HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Result
Yorkshire Dales National Park AuthorityPrintable version | About Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority | Visit Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority online...

Bainbridge Roman Fort

View this record at the Archaeology Data Service

Description:Roman fort at Bainbridge. Excavated by Droop for Leeds University in 1928-29 and 1931. (1) Excavated by Wade in 1950-1953. (2-3) Excavated by B R Hartley from 1956-69. (4) Founded as a timber-built fort by Agricola (c.80 AD), and converted to stone during the Antonine-Severan period (139-211 AD). It continued in use until burnt down, presumably in AD 367-8. Later phases of internal buildings indicate industrial activity here in the late C4th. Below the fort and to the east were "many traces of houses" indicating a possible vicus here. (5) The fort, which is generally in poor condition, is situated on the summit of a natural ridge at a height of approximately 800 feet OD. It is surrounded by a ditch with outer ramparts to the north and west. The east and south gates are clearly visible but the north and west are ill-defined. Disturbed, hummocky ground to the east contains a fragment of walling and traces of scarping but no distant remains of the vicus or annex reported by Droop are visible. Sloping ground to the north of the fort contains a number of terrace-ways probably for comparatively recent cultivation. The area within the fort shows signs of excavation but apart from fragments of walling no coherent remains are visible. Outside the western rampart is a small circular enclosure 4.0m in diameter formed by a turf covered bank 0.2m high; its purpose is obscure. Re-surveyed at 1:2500. (6) The name of 'VIROSIDVM'? was accepted for the 4th edition of the Romano-British Map. (7) Bainbridge Roman fort was previously believed to be an Agricolan foundation. It is now thought, on the basis of pottery dating, to have been constructed in the later Flavian period. If this was so, an Agricolan fort may have existed nearby. (8) The fort is a slight parallelogram enclosing 2.63 acres (1.06ha). A photograph by St Joseph of the site shows the via principalis, the outlines of internal buildings and the defences which include an elaborate ditch system barring access to the fort from the west. A fortified enclosure is also visible attached to the east end of the fort, which encloses buildings including a possible bath-house. This enclosure was first built in the Severan period and must be the bracchium caementicium ('stone-built outwork') referred to in an inscription of 205-8 A.D. (9) Scheduled as Roman Camp, Bracchium. (10-11) Bainbridge Roman Fort and Annexe (VIROSIDUM). The fort and its annexe at Bainbridge were surveyed at 1:500 between February and April 1994 by RCHME, Newcastle office. The fort was first excavated by Kirk and Collingwood in 1925-6, then by Droop for Liverpool University in 1928-29 and 1931. Under lease to Leeds University, further excavations were directed by Wade in 1950-53 and by Hartley annually from 1956 to 1969. Almost no stonework is visible within the fort, although the fort platform survives to a maximum height of 3.90m. A single ditch surrounds the north, east and south sides, while on the west side there are the intermittent remains of five ditches. The scarps in the interior of the fort are likely to be almost exclusively the result of C20th excavations. The fort annexe is not as well preserved as the fort itself, but is still clearly visible. It is of slightly irregular shape and measures 99m north to south by 73m east to west at its greatest, between the crests of the ramparts. Traces of a single ditch survive on the east side, where there is also probably a single entrance. The interior is marked by low amorphous scarps. The circular enclosure noted by Source 8 is probably the remains of a post-medieval sheep shelter. The cultivation terraces described by the same Source have been recorded as a separate monument, SD 99 SW 247. The western ditches of the fort are overlain by two probable medieval pillow mounds, SD 99 SW 246. A full archive report has been prepared for the survey. (12) Revised scheduling. (13) MORPH reference. (14) Analysis of the faunal remains from excavations at the site in the 1960's and 1970's. (15) The metal working debris was examined, and concluded that iron smithing, assaying for precious metals and casting copper alloy were all taking place in the central area of the fort during the C4th AD. (16)
County:North Yorkshire
Grid reference:SD937901
Map reference: [ EPSG:27700 ] 393738, 490143
Periods:43 - 409
43 - 409
43 - 409
43 - 409
69 - 409
69 - 409
1066 - 1540
43 - 409
Identifiers:[ ADS ] Depositor ID - MYD4272
[ ADS ] Associated ID - Scheduled Monument 28407
[ ADS ] Associated ID - National Monuments Record SD 99 SW 1
[ ADS ] Associated ID - Monarch UID 47329

People Involved:

  • [ Publisher ] Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • [ Publisher ] Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • [ Publisher ] Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • [ Publisher ] Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • [ Publisher ] Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • [ Publisher ] Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Bibliographic References:

  • Ordnance Survey (1978) Roman Britain Map
  • Society for Promotion of Roman Studies (nd) The journal of Roman studies Chron. Designation - vol 1 (1911) - vol 79 (1989), (W V Wade) Vol. Nos. - 44, 1954 Page Nos. - 89-90
  • Society for Promotion of Roman Studies (nd) The journal of Roman studies Chron. Designation - vol 1 (1911) - vol 79 (1989), (B R Hartley) Vol. Nos. - 59, 1969 Page Nos. - 207
  • RCHME (1994) Bainbridge Roman Fort Survey
  • RCHME (1989-92) Yorkshire Dales Project
  • Ordnance Survey (nd) OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator's Comment, B.H. Pritchard, 02/03/1976
  • Frere, S.S. & St Joseph, J.K.S. (1983) Roman Britain from the Air, Pgs.113-115
  • English Heritage (nd) Scheduling Notifications, 02-DEC-1998
  • Caroline Middleton (2006) Supplying and Preparing Food to the Military: What was happening at Bainbridge Fort?
  • Carlotta Gardner (2009) The Roman Fort at Brough, Bainbridge: The Examination of Metal Working Debris
  • by Department of the Environment, Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings (1978) List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume, Vol. Nos. - 1 Page Nos. - 60
  • by Michael J Jones (1975) Roman fort-defences to A.D. 117, with special reference to Britain Numbering in Serial - 21, Vol. Nos. - 21 Page Nos. - 128
  • by A L F Rivet and Colin Smith (1979) The place-names of Roman Britain, Page Nos. - 506-7