117] Brocolitia. (1)

The fort measures approximately 450 ft. N-S by 350 ft. E-W may have been built as late as circa. A.D. 130-132. Little excavation has taken place but in 1934 it was found that the Vallum, clearly underlay the fort and had been filled in to make way for the fort's construction. In June 1875, a hoard of 66 denarii, ranging from Mark Antony to Geta, was found under a large boulder in the centre of the fort. (2-3)

The remains of the fort are still well defined, but extensively mutilated by stone robbing around three sides. Fragmentary remains of internal structures are exposed in places around the ramparts, and a large stone, carrying an embossed phallic symbol, is recumbent within the fort, the ramparts vary in height between 1.0m - 3.2m with the maximum on the W. Re-surveyed at 1:2500. (4)

Trial excavations in 1967 by D.J. Breeze for Durham Univ. Excavation Committee detected not less than three building periods, but provided little dating evidence, although occupation continued until after A.D. 367. (5)

Further work on the South and West sides of the Principia was undertaken in 1969 (see plan). Period II is dated by pottery to c.A.D. 200; subsequent alterations to rooms VI-VIII are undated but are likely to be due to subsidence over the Vallum ditch rather than to any form of enemy action. The hypocaust inferred in room II seems not to have been completed and examination of the front of the South Gate (porta decumana) of the fort found borth portals blocked with reused masonry. (6)

The archaeological history of the fort, identified as Brocolitia (7), has been summarised by Birley up to 1961 (2) and by Daniels to 1978 (8). There was a major excavation programme between 1967 and 1969 (9). In August 1984 RCHME Newcastle produced an analytical 1:1000 plan of the fort and the surrounding area, together with a full account of the remains; these are held in the NMR. The defences, enclosing an area of 1.4 hectares, had consisted of a stone wall backed by an earthen rampart, but the site has suffered badly from robbing and former cultivation, and it now survives mainly as a turf-covered scarp or as a bank, up to 0.5m high internally. Short stretches of the outer wall face can be seen towards the S end of the W side, exposed for not more than one course; masonry is visible in the S guardchamber of the W gate and in the interval tower between the W gate and the SW angle, both having been excavated. The N rampart lies beneath the modern road. Outside the wall was a berm, about 4m wide, still visible for most of the periphery as a terrace 2m below the crest of the rampart. Beyond this there were two, possibly three ditches, but the double ditches only survive in the SW. The fort interior has been disturbed by stone-robbers, farmers and early excavators, and most of the low turf-covered scarps now remaining form no coherent pattern. The fort is in private hands but open to the public (10). Full summary of the extent and state of preservation of the remains (11). (7-11)

Scheduled (12)

The Roman fort of Brocolitia was seen as an earthwork and mapped from air photographs. The remains are as descibed by previous authorities. (13)

Located on the English Heritage map of Hadrian's Wall 2010. (14)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ordnance Survey Map of Hadrian's Wall 1964
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Source Number : 2
Source : Research on Hadrian's Wall
Source details :
Page(s) : 175-8
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Source Number : 11
Source : Carrawburgh Roman Fort and its environs : a survey of the extent and state of preservation of the archaeological remains
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Source Number : 12
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 14-Jul-97
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Source Number : 13
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR NY8571/48 (TMG 13889/81) 16-May-1992
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Source Number : 14
Source : An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall, 1:25,000 scale
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Source : Carrawburgh/ink survey
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Source Number : 3
Source : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
Source details : (R Blair)
Page(s) : 161-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 10, 1901-2
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ECW 10-JAN-1966
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Source Number : 5
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 179
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 58, 1968
Source Number : 6
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 276
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Vol(s) : 1, 1970
Source Number : 7
Source : The place-names of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 284-5
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Source Number : 8
Source : Handbook to the Roman Wall with the Cumbrian coast and outpost forts
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Source Number : 9
Source : Excavations at the Roman fort of Carrawburgh, 1967-1969
Source details :
Page(s) : 81-144
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Vol(s) : 50
Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Iain Sainsbury/10-AUG-1984/RCHME: Carrawburgh Survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ND 28(21)
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Hadrian's Wall Project Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 8571/17
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 26054
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 87 SE 10
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1013365
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1013363
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1013364
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1013365
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1013368
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1013362
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1013363
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1013364
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1007907
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CARRAWBURGH (BROCOLITIA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1871-01-01
End Date : 1871-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CARRAWBURGH (CENTRAL AREA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1874-01-01
End Date : 1875-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CARRAWBURGH (BROCOLITIA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1896-01-01
End Date : 1897-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CARRAWBURGH (BROCOLITIA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1934-01-01
End Date : 1934-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CARRAWBURGH (NW CORNER)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1934-01-01
End Date : 1934-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CARRAWBURGH (SE OF MITHRAEUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 87 SE 10
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-01-10
End Date : 1966-01-10
Associated Activities : Primary, CARRAWBURGH (BROCOLITIA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1969-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: CARRAWBURGH SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: HADRIAN'S WALL PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1993-08-01
Associated Activities : Primary, CARRAWBURGH (SE OF THE FORT)
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: HADRIAN'S WALL WHS MAPPING PROJECT, NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31