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Historic England Research Records

Scarborough Roman Signal Station

Hob Uid: 79903
Location :
North Yorkshire
Scarborough
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TA0516089170
Summary : A Roman signal station, built in circa 370 AD and used till the early fifth century. It comprises a ditch, an inner wall with bastions, and a signal tower. The tower was 15 metres square at the foundations above which were four surviving courses, stepped back. Seven bases for wooden posts supporting floor beams were also discovered. The foundations suggested a tower nearly 30 metres high It was one of a chain along the East coast between the Tees and Flamborough head set up to give warning of hostile approaches. The site has been recreated to reveal the ditch.
More information : (TA 0516 8917) Remains of (NAT) Chapel of Our Lady (see TA 08 NE 1)
on remains of (NAT) Roman Signal Station (R) on site of (NAT)
Settlement (see TA 08 NE 5) (1)

The Roman Signal Station on Castle Hill was excavated by F.G Simpson in 1922-23 on a site which also uncovered a Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age settlement and Medieval chapels. Under guardianship. (2-3)

The late 4th century Signal Station, partly destroyed by cliff
erosion, consisted of a central tower surrounded by a curtain wall anda V-shaped ditch, of the same type of Huntcliff (NZ 62 SE 8), Goldsborough (NZ 81 NW 2) and Filey (TA 18 SW 2).

The tower was 50 ft square at the foundations above which were four surviving courses, stepped back. Seven bases for wooden posts supporting floor beams were also discovered. The foundations suggested a tower nearly 100 ft high.

The curtain wall with rounded corner bastions measured about 96 ft square and 4.5 ft thick with a gateway on the west side. During the construction of the wall a foundation trench was laid out with square corners, necessitation external additions of either side of the bastions to bring the weight of the wall to bear on the foundations. Similar internal additions near the bastions have not been satisfactorily explained. Plan. (4)

Full account of the Roman pottery which forms the main basis for the study of Signal-Station types and tabulated list of coins and hoard of fifty seven coins ranging from Constantine to Honorius. (5,6)

Reconstruction model of Signal Station in Scarborough Museum (see illustration card).
Resurvey at 1:1250. The outline of the Roman structure is delineated by modern kerb stones set upon an earthern bank. All but the northern arm of the outer Roman ditch has been excavated and apparently restored to its original form. The northern arm can be traced by a slight ground swelling. (7) (2-7)

Roman signal station. It comprises a ditch, an inner wall with bastions, and a signal tower. The tower was 15m square at the foundations above which were four surviving courses, stepped back. Seven bases for wooden posts supporting floor beams were also discovered. The foundations suggested a tower nearly 30m high It was one of a chain along the East coast between the Tees and Flamborough head set up to give warning of hostile approaches. Medieval chapels used the tower as foundations. (9)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1967
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Source Number : 2
Source : Scarborough Castle [guide]
Source details :
Page(s) : 07-Aug
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Source Number : 3
Source : Scarborough Castle [guide]
Source details :
Page(s) : 3
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Source Number : 4
Source : The history of Scarborough
Source details : Plan Figs (R C Collingwood)
Page(s) : 40-50
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Source Number : 5
Source : Roman Malton and district reports
Source details : 1935, Gazetter of Roman Remains in East Yorkshire (M Kitson Clark)
Page(s) : 56-7, 126
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 5
Source Number : 6
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : Pottery from the Roman Signal Stations, Figs (M R Hull)
Page(s) : 220-250
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Vol(s) : 89, 1932
Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RL, 17-Aug-62, RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 06-Aug-93
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Source Number : 9
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Gazetteer Reference SC31, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment
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Source : Castle Hill/ink survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Built circa 370
Monument End Date : 380
Monument Start Date : 360
Monument Type : Signal Station
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 310
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13300
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY9320
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY9321
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY9323
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY9324
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY9325
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TA 08 NE 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 79973
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1921-01-01
End Date : 1925-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TA 08 NE 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-08-17
End Date : 1962-08-17