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Historic England Research Records

Galacum Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 43953
Location :
Lancashire
Lancaster
Burrow-with-Burrow
Grid Ref : SD6152075840
Summary : The site of the Roman fort at Burrow in Lonsdale. It has the possible Roman place-name Galacum or Calacum. It comprises two or three superimposed Roman forts (the earliest of the Flavian period). An external settlement lies to the west and south-west of the fort. Excavations have revealed roads and earlier buildings with herringbone foundations. The south gateway of the fort was originally a double gateway, reduced in Roman times to a single portal. The east wall of the fort lies under the existing building of Burrow Hall. Near the south-west corner, inside the stone wall, the remains of a rampart of earth and turf were found and thought to be evidence of an earlier Flavian fort. The later fort covered an area of about 1 hectare. There is no trace of the fort at all on the ground and the east wall of the fort is presumed to underlie the Hall itself. An overgrown mound of stone probably marks the excavated south gate of the fort and a marked rise in the ground level of up to 0.5 metres presumably indicates the south-west limits of the fort.
More information : [Name centred at SD 615 758] Site of Roman Station [GS] (1)

The Roman site at Burrow in Lonsdale is first described by Leland(a) in the reign of Henry VIII, and by William Camden(b), soon after 1580, when he conjectured the site to be that of Calacum or Galacum. Inscribed stones from Burrow are described by Thomas Machell (died 1698) whose manuscript is now in the Dean and Chapter Library in Carlisle. Richard Rauthmell(c) has almost nothing to say about the site, beyond quoting Camden, but he did find an inscribed altar [Lancs 20NW10], and recorded, a gold ornament found in the garden of Burrow Hall, and a couple of Roman pots found in digging the foundations. Thomas Dunham Whitaker(d) gives the first real description of the site and its relationship to the Roman road from Ribchester to Brougham. He is the first to suggest the distinction between a fort on the Burrow Hall site and an external settlement to the west and south west of it, but his estimate of the size and shape of the fort cannot be accepted. W.T. Watkin(e) quotes Leland, Camden, Rauthmell, Whitaker and the Machell Mss., but does not make any addition to our knowledge of the site. In 1929 R.G. Collingwood (f) studied the visible remains, and traced the ditch of the north wall and found the northwest angle, which Anthony Moorhouse, who did not publish the results of his excavations between 1904 and 1914, had found previously. He also published a photograph of a Roman capital standing in the garden at Burrow Hall. The Roman name of the Burrow site is given in the Autonine Itinerary as "Galacum", and by Ptolemy as "Calacum." The identification of these names with Burrow still falls short of certainty, and seems likely to continue so, although "Galacum" has been generally accepted since Haverfield's paper(g) in 1915. It is less certain whether Holder(h) was correct in equating the site with the "Caluvis" of the Ravenna List. (2)

Excavations were undertaken, in May 1947, in the grounds north of Burrow Hall. In a trench dug about 350 feet to the northwest of the Hall, in a recently felled plantation, the remains of a road were found whose direction appeared to be from NNW to SSE. Most of the metalling had gone from its surface, but its foundation stones, interspersed with gravel continued to a depth of at least 2 feet; it is likely, therefore, that the road had been made at least once. Beneath the first layer of foundation stones was found a silver plated denarius of Hadrian (which may, however, be a century later than his reign), and associated with it a small group of late 2nd-3rd century pottery. Beneath this road was a layer of dirty yellow clay about one foot thick, and below it an earlier roadway, at least 37 feet wide, composed of fine compact gravel, with a larger gravel foundation. The direction of this road was not determined. Running diagonally almost due east and west, and built upon the earlier road, was a wall, 2 feet 6 inches wide, built of local stone and river cobbles, with little mortar, the footings of which were laid in herringbone fashion in yellow clay. Under this wall, and on or in the road was found a sherd of samian form 37 which Dr. Oswald dated as C.AD. 115-125; a Samian base, probably from the same bowl was found to the north of the wall, in some red clay. This clay and both sherds, which were burnt black, appeared to have been burnt by fire. In the last 15 feet at the west end of the trench a paving of thin slate flags was found, below which was a layer of red and yellow clay. From this level came a rustic-ware fragment, a Trajanic cooking pot, a carinated bowl, and a trumpet fibula. A trench dug at the north end of the Hall grounds, beyond the summer-house, from north to south, yielded at its south end the wall-slot of a completely robbed wall, at the foot of which on the north side was a small pocket of rammed red clay. Beneath this, lying directly on the natural surface, was a rim fragment of samian form 37, unfortunately undatable. To the north of this wall-slot, immediately beneath the humus (which contained very little pottery, all of late 2nd century date or later), was a layer of very compact gravel, with large cobbles below, which was taken to be a roadway. Beneath the road was Aa band of yellow clay resting upon the red clay sub-soil. At the north end of the trench, below the gravel road, was found a small natural hollow, 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep, which had been filled with grey clay. At the bottom of this hollow was found an almost complete dish of mid 2nd-century date. Two other short trenches were dug to east and west of that just described. In the trench 48 feet to the east the section was obscured by a modern drain, and by the clay subsoil changing colour from red to blue, at the junction of which appeared a ditch, some 16 feet wide and probably about 8ft deep, although the full depth was not excavated. The filling was sandy grey clay, with a few pieces of tile and pottery, including a tazza rim. The trench cut 53 feet to the west found the northern lip of a ditch. It could not be determined if this was the same ditch as was found in the preceding trench, which would mean that it had a gap in it where the roadway was found, or another ditch some 40 feet further north. (3)

[Centred at SD ] In 1952 E.J.W. Hildyard and Lt-Col.O.H. North began excavations at Burrow in Lonsdale, in the hope of determining the exact position and dimensions of the Roman fort there. In the summer of 1952 they found the south gateway of the fort, in the field south of Burrow Hall; it had been a double gateway, reduced in Roman times to a single portal, and a later structure of which the eastern guardchamber was the best preserved part. They were able to trace the fort wall to the south west angle and for about halfway along the west side of the fort; the position of the south-east angle was established approximately, but the east wall is evidently covered by the existing terrace on that side of the modern house. The fort wall had been drastically robbed, but in places its outer footing-course, of very massive stones and with a chamfer on the outer face, remained in position. Near the southwest corner they found, inside the stone wall, the remains of a rampart of earth and turf, which they took to be evidence of an earlier, Flavian fort. Only one coin was found, of Faustina II, in the body of the rampart. There was very little pottery, what there was being mainly of the fourth century. In 1953 they looked for the north wall, and for further traces of the earlier fort. The fort-wall was found in two or three sections, but it had been more extensively robbed than the south wall, and none of its outer footing-course survived; in some places it had been completely removed, foundations and all. The north gateway had been thoroughly robbed, but they were able to trace the roadway which ran up to it and through it. To the north of the wall there were two ditches, the inner one W-shaped (it seemed to have been filled in in Roman times) and the outer one V-shaped and somewhat deeper. Near the northwest corner, their search was to some extent hindered by the trenches dug by Anthony Moorhouse, nearly fifty years ago; they came upon indications of the corner itself, in a silage pit dug by the farmer in a small field below the "Crow Wood" in 1952. A certain amount of early pottery was found, some of it below the foundations of the stone walls, the latter group including two flagons (of late 1st or early 2nd century type) which it has been possible to restore. On the last day of the excavation, they dug through the later Roman road running through the north gateway; well below it they found part of a massive oak post, about 12in. square and in excellent preservation; it was level with the front of the inner (and presumably earlier) ditch, the lip of which they found below the foundation of the western guard-chamber; it was therefore too far forward to have been the centre post of the Flavian gateway, but it must have been connected in some way with the fort of that period. It is clear that there were at least two Roman forts on the site. The later one, with stone walls, was square in shape, with sides about 150 yards long, giving it an area of just over 2 1/2 acres; like the nearest Roman fort to Burrow, Watercrook, it seems to have lacked angle-towers (4). Sited from plan (5). (4-5)
Generally Supposed to be BREMETONACAE [G.S.]
FOSSE [G.S.] RAISED RIDGE [G.S.] (6)

GALACVM. Overborough. [G.S.] [Symbol shewn denotes a Fort.] (7)

ROMAN FORT [G.S.] (Site of) (8)

Only fragmentary remains of ewks. seen. Surveyed at 1/2500. This site has been destroyed by landscaping and building. A pile of stones in the form of a small cairn, situated at SD 61547584 may be the remains of the S. gate. (9)

Name 'CALACVM'? accepted for 4th. edition R.B. Map. (10)

Air photographs taken in 2006 show extenisive remains of the southern extent of the fort and the road approaching it from the west which is surrounded by the remains of a vicus. The compacted areas of the fort ramparts, buildings within the fort and the road bordered by buildings of the vicus are clearly showing as parched marks in pasture. (11)



Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1919
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Source Number : 2
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 126-56
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 46, 1946
Source Number : 3
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 23-41
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 48, 1948
Source Number : 4
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 211-2
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Vol(s) : 53, 1953
Source Number : 5
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 66-101
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Vol(s) : 54, 1954
Source Number : 6
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1844-5
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ordnance Survey Map of Roman Britain 3rd Edition 1956 Scale: 16 miles/1 inch
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Source Number : 8
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" Prov.
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Source Number : 9
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JB 26-FEB-71
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Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : R4 RPM 19-JAN-78
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Source Number : 11
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SD 6175/76 (20588/19) 27-JUL-2006
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Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Itinerary VII 1 3rd edn Oxford 1769 (Leland)
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Source Number : 2b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 433 1st edn London 1586 (William Camden)
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Source Number : 2c
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Roman Antiquities of Overborough, 1746, (Richard Rauthmell)
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Source Number : 2d
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : History of Richmondshire 1823 Vol 2 (TD Whitaker)
Page(s) : 260
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2e
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Roman Lancashire 1883 (W.T. Watkin)
Page(s) : 193
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Source Number : 2f
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 216-7
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Vol(s) : 30 - 1930
Source Number : 2g
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 77-84
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Vol(s) : 72, 1915
Source Number : 2h
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz S.V. Galacum (Holder)
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Built in the Flavian period
Monument End Date : 96
Monument Start Date : 69
Monument Type : Fort, Vicus
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 97
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : LA 139
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SD 67 NW 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1031662
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, BURROW HALL (GALACUM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1904-01-01
End Date : 1914-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BURROW HALL,OVER BURROW (GALACVM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1947-01-01
End Date : 1947-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BURROW HALL,OVER BURROW(CALACVM)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1952-01-01
End Date : 1953-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SD 67 NW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1971-02-26
End Date : 1971-02-26
Associated Activities : Primary, BURROW HALL,OVER BURROW
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EH AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE (NORTH): 2006-7
Activity type : AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE
Start Date : 2006-04-01
End Date : 2007-03-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND ADJACENT TO TEMPLE COTTAGE, OVER BURROW
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND ADJACENT TO TEMPLE COTTAGE, OVER BURROW
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND ADJACENT TO TEMPLE COTTAGE, OVER BURROW
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31