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Historic England Research Records

Newton Kyme Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 54732
Location :
North Yorkshire
Selby
Newton Kyme Cum Toulston
Grid Ref : SE4564245395
Summary : Two Roman forts situated on a raised river terrace south of the River Wharfe, visible on aerial photographs. The larger fort is rectangular in shape, measuring 230 metres east to west by 312 metres north to south and extends over an area of about 7 hectares. This fort overlies a smaller, earlier fort, which measures 200 metres from east to west. The outer defensive ditches and rampart and internal details of a network of roads, buildings and other features within the fort are visible as cropmarks. Excavation in 1908 and 1956 showed that the first fort was constructed of earth and timber enclosed by a turf and clay rampart. The area was cleared in AD 290 and a new fort constructed with stone walls up to 3 metres thick, within a ditch 15 metres wide which remained in use throughout the fourth century. The forts were part of a network of Roman military installations throughout the north of England to support the Roman presence. To the south of the fort is a section of Roman road, which has an extensive vicus associated with it. Further photography taken in 2010 indicates a possible third fort or annex to one of the known forts.
More information : [SE 4564 4535] Roman Fort [GS] (Site of). (1)

The Roman Fort at Newton Kyme lies on the south bank of the river Wharfe two and a half miles N.W. of Tadcaster. Little is known of this fort, the platform of which is still plainly visible. The
defences consist of a rampart of turf or clay (c.750 ft. N-S by 600
ft.) with one broad and one or two narrow ditches, which together
form a broad hollow 4 ft. deep. The ditches are interrupted at a
gate in the centre of the South side; a road from the gate is visible
across most of the fort on its long axis. Immediately to south of
the Fort narrow ditches define a number of rectangular enclosures and roads that seem to be part of a large system of Fields extending over a distance of 1/4 mile. One such enclosure is cut by the south-west angle of the fort. Some 500 ft. from the south-east angle of the fort, a circular space about 50ft. across is surrounded by three close-set narrow ditches. (SE 44 NE 24). (2)

The Roman fort at Newton Kyme was occupied from the later part of the 1st century to the 4th century. (3)

There are no intelligible remains of the fort and its adjuncts.
Extensive cultivation has reduced the rampart to a broad and shallow scarp; while the outer ditches are visible, at the southern end only, as a wide superficial hollow.
The circular ditched enclosure, visible on A.Ps at SE 45804515,
cannot be traced on the ground and no information about it was obtained by local enquiries. (SE 44 NE 24). (4)

Condition unchanged. (5)

Recent photographs show there are at least two forts at Newton Kyme. The large of the two, which appears to be the later, extends some 10 acres within the ramparts, and has its S.front set nearly 200ft. out beyond the smaller fort. Within the area common to the two forts, buildings and streets are visible as cropmarks. (6)

The Roman fort at Newton Kyme, enclosing about 10 acres, was excavated on a small scale by F. Gerald Simpson in 1908-9. The foundations of the latest stone rampart walling, 10-12 feet wide,
at the north-west angle of the fort were uncovered. Some Roman pottery was found together with an iron signet-ring and a coin dated c.AD 350-360. (7)

There are traces of an extensive settlement related to a road that
continues the N-S axis of Newton Kyme fort. (8). Additional air photos. (8-9)

SE 455454 Roman fort and enclosures NW of Newton Kyme. Scheduled.(10)

Air-photographs show the double ditches of the earlier, smaller,
fort. Outside its south gate the approach road bends through
a few degrees running obliquely under the axial street of the later
fort and is cut by its defences.
Fort II is exceptionally large and is unusual in having its
via principalis running on the long axis of the plan. At some
date this had been renewed, the new street being laid down slightly E of the old one and kinking slightly outside the demolished defences of Fort 1. Both sides of this axial street are closely built up with strip-buildings of a distinctly civilian character. This raises the possibility that after the Fort II has been excavated by its garrison the defended area had been taken over by a vicus. Should this be so that axial street may belong to this civilian settlement rather than the second fort. (11)

The forts have been set on gently north facing sloping ground south of an old terrace of the River Wharfe. South of a hedge line (from SE 45554555 eastwards to SE 45734553) the area has been thoroughly ploughed (at present some is partly under barley and some cut wheat) and no evidence of the forts is visible. Between the above mentioned hedge line and the edge of the river terrace is an area of rough grassland and scrub which has been cultivated with ridge and furrow, ill-defined traces of which
can just be seen cutting the hedge at right angles. Along the edge of the river terrace are traces of a broad low bank which appears
to be the headland of this ridge and furrow. (It is north of the line
of the north side of the fort as shown on the Six Inch Record Sheet). This ridge and furrow has apparently destroyed any trace of the north side of the fort except at the extreme east end where
there is a suggestion of what may be the NE angle and part of a ditch underlying the old fence/hedge line running north down to the river. (This is two ill-defined to justify surveying for the OS
1:2500 survey). No evidence was seen of Simpson's excavation at the area of the NW angle. Midway along the line of the north side is a hollowed area which would have coincided with the line of a road entering from the north. (12)

An air photograph interpretation and transcription at a scale of
1:2,500 by the RCHME as part of the Newton Kyme Project, revealed the form of the Roman Fort, centred at TF 4539 4539 and associated features in the vicinity. The Vicus, described by authorities 2, 8 and 9 as enclosures and field systems, are described in more detail in another record (SE 44 NE 32). Other features within the vicinity of the fort and vicus, considered to be of Roman date are described in other records.
(13)

The site of the fort falls within the project area for the Vale of York Project and was transcribed at a scale of 1:10,000, based on the 1:2,500 plan. No new features were noted on recent photographs taken since the 1995 air survey.
(15)

The cropmark remains of the fort and vicus described by the previous authorities were photographed by English Heritage in July 2001 revealing new details to the interior and exterior of the fort. These details included the course of the inner-most ditch and outer-most ditch and entrance in the eastern side of the fort, and detail of the inner and outer ditches on the western side. Also noted in more detail were the traces of the buildings in the NE sector of the fort and the vicus. (16-17)

Photography taken in 2010 shows traces of a possible third fort. A double-ditched feature can be seen appearing to underlie the ditches of the latest fort. The feature may alternatively represent an annex to the known earlier fort.
(18)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1958
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 87
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 43 (1953)
Source Number : 10
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details :
Page(s) : 60
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 11
Source : Roman Britain from the air
Source details :
Page(s) : 110-113
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 12
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F3 ISS 14-AUG-85
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Source Number : 13
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Yvonne Boutwood/28-JUL-1995/RCHME: Newton Kyme Project
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 14
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 29-Jan-98
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 15
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 16
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SE 4545/249-258 (17608/06-16) 23-JUL-2001
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 17
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SE 4545/259-260 (17619/01-02) 23-JUL-2001
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 18
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR 28072/39 13-JUL-2010
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Source Number :
Source : Newton Kyme/ink AP transcription
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3
Source : The archaeology of Yorkshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 126
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Source : Newton Kyme
Source details :
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Source : Newton Kyme/pencil AP transcription
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RWE 18-MAY-62
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 4a
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : J.K.St. Joseph Nos D.C.043-46
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 RWE 24-JUN-63
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 6
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 77-8
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 55 (1965)
Source Number : 7
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 120-22
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 53 (1981)
Source Number : 8
Source : Antiquity
Source details :
Page(s) : 134
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 54 (1980)
Source Number : 9
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : (J K St Joseph AGF 31 & GU 93 undated)
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Fort, Building, Road
Evidence : Cropmark, Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 538
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 26907
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF1007673
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF1191228
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 44 NE 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1007745
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1009681
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 54826
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1008186
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : NEWTON KYME FORT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1908-01-01
End Date : 1909-12-31
Associated Activities : NEWTON KYME FORT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 44 NE 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-05-18
End Date : 1962-05-18
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 44 NE 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-06-24
End Date : 1963-06-24
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 44 NE 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1985-08-14
End Date : 1985-08-14
Associated Activities : RCHME: NEWTON KYME PROJECT
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1994-11-29
End Date : 1995-07-25
Associated Activities : RCHME: VALE OF YORK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1998-01-06
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : EH: AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE (NORTH): 2001/2
Activity type : AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE
Start Date : 2001-04-01
End Date : 2002-03-31
Associated Activities : EH AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE (NORTH): 2010-11
Activity type : AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE
Start Date : 2010-04-01
End Date : 2011-03-31