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Historic England Research Records

Ebchester Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 22536
Location :
County Durham
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : NZ1035055500
Summary : The site of Vindomora Roman fort at Ebchester. Excavations have exposed the remains of a Roman fort of two phases dating from AD 69 to AD 117, and from circa AD 150 to the end of the 4th century. The possible site of the vicus is also recorded. Much of the site has been destroyed by modern development. Supposed remains of an early Medieval church are also present.
More information : NZ 1035 5550. VINDOMORA ROMAN FORT (R). (1)

Ebchester Roman fort, about 400 feet square, now almost obliterated
by modern buildings, was described in Gibson's 1722 edition of Camden
as "a Roman station about 200 yards square with large suburbs",
presumably the vicus, the only other evidence of which appears to be
the discovery of Roman coins and walls during a southward extension
of the churchyard prior to 1960 (2). Plan (4). (2-4)

Excavations and sectioning in 1876, 1886, 1936, 1958-59 and 1959 (2),
1962-3 (3), 1964, 1968, and 1972-3 (4) (A, G, B, C, D, E, F, G, H
respectively on plan) have revealed two structural periods in the
rampart and intervallum road, and seven periods of building - four in
timber, three in stone - which, with associated finds, showed
Vindomora to have been a cohort-fort with two distinct phases of
occupation, Flavian to early Hadrianic, followed by a period of
abandonment and reoccupation from the mid-Antonine period to the end
of the 4th century. (5)

Surveyed at 1:2500

Name `VINDOMORA' accepted for 4th edition Roman Britain Map.

The remains of the rampart (all that is now visible of the fort) are
in a very poor condition.

The SE side (in the churchyard) is only just discernible as a slight
rise amongst the graves. Part of the NW corner is still evident along
with the NW side and N corner, mainly as an outer scarp. The
remainder has been destroyed by modern building. There is no trace of
the excavations.

Published Survey (1:2500) Revised. (6)

NZ 104 555. A fragment of a tombstone was discovered when the dairy
on the site of the commandants house was demolished. (7)

Listed as having possible early Medieval ecclesiastical structures.
(8)

Existing survey revised by RCHME during a project on scheduled
monuments in County Durham.

The archaeological history at VINDOMORA (9a) has been summarised by
authorities 2-4 up to and including the excavations of 1972-3 (see
plan), since which time no major excavations have taken
place. Most of the defences have been destroyed by housing and
associated activity; but they are discernible as a much reduced turf
covered bank up to 1.1 m high externally and 0.4 m high internally,
surviving at the west and north corners, and also in the churchyard
to the south-west. The outward facing scarp along the north-west side
is largely natural; its form is accentuated by a path running
parallel to it. The short scarp shown on the OS 25" map of 1963
leading from the east corner of the fort and extending to the north-
west is now obliterated by the construction of a double garage and
its apron and a complex rockery in the back garden. Part of
the apsidal bath house of the commanding officer, uncovered by
excavation in the garden of Mains Farm has been consolidated and left
exposed; the remains survive to a maximum height of 1.05 m. A drain
dug from Mains Farm north-westwards revealed what appeared to be a
continuation of the commanding officer's house. A small museum has
been established in the garden. It has been suggested that a bank
extending from the south-east side of the fort at NZ 1044 5541 SE to
the ravine of Ebchester Burn may be the north-east rampart of an
annexe to the fort occupying the area between the fort and the ravine
(9b). This bank has been severely mutilated by adjacent building
operations, and by the levelling of an adjoining school playing
field. (9)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" Provisional Edition 1967
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Archaeol Aeliana 4th Series 38 1960 193-229 plans, illusts and sub-references (M G Jarrett)
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Source Number : 9b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : A Reed, personal communication
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Source Number :
Source : Ebchester/ink survey
Source details :
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Archaeol Aeliana 42 1964 173-185 plans, illusts (Reed, Harper & Dodds)
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Archaeol Aeliana 5th Series 3 1975 43-104 plans, illusts and sub-references (Maxfield and Reed)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GSRobinson/15-NOV-1976/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 ISSainsbury/31-OCT-1979/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 17 1986 (438)
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Chapman, J C & Mytum, H C, 1983 Settlement in North Britain 1000 BC - 1000 AD BAR Brit Series 118 Oxford BAR (228)
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Keith Blood/20-AUG-1991/RCHME: Durham SAMs Project
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 9a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Rivet, A L F & Smith, C, 1979. Place-Names in Roman Britain (502-3)
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Fort, Bath House, Platform, Vicus
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early Medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Church
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DU 32
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Durham)
External Cross Reference Number : 1911
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 15 NW 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1031137
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER, (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1876-01-01
End Date : 1876-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1886-01-01
End Date : 1886-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER, (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1936-01-01
End Date : 1937-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1958-01-01
End Date : 1959-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER, (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1959-01-01
End Date : 1959-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 15 NW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1959-11-23
End Date : 1959-11-23
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1962-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1969-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, POST OFFICE, EBCHESTER, (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1968-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 15 NW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1979-10-31
End Date : 1979-10-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: DURHAM SAMS PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1991-06-01
End Date : 1991-12-01
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EBCHESTER (VINDOMORA)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MAINS FARM, EBCHESTER
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, VINDOMORA VILLAS, EBCHESTER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31