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Historic England Research Records

Castleford Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 54328
Location :
Wakefield
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SE4260025800
Summary : The site of the Roman forts at Castleford, with the Roman place name of Lagentium. Excavations have uncovered the remains of a 1st century, Flavian, Roman fort and a later smaller 2nd century fort with a vicus to the south-west. The military occupation spans the period c AD 80 to AD 150. The occupation of the vicus continued into the 4th century. It was possibly occupied by the 4th cohort of Gauls.
More information : Lagentium [G.S.] (Site of) (1)

[SE 425 258] The Roman station at Castleford stood below the junction of the Aire and Calder, on the high ground occupied by the church and old rectory. Urns, pottery, pavements, inscriptions and coins have been found. The name Lagentivm appears in the Ravenna Cosmography. (2-3)

There is no evidence by which the exact position of the station can be established. No ground plan exists, and the site, which is generally assumed to be centred at SE 426258, is covered by modern development. A noticeable step, however, in the N.S. aligned streets and terraced houses, between SE 42472582 and SE 42592584, might be indicative of the approximate position of the nothern rampart. The present whereabouts of the major finds is unknown, though numerous coins, pot-sherds and other Ro. finds are exhibited in Castleford Museum. (4)

SE 427256 Excavations in Welbeck Street have yielded pottery from the mid second century, including samian, coarse wares and a sherd of Castor ware. An oven or kiln and a broken stone floor were also found. (5-6)

The evidence from Castleford suggests a fort and vicus occupied from Agricola to the 4th century. Both Camden and Stukeley mention the finding of Roman objects around the parish church. The Roman fort, now buried beneath the town, lay on a low hill on the south bank of the Aire, downstream from its junction with the Calder. Its precise dimensions have never been determined, and its garrison is unknown although stamped roofing tiles found in Carlton Street in 1922 mentioned the 4th cohort of Gauls. (7)

Castleford: Legeolio of Iter V (Lagentium of Ravenna Cosmography) Name 'LAGENTIVM' accepted for 4th edition RB Map. (8)

Excavation between the parish church and the River Aire located the line of the main north - south Roman Road (RR 28b) and a minor road running east from it at right angles. Three successive defensive ditches, unrelated to one another, were found east of the main road; they limited three partially superimposed fortified areas. One was associated with a clay rampart surviving to 1.0m in height. Much of the material recovered was of Flavian date. Stone structures within the defences included a wall ten courses high; second century pottery and two tile-stamps of Legio IX Hispana were found but no finds were later than circa AD 200. (9)

In 1974 an area west of Roman Road 28b was excavated at Wellbeck Street. Primary occupation was industrial. A sequence of timber buildings followed, lasting from the first into the third century. (10)

A stone bath-house was exposed on the South bank of the river Aire. Most of the building plan was recovered by excavation (11). Excavations in 1980 uncovered the main north-south Roman road in Rectory Street (SE 425258). Building debris lay over it but no structures were found. In Welbeck Street (SE 425255) a large early second-century stone building survived upto six courses high. It consisted of three wings around small courtyard fronting the Roman road. A second large stone building lay beside the first and in the yard behind were found a well and five inhumation burials. Occupation seems virtually to have ceased in the mid second century, but some third and fourth century material was found unstratified and the second building was robbed in the fourth century or later (12). Further excavation in 1981 within the yard of the second-century stone courtyard building in Wellbeck street revealed a limestone foundation. The buildings and a byroad were founded over the burnt debris of more than one phase of late first century timber buildings. Some of the adjacent hearths appear to have been metallurgical. In Wilson's Yard a trial area 20m south of the fort's bath-house revealed traces of second century timber buildings and stone wall foundation. The latter overlay an east-west military ditch whose line was predicted from excavations in Rectory Street in 1977 (13). In 1982 continuing rescue excavations at Wilson's Yard (SE 426257) identified the site of the Roman auxiliary fort, immediately east of the main N-S Roman road and 85m south of the River Aire. Three sides are known, the north ditch was partly excavated in 1977 and 1981 when it was tentatively interpreted as an earlier defence of the military annex extending between fort and river, the west rampart was located 20m east of the parish church; and the east ditch was sectioned in 1965 beneath the G.P.O. in Bradley Street. The E-W distance across the ramparts is c. 155m and, although the facing direction is uncertain, the fort is suspected to be roughly square with an area of c 2.02 ha (5 acres). Sealed below the rampart was a rectangular timber building, suggesting that the Flavian fort was larger than the second century fort. The military occupation is not yet dated more closely than c.80-150 A.D. Later civilian activity was represented by a lime kiln constructed after removal of the north rampart; a cremation burial of third/fourth century date in the centre of the fort; and two pits dug through the west intervallum road possibly in the late Roman or early post-Roman period. At Station yard (SE 425255) trial excavation towards the southern limits of the fort's vicus exposed part of the main N-S Roman road. Fronting this on either side were post-built rectilinear timber structures. The finds were mostly of the second century (14). LAGENTIUM - identified with the Roman fort at Castleford (15). (11-15)

Summary of excavations up to April 1984. (16-17)

The area of the Flavian fort may be increased to c.8 acres (3.2ha) on evidence from excavations near the junction of Bradley and Carlton Streets, which failed to locate the formerly identified line of the E defences. (18)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1956
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Elgee F 1933 The Archaeology of Yorkshire
Page(s) : 170
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Council for British Archaeology Group 4 Yorkshire Archaeological Register
Source details :
Page(s) : 3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1978
Source Number : 12
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 330
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 12, 1981
Source Number : 13
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 349-50
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 13, 1982
Source Number : 14
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 294-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 14, 1983
Source Number : 15
Source : The place-names of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 383
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 16
Source : In search of Roman Castleford [fort and vicus]
Source details :
Page(s) : 52
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 17
Source : CBA Forum : the annual newsletter of CBA Group 4
Source details : (P Abramson)
Page(s) : 31-Mar
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1984-5
Source Number : 18
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 385
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 17, 1986
Source Number : 3
Source : Archaeologia : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details :
Page(s) : 36
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 93, 1949
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RWE 14-NOV-63
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 240
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 42, 1969
Source Number : 6
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 389
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1970
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Garlick T 1971 Roman Sites in Yorkshire
Page(s) : 34-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 47, 75
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1970
Source Number : 9
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 428
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 9, 1978
Source Number : 10
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 238
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6, 1975

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 399
Monument Start Date : 78
Monument Type : Vicus, Lime Kiln, Road, Building, Pit, Oven, Cremation
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 150
Monument Start Date : 80
Monument Type : Fort, Bath House
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 42 NW 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 921569
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1390663
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WELBECK STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date :
End Date :
Associated Activities : Primary, RECTORY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date :
End Date :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 42 NW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-11-14
End Date : 1963-11-14
Associated Activities : Primary, BRADLEY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WELBECK STREET/BOOTH STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1968-01-01
End Date : 1969-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WELBECK STREET/BOOTH STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RECTORY STREET/CHURCH STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1977-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHURCH STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1978-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WELBECK STREET/DIXON STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1980-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WILSON'S YARD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WILSON'S YARD (CO-OP SITE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ALBION STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAGENTIUM (CENTRAL AREA)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, STATION YARD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CARLTON STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 74 CARLTON STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CARLTON STREET/BRADLEY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 12-13 BACK BANK STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, STATION COTTAGES (SITE OF)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WELBECK STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLEFORD STATION GOODS PLATFORM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SOUTH AND WEST OF STATION HOTEL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DIXON STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 68-72 CARLTON STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BRADLEY STREET (NORTH END)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTH END OF BRADLEY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENTERPRISE WAY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NORTH END OF BRADLEY STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SALVATION ARMY CITADEL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DALTON TERRACE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLEFORD (TIME TEAM)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT BRADLEY STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLEFORD INTERCHANGE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ELIZABETH HOUSE, BRADLEY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31