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Historic England Research Records

Chesters Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 19110
Location :
Northumberland
Humshaugh
Grid Ref : NY9115070150
Summary : The site of Chester's Roman fort. It was originally known as 'CILURNUM', is situated on the west bank of the River North Tyne, and survives as earthworks and consolidated masonry. It replaced Turret 27A and was built to guard the bridge that carried Hadrian's Wall and the Military Way over the river. Evidence has shown that the fort was constructed after, and overlies, the Wall. It encloses an area of about 2.1 hectares. There is a well-preserved fort platform with much visible masonry resulting from numerous excavations on the site, dating from as early as 1796. The exposed parts of the fort wall indicate that it was laid out as a true rectangle measuring 122 metres by 173.5 metres internally. The upstanding masonry is best preserved in the south east corner where it survives to a height of 1.9 metres. Visible remains of the interior include the headquarters building, commandant's house, barrack blocks and fort gates. There are traces of a later building overlying the main west gate. The fort, like the vicus, is overlain by ridge-and-furrow cultivation. In the vicinity of the fort are other associated remains; possible cemeteries, an alleged Roman well, and a bath house. The extensive remains of the vicus are located to the south of the fort and have been identified through aerial photographs. The bath house to the east of the fort includes remains of the paved floor, hypocaust, various hot and cold rooms and an overflow drain. In the 1880s, the remains of 33 human skeletons, two horses and a dog were found within the vicinity of the bath house. Monumental masonry found by the river suggests that this was the location of the cemetery. A Roman road runs from the south gateway of the fort to the Stanegate road.
More information : (NY 9117 7016) CILVRNVM ROMAN FORT (G.S.C.) (1)

Ministry of Works pamphlet "Chesters Roman Fort". (2)

Published survey (25") revised. (3)

The south-west part of the Commandant's house was excavated by R P Harper in 1960, where evidence was found of three main building periods. (4)

Name 'CILVRNVM' accepted for 3rd edition R.B.Map. (5)

Centred at NY 9115 7015, are the earthwork remains of Chesters Roman fort. Chesters fort, which replaced Turret 27A, is situated on the W bank of the North Tyne at 70m OD. There is a well-preserved fort platform with much visible masonry resulting from numerous excavations, starting in 1843. The exposed parts of the fort wall indicate that the fort was laid out as a true rectangle measuring 122m by 173.5m internally. Exposed structures include the headquarters building, commandant's house, barrack blocks and fort gates. There are traces of a later building overlying the main W gate. The fort, like the vicus, is overlain by ridge-and-furrow cultivation. In the vicinity of the fort are other remains; possible cemeteries (NY 915 700 and NY 911 699), a well, supposed to be Roman (NY 9095 7015) and a bath house (NY 9129 7008). The fort and its environs were surveyed at 1:1000 by RCHME Newcastle June 1992 - January 1993. The report accompanying this survey provides a detailed account and includes a full bibliography. (6)

In June 1992 a resistivity survey of the fort interior was undertaken. (7)

A detailed account of the historical sources and a consideration of the extent of archaeological deposits on the site was prepared for English Heritage in 1993. (8)

Chesters Roman fort is visible as earthworks, cropmarks, structures and demolished buildings, with associated roads visible as cropmarks on air photographs centred at NY 9115 7015. The fort is as described by authority 6. In addition fragments of internal roads and buildings are visible as parchmarks. Sections of the fort walls are also revealed by parching.
(9-10)

Chester's Roman fort was built to guard the bridge that carried Hadrian's Wall and the Military Way over the river. Evidence has shown that the fort was constructed after, and overlies, the Wall. It encloses an area of about 2.1 hectares. The upstanding masonry is best preserved in the south east corner where it survives to a height of 1.9 metres. Visible remains of the interior include the headquarters building, commandant's house, barrack blocks and fort gates. The extensive remains of the vicus are located to the south of the fort and have been identified through aerial photographs. The bath house to the east of the fort includes remains of the paved floor, hypocaust, various hot and cold rooms and an overflow drain. In the 1880's, the remains of 33 human skeletons, two horses and a dog were found within the vicinity of the bath house. Monumental masonry found by the river suggests that this was the location of the cemetery. A Roman road runs from the south gateway of the fort to the Stanegate road. Scheduled. (11)

Chesters Fort was built to guard the Roman bridge which carried Hadrian's Wall and the military road over the River North Tyne. It was one of a series of permanent troop bases added during the construction of the Wall. Occupied for nearly three centuries, its six-acre area housed a cavalry regiment of around 500 men: in the 3rd century its garrison was a unit from Asturias in northern Spain. (12)

Located on the English Heritage map of Hadrian's Wall 2010. (13)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:2500 1964
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Birley E 1959 Chesters Roman Fort Ministry of Works guidebook
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Source Number : 11
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 14-Jul-97
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Source Number : 12
Source : English Heritage Members' and Visitors' handbook 2008/9
Source details :
Page(s) : 241
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Source Number : 13
Source : An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall, 1:25,000 scale
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Source : Chesters Fort
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Source : Chesters Fort, barrack rooms and commander's house/pencil survey
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Source : Chesters Fort/ink survey
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Source : Chesters Fort, west vicus area/pencil survey
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Source : Durham SAMs
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Source : Chesters Fort, vicus/AP report
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Source : Chesters Fort, east vicus area/pencil survey
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DS 14-OCT-1967
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Source : Chesters Fort, vicus/ink AP transcription
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Source : Hadrian's Wall/notebook
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Source : Chesters Fort/geophysical survey
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Source Number : 4
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : (Harper RP)
Page(s) : 321-6
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Vol(s) : 39, 1961
Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ordnance Survey Roman Britain Map, 3rd edition.
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Mark Bowden/22-JAN-1992/RCHME: Chesters Roman Fort Survey
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Cole, M, 1992. Chesters Roman Fort Resistivity Survey. English Heritage Ancient Monuments Laboratory
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Source Number : 8
Source : The Roman fort of Chesters and its environs
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Source Number : 9
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : CUCAP (DI 87) 06-Jul-1949
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Source Number : 10
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR NMR NY9170/109-114 (NMR 17688/21-26) 13-Mar-2002
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman remains
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 122
Monument Type : Fort, Road, Vicus
Evidence : Earthwork, Demolished Building, Structure, Cropmark

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 4112/18
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 75
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ND 28(17)
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Northumberland)
External Cross Reference Number : 3522
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Hadrian's Wall Project Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 9170/14
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 26051
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 97 SW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1012587
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1028646
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 19236
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 19237
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1012584
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1012585
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1012587
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1012588
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1012583
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 19107
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1012586
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1796-01-01
End Date : 1796-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1843-01-01
End Date : 1889-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM), EAST GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1867-01-01
End Date : 1867-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1900-01-01
End Date : 1900-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1921-01-01
End Date : 1921-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1924-01-01
End Date : 1924-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS BATH-HOUSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1930-01-01
End Date : 1930-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1938-01-01
End Date : 1938-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS, TURRET 27A
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1945-01-01
End Date : 1945-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1958-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 97 SW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1967-10-14
End Date : 1967-10-14
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, CHESTERS (CILURNUM)
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: CHESTERS ROMAN FORT SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-05-27
End Date : 1993-01-22
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
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS ROMAN FORT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND NORTH OF CHESTERS ROMAN FORT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS ROMAN FORT
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTERS FORT BATH-HOUSE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31