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Historic England Research Records

Ravenscar Roman Signal Station

Hob Uid: 29588
Location :
North Yorkshire
Scarborough
Staintondale
Grid Ref : NZ9809001810
Summary : The site of a Roman signal station at Ravenscar. A late 4th century dedication slab was found in 1774 recording the construction of a fort and tower; however the ruins it was found with may have been the remains of old alum works and therefore was not found in situ.
More information : (NZ 98070179) Roman Signal Station (NR) (Remains found AD 1774). (1)

The traditional identification of this site as that of a Roman
signal station and fort rests on the discovery of a dedication-slab
in 1774 and interpretations of its inscription, and on the site,
which is a high promontory known as The Peak, comparable with other Yorkshire coastal signal station sites. The stone was found in a 'heap of ruins' lying about a yard below the surface a few yards from the corner of Raven Hall (built or rebuilt in 1774 and again in 1830) on the NE, where there were 'traces of ruins' in 1817. (Possibly better sited at NZ 98090181). But in 1930 a shaft was found under the kitchen floor which is thought to have been a ventilator for old alum works. The ruins among which the
dedication-slab was found may therefore have been connected with the alum works, and consequently the slab may not have been in situ.

The inscription on the dedication slab, which can be dated to the
late 4th century, was garbled by the Roman mason and various interpretations of it have been suggested. The accepted translation is "Just in ianus, commander, Vindicianus, magister, built this tower and fort from ground level". The stone is in Whitby
Museum. (2-3)

The traditional identification of this site as that of a Roman signal station and fort rests on the discovery of a dedication-slab in 1774 and interpretations of its inscription, and on the site, which is a high promontory known as The Peak, comparable with other Yorkshire coastal signal station sites. The stone was found in a 'heap of ruins' lying about a yard below the surface a few yards from the corner of Raven Hall (built or rebuilt in 1774 (NMR635249) and again in 1830) on the NE, where there were 'traces of ruins' in 1817. (Possibly better sited at NZ 9809 0181). But in 1930 a shaft was found under the kitchen floor which is thought to have been a ventilator for old alum works. The ruins among which the dedication-slab was found may therefore have been connected with the alum works, and consequently the slab may not have been in situ. The inscription on the dedication slab, which can be dated to the late 4th century, was garbled by the Roman mason and various interpretations of it have been suggested. The accepted translation is `Justinianus, commander, Vindicianus, magister, built this tower and fort from ground level'. (4)




Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1930
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Roman Malton and District Report No 5 1935 pp121-2 (M K Clark) Gazetteer of Roman Remains in East Yorkshire
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Collingwood and Wright 1965 Roman Inscriptions pp241-2 No 721
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Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Gazetteer Reference SD24, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Dedication Stone, Signal Station
Evidence : Find, Conjectural Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (N Yorks Moors National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : 7640.52
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 90 SE 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, NE OF RAVENSCAR HOTEL,PEAK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1774-01-01
End Date : 1774-12-31