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Historic England Research Records

Bowes Moor Roman Signal Station

Hob Uid: 17596
Location :
County Durham
County Durham
Bowes
Grid Ref : NY9298012490
Summary : The earthwork remains of a Roman signalling station. It is located 8 metres to the south of Bowes Moor temporary camp and beside the Roman road. It survives as an enclosure 6 metres by 10 metres and is truncated by the A66. It is believed that the temporary camp and signal station are contempory and pottery recovered from excavations prior to the road widening suggest construction date of 340-350 AD.
More information : [NY 92981249] Earthwork [GT] (1)

"? Roman Signal Station" (2)

"? Roman Signal Station" (3)

On Bowes Moor, 250 yards east of the New Spital, now the Bowes Moor Hotel, and 26 yards to the north of the centre line of the modern highway here superimposed upon the Roman road: a little oblong post set parallel with the road line. This work, as was shown by a trial trench cut in 1933, has a turf rampart 10' thick with a single V-shaped ditch, also 10' wide, with upcast mound outside it. The work measures 60' by 47' over the ramparts and has a narrow entrance, now some 6' wide, in the middle of the long side, nearest the road. The angles are rounded externally but squared internally, like those of a Turf-Wall milecastle. There are no surface indications of internal buildings, as if these had been not of stone but of timber. The outlook is good towards the west, covering the whole pass up to Rey Cross, where the road begins to swing round the shoulder of Beldoo Hill, while the south side of the pass is visible as far as the north-east slopes of Moudy Mea. Towards the east, however, a low spur at Vale House impedes the view toward Bowes, and here another earthwork occurs [See NY 91 SW 6] [Richmond considers the Bowes Moor earthwork and the Vale House spur earthwork [NY 91 SW 6] as Signal Station and Satellite respectively. His illustration (Fig.63) is subscribed "Plan of Signal Stations at Roper Castle and Bowes Moor", and in describing the Vale House spur earthwork he says "a Roman Signalling Station auxiliary to that at Bowes Moor".] (4)

As described by Richmond. The inner rampart is about 0.6m high. The outer rampart is only visible in the N and the E.
Surveyed at 1:10000. (5)

Roman works, of similar plan associated with observation and signalling are now known at Redshaw Burn in Scotland, classified as a fortlet, and Hirfynnydd in Wales, but the areas within the ramparts there are appreciably more, some 20 by 17m and 16 by 16m respectively. The signal-fortlet at Outwards, Ayrshire some 15m square internally, shows that posts of these larger dimensions could contain quite a substantial timber barracks, in this case without a special tower. (6)

No change. (7)

NY 929 125. Earthwork NE of New Spital. Scheduled No. DU 112. (8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1919
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Source Number : 2
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Record 6" (T Wake, 1949)
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Source : Bowes Moor Signal Station/pencil
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Source : Bowes Moor Signal Station/ink
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Source Number : 3
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : Annotated AP F11 (CUC)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Aspects of archaeology in Britain and beyond : essays presented to O G S Crawford
Source details : (Richmond, IA) A Roman Arterial Signalling System in the Stainmore Pass
Page(s) : 299
Figs. : 63
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ISS 26-FEB-1975
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Source Number : 6
Source : Roman frontier studies 1979: papers presented to the 12th International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies
Source details : (Farrar, RAH)
Page(s) : 211-31
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Vol(s) : S71 (i)
Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Peter Topping/29-AUG-1991/RCHME: Durham SAMs Project
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Source Number : 8
Source : County list of Scheduled Monuments : March 1994
Source details : Durham
Page(s) : 10
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Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 19-Mar-99
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Source : Bowes Moor Signal Station/profiles
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 350
Monument Start Date : 340
Monument Type : Signal Station
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 461
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DU 112
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 28596
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 91 SW 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 17609
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1031457
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : BOWES MOOR SIGNAL STATION
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1933-01-01
End Date : 1933-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 91 SW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1975-02-26
End Date : 1975-02-26
Associated Activities : BOWES MOOR SIGNAL STATION (A66 PROJECT)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : RCHME: DURHAM SAMS PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1991-06-01
End Date : 1991-12-01