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Historic England Research Records

Watercrook Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 43203
Location :
Cumbria
South Lakeland
Natland
Grid Ref : SD5143090700
Summary : The site of a Roman Fort (possibly ALAVANA) at Watercrook. It survives as earthworks and was built in circa 90-95 AD, rebuilt in stone in circa 120-30 AD, and was occupied after 369 AD. Flint implements and Beaker fragments have been found on the site.
More information : (SD 51459070) Alavna Roman Fort (GS) (site of) (1)

A Roman fort at Watercrook, the rampart greatly reduced by ploughing etc but still prominent on the SW side (2). Excavations in 1930 (3) and 1944 (4) laid bare the NW gate and the S angle, and established a fort of circa 80-85 AD with clay rampart and ditch; followed by a stone wall fort (circa 120-130 AD) with occupation beyond AD 369 (4). The internal arrangements, plotted from parch-marks in the 1887 drought, show the fort to be of the standard cohors quingenaria pattern (5); and the 1944 excavations confirm this, finding part of one of the barrack blocks (4). Identified as Alavna from the Antonine Itinerary and the Notitia Dignitatum (6). (2-6)

See sketch and St Joseph AP. (7)

Condition unchanged.
To be resurveyed at 1:1250 by field surveyor. (8)

Excavations took place on the north east part of Watercrook Roman fort in 1974-5 prior to river widening (see plans). It was shown that the fort was of Flavian foundation, the initial occupation beginning AD 90-95, and not Agricolan as previously thought. Evidence of a vicus to the north and east of the fort was revealed (See SD 59 SW 23). Complete excavation report, plans and illustrations in Authy 8. There is no clear evidence for the Roman name of Watercrook fort, and it is no longer positively identified with the Alavna of the Antonine Itinerary or the Alione of the Notitia Dignitatum. (9)

ALAUNA. Probably the Roman fort at Watercrook. Mentioned in Antonine Itinerary 481 (3) (Iter X) as ALONE. (10)

In addition to the Roman remains, four flints, one probably Neolithic/Bronze Age, and two abraded sherds, probably of an All Over Cord Beaker, were also recovered. (11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1957
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland
Source details :
Page(s) : 180
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Source Number : 11
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : R4 DJG 07-DEC-1979 [nb - exact source details omitted from OS card]
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Source : Watercrook/field sheet
Source details :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details : (Lt Col O H North)
Page(s) : 116-32
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 32, 1932
Source Number : 4
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details : (Lt Col North and E J W Hildyard)
Page(s) : 148-62
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 45, 1945
Source Number : 5
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details : (R G Collingwood)
Page(s) : 97, 99, 101-2,104-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 30, 1930
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ordnance Survey Roman Britain Map 1956
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Source Number : 7
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : R2 HGG 12-JUN-69
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHP 02-NOV-72
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Source Number : 9
Source : Romans in north-west England : excavations at the Roman forts of Ravenglass, Watercrook and Bowness on Solway
Source details :
Page(s) : 139-320
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Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 10
Source : The place-names of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 244
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Rebuilt in stone
Monument End Date : 130
Monument Start Date : 120
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Occupied after 369 AD
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 131
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Built 90-95 AD
Monument End Date : 95
Monument Start Date : 90
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Period : Neolithic
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : LITHIC IMPLEMENT, VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery
Period : Bronze Age
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : LITHIC IMPLEMENT, VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CU 273
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SD 59 SW 3
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 43239
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1031652
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WATERCROOK (ALAVNA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1890-01-01
End Date : 1890-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WATERCROOK (ALAVNA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1930-01-01
End Date : 1932-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WATERCROOK (ALAVNA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1944-01-01
End Date : 1944-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SD 59 SW 3
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-11-02
End Date : 1972-11-02
Associated Activities : Primary, WATERCROOK (ALAVNA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1975-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 8 WATERCROOK FARM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 8 WATERCROOK FARM
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31