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HER Number:MDV4751
Name:Okehampton Roman Fort

Summary

Roman fort and associated enclosures on the west side of Chichacott Road in Okehampton. The fort was first identified in 1976 and is clearly visible on aerial photographs as cropmarks of buried ditches, earthwork banks and metalled surfaces. Aerial photographs of 1984 reveal the fort to be bivallate with an internal rampart.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 596 960
Map Sheet:SX59NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishOkehampton
Civil ParishOkehampton Hamlets
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOKEHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 440810
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59NE/2
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1006
  • Old SAM Ref: 28620
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX59NE14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FORT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Okehampton Roman Fort - North West Corner - Detail of Ovens Explsed by Stripping, Sept 1984 (Plan - measured). SDV348542.

Unknown, Plan of Fort Rampart (Plan - sketch). SDV347735.

Plan of north-west corner.

National Monuments Record, SX5995, 4-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346207.

National Monuments Record, SX5996, 3-10,12-17,24-30,34-35 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346208.

Horner, B., 09/07/2014, Okehampton Roman Fort (Ground Photograph). SDV357291.

Image taken during site visit to Knowle Quarry. Looking south from south edge of quarry. The earthworks (ditch and rampart) of the south-west corner of the Roman Fort are visible in the pasture field.

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, CPE/UK/1995, 2193-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV217286.

Other details: HER 34/40-42.

Ordnance Survey, 1971, OS/71/130, 30 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346206.

Other details: Exeter University Geography Department No. 016/0571.

Balkwill, C. J., 1976, A Roman Site at Okehampton, 89-92 (Article in Serial). SDV346187.

Roman fort on the west side of Chichacott Lane in Okehampton shown as a soilmark on the hill top. Apparent entrance faces east. First noted 1976. Large rectangular earthwork delineated on the surface by a broad band of clay. The south-east rampart was sectioned in 1976, showing that the clay surface mark was caused by ploughing over the top of a buried rampart base. Pottery recovered was not closely dateable, but of the 1st or 2nd century.

Balkwill, C. J., 1976, Okehampton Bypass No 1 (North) (Report - Survey). SDV346198.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 156, 159, 163 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

Balkwill, C. J., 1977, Archaeology and Development in Rural Devon, 11,17 (Monograph). SDV217976.

Frere, S. S., 1977, Interim Report, 415 (Article in Serial). SDV346202.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977 - 1985, SX59NE14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346189.

Roman fort of the 1st century AD at Okehampton on the northern edge of Dartmoor. It occupies the saddle of a spur between the River Okement and one of its tributaries.
Excavated trench located revetment behind the rampart and intervallum. Part of one vessel of fabric similar to that associated with legionary fortress at Exeter. Other details: Illustration.

Department of Environment, 1978, Romano-British Enclosure West of Chichacott Road (Schedule Document). SDV261575.

Romano-British enclosure west of Chichacott Road. A rectangular enclosure shown as a clay soil mark on the fir=eld surface. Trial trench indicated an early Roman date, probably a fort. Field now used for arable.

King, A. C., 1979, A30 Okehampton Bypass: Final Report (Report - Survey). SDV343861.

Other details: Number 7.

Maxfield, V. A., 1979, Roman Frontier Studies, 297 (Article in Serial). SDV274716.

Fort measures circa 135 metres by 85 metres, giving an area of approximately 1.5 hectares or 2.84 acres.

Bidwell, P. T. + Bridgewater, R. + Silvester, R. J., 1979, The Roman Fort at Okehampton, 255-8 (Article in Serial). SDV346188.

A second trench was put across the western defences in 1977, revealing a V-shaped ditch 3.3 metres wide, 1.80 metres deep with a cleaning slot in the base. To the east of the ditch, the rampart base was just over 6 metres wide. Pottery dated 50-80 AD unlikely to be contemporary with nearby North Tawton; probably Okehampton is the later (ie. Flavian) of the two.

Cambridge University, 1980, CUC/CMC, 44-49 (Aerial Photograph). SDV343849.

Cropmarks of a double ditched Roman Fort are visible. Other details: CMC 48 in HER. Map Object based partly on this source.

Cambridge University Collection, 1980, CUC/CMM, 74,75,88-90 (Aerial Photograph). SDV35573.

Weston, S., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits (Un-published). SDV345675.

Griffiths, D. M., 1982, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV346195.

Ramparts visible as a very slight rise. Field currently under plough, but no Roman pottery retrieved. Other details: Plan.

Griffiths, D. M., 1983, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV346196.

Field has again been under crop.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/AC, 3-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346200.

Aerial photographs of June 1984 demonstrated that there was a double ditch with the rampart showing as a wide parch mark, and internal features and streets visible.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/AV, 6-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV233514.

Cropmarks of a double ditched Roman Fort are visible. Map Object based partly on this source.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/CG, 6-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV267548.

Cropmarks of a double ditched Roman Fort are visible. Map Object based partly on this source.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/CV, 3-5a (Aerial Photograph). SDV233132.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/DA, 3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV341807.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/DG, 11-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV267551.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/DY, 1-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346204.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, Roman Military Sites in Devon: Some Recent Discoveries, 12-13 (Article in Serial). SDV35308.

Okehampton Roman Fort a rectangular double -ditched feature with rounded corners and evidence for some internal streets. Other details: Figure 1.

1984, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV346199.

1984, Untitled Source, 2a-6a (Photograph). SDV346203.

Other details: Film 625.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EK, 4-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV215280.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/FD, 9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV223424.

Cropmarks of a double ditched Roman Fort are visible. Map Object based partly on this source.

Frere, S. S., 1985, Roman Britain in 1984, 305 (Article in Serial). SDV35311.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/FX, 12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV22609.

Site has been ploughed in the non-quarry area. The sharpness of the soilmarks shows that active destruction is occurring.

Maxwell, G. S. + Wilson, D. R., 1987, Air Reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-84, 5 (Article in Serial). SDV35314.

Department of Environment, 1987, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV326194.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for tipping of waste stone materials.

Griffith, F., 1988, Devon's Past. An Aerial View, 50 (Monograph). SDV64198.

Department of Environment, 1988, Roman Fort and Associated Enclosures (Correspondence). SDV346191.

Scheduled area extended to include areas to the north and south. Other details: Monument 1006.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/PB, 3-4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346212.

Department of Environment, 1989, Roman Fort and Associated Enclosures (Correspondence). SDV346192.

Small section of the southern part of the scheduled area has been descheduled. Other details: Monument 1006.

Department of Environment, 1989, Roman Fort and Associated Enclosures (Schedule Document). SDV346193.

The monument comprises a Roman fort and a series of four enclosures visible as cropmarks immediately to the north-east and south-west. Aerial reconnaissance has demonstrated the fort to be a double ditched rectangular enclosure of circa 1.5 hectares externally. Trial excavation and salvage observations have confirmed the military nature of the occupation and suggested occupation in the period AD 50-80. On the basis of morphology and alignment the cropmark to the south of the fort is considered to be of Roman military origin. Other details: Monument 1006.

Pye, A. R., 1990, A30 Okehampton Bypass to Launceston Bypass Archaeological Assessment Part 2: Archaeological Evaluation of Sourton Down, 4 (Report - Assessment). SDV346205.

Griffith, F. M., 1990, DAP/RE, 9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV278872.

Turton, S. D., 1994, Archaeological Assessment of DCC North Road Link, Okehampton, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV346210.

Gerrard, S., 1995, 139570 (Un-published). SDV346197.

Fort survives as a rectangular enclosure with rounded corners. There is a fortlet to the south and enclosures to the north.

Stead, P. M. + Reed, S. J., 1995, Archaeological Field Evaluation of DCC North Road Link, Okehampton, 1 (Report - Evaluation). SDV346211.

Miller, A., 1996, Aerial photographic assessment (Interpretation). SDV265154.

Department of Environment, 1996, Okehampton Roman Fort, Fortlet and Associated Enclosures (Schedule Document). SDV346194.

This monument includes a Roman fort and a series of five associated enclosures on a hilltop location overlooking the valley of the River Okement to the north west and Okehampton town to the south west. The central feature of the monument is the fort itself, which is a rectangular enclosure with rounded corners. The fort's interior measures 133 metres long from north-east to south-west and 108 metres wide from east to west. The ramparts of the fort survive as banks. The western rampart measures 13.8 metres wide and 0.6 metres high. The eastern rampart is 6.9 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. To the north it measures 5.7 metres wide and 0.2 metres high and to the south it measures 6.15 metres wide by 0.4 metres high. The double ditches revealed by aerial reconnaissance survive as buried features. Excavations have confirmed the military origin of the fort and suggested occupation in the period AD 50-80. The ditches are V-shaped with a cleaning slot at the base, and there is a revetment behind the rampart and an intervallum. In 1984 three ovens and a small part of the northern rampart were revealed and recorded, and aerial photographs have indicated the existence of metalled internal streets within the fort. To the south west of the fort lies a second enclosure of Roman military type which has also been identified by aerial photographs. This feature is interpreted as a fortlet. It is square in shape with rounded corners and measures 50 metres square. It survives as a buried ditched feature and has been cut on its eastern side by an electricity substation and to the south-east by a field boundary. Ten metres to the north west of the fortlet and 32 metres west-south-west of the fort is a small L-shaped enclosure which was also identified from aerial photographs and survives as a buried ditched feature. It lies on the same alignment as the fort itself. It measures 22 metres from east to west and 22 metres from south-west to north east. Twenty eight metres to the north-east of the fort is a series of three enclosures. Two of these overlap each other. The westernmost two of the three partly underlie a field boundary, whilst the easternmost one lies in the same field as the fort. The westernmost and largest of the three survives as a small earthwork in the form of a slightly raised platform with a maximum height of 0.4m to the south of the field boundary, although to the north it is preserved as a buried ditch. This enclosure measures 65 metres from north-east to south-west and 62 metres from east to west and has rounded corners. The central enclosure is rectangular and survives only as a buried ditched feature. It measures 46 metres from east to west and 38 metres from north to south. The easternmost
enclosure is subcircular in shape, and measures 30 metres from east to west and 28 metres from north to south and is also preserved only as a buried ditched feature. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath is included. Other details: Monument 28620.

Kenyon, D. R., 1997, Market Street, Okehampton: Archaeological Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV346209.

National Monuments Record, 2011, 440810 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346190.

A Roman fort and a series of associated enclosures on a hilltop location overlooking the valley of the River Okement to the north-west and Okehampton town to the south-west. The central feature of the monument is the fort itself, which is a rectangular enclosure with rounded corners. Excavations have confirmed the military origin of the fort and suggested occupation in the period AD 50-80. Surrounding the fort are a series of associated ditched enclosures mainly surviving as buried features.

Environment Agency, 2011, LIDAR data JPEG images (2 metre resolution) (Cartographic). SDV348634.

The levelled ramparts of the Fort are visible as low earthwork banks. Map Object based partly on this source.

Hegarty, C., 2013, Transcription of Okehampton Roman Fort cropmarks from Aerial Photographic and Lidar Sources (Interpretation). SDV354409.

The twin ditches and rampart of Okehampton Fort are visible on aerial photographs of 1980 to 1985 as cropmarks of buried ditches and earthwork banks. Probable entrances are visible on the southern, western and northern sides of the fort. The eastern entrance has probably been obscured by disturbance from Chichacott Road immediately to the east. Areas of parching at the north and south entrances and extending into the fort from the western gate probably mark the metalled surfaces of the fort roads. Similar cropmarks extending east of the fort into the adjacent fields probably defined the line of an external road.
The ramparts are visible on aerial photographs as cropmarks of levelled earthworks between 6 and 9 metres wide, but can be seen as much broader subtle earthworks on images derived from lidar data. The overall internal dimensions of the fort appear to be approximately 130 metres north to south and 90 metres east to west.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV215280Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EK. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4-5.
SDV217286Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2193-5.
SDV217976Monograph: Balkwill, C. J.. 1977. Archaeology and Development in Rural Devon. Archaeology and Development in Rural Devon. DCRA Publication No. 2. Unknown. 11,17.
SDV223424Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/FD. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 9.
SDV22609Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/FX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 12.
SDV233132Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/CV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3-5a.
SDV233514Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/AV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 6-9.
SDV261575Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1978. Romano-British Enclosure West of Chichacott Road. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV265154Interpretation: Miller, A.. 1996. Aerial photographic assessment. Aerial Photograph Primary Recoding Project. Map (Paper).
SDV267548Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/CG. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 6-8.
SDV267551Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/DG. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11-12.
SDV274716Article in Serial: Maxfield, V. A.. 1979. Roman Frontier Studies. British Archaeological Reports International Series. 71. Unknown. 297.
SDV278872Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1990. DAP/RE. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 9.
SDV326194Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1987. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 156, 159, 163.
SDV341807Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/DA. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3.
SDV343849Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1980. CUC/CMC. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 44-49.
SDV343861Report - Survey: King, A. C.. 1979. A30 Okehampton Bypass: Final Report. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Mixed Archive Material.
SDV345675Un-published: Weston, S.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV346187Article in Serial: Balkwill, C. J.. 1976. A Roman Site at Okehampton. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 34. Paperback Volume. 89-92.
SDV346188Article in Serial: Bidwell, P. T. + Bridgewater, R. + Silvester, R. J.. 1979. The Roman Fort at Okehampton. Britannia. 10. Unknown. 255-8.
SDV346189Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977 - 1985. SX59NE14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV346190National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 440810. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV346191Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1988. Roman Fort and Associated Enclosures. Schedule Amendment. A4 Stapled.
SDV346192Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1989. Roman Fort and Associated Enclosures. Schedule Amendment. A4 Stapled.
SDV346193Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1989. Roman Fort and Associated Enclosures. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV346194Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1996. Okehampton Roman Fort, Fortlet and Associated Enclosures. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV346195Worksheet: Griffiths, D. M.. 1982. Worksheet.
SDV346196Worksheet: Griffiths, D. M.. 1983. Worksheet.
SDV346197Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 1995. 139570. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown.
SDV346198Report - Survey: Balkwill, C. J.. 1976. Okehampton Bypass No 1 (North). Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Rural Survey. Worksheet.
SDV346199Photograph: 1984. Slide.
SDV346200Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/AC. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3-7.
SDV346202Article in Serial: Frere, S. S.. 1977. Interim Report. Britannia. 8. Unknown. 415.
SDV346203Photograph: 1984. Photograph (Paper). 2a-6a.
SDV346204Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/DY. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-5.
SDV346205Report - Assessment: Pye, A. R.. 1990. A30 Okehampton Bypass to Launceston Bypass Archaeological Assessment Part 2: Archaeological Evaluation of Sourton Down. Exeter Archaeology Report. 90.34. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4.
SDV346206Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1971. OS/71/130. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 30.
SDV346207Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. SX5995. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4-5.
SDV346208Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. SX5996. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3-10,12-17,24-30,34-35.
SDV346209Report - Assessment: Kenyon, D. R.. 1997. Market Street, Okehampton: Archaeological Assessment. Cotswold Archaeology Report. 97498. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV346210Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D.. 1994. Archaeological Assessment of DCC North Road Link, Okehampton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 94.60. A4 Grip Bound. 2.
SDV346211Report - Evaluation: Stead, P. M. + Reed, S. J.. 1995. Archaeological Field Evaluation of DCC North Road Link, Okehampton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 95.17. A4 Grip Bound. 1.
SDV346212Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/PB. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3-4.
SDV347735Plan - sketch: Unknown. Plan of Fort Rampart. Plan + Digital.
SDV348542Plan - measured: Unknown. Okehampton Roman Fort - North West Corner - Detail of Ovens Explsed by Stripping, Sept 1984. Plan + Digital.
SDV348634Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2011. LIDAR data JPEG images (2 metre resolution). Digital.
SDV35308Article in Serial: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. Roman Military Sites in Devon: Some Recent Discoveries. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 42. A5 Paperback. 12-13.
SDV35311Article in Serial: Frere, S. S.. 1985. Roman Britain in 1984. Britannia. 16. Unknown. 305.
SDV35314Article in Serial: Maxwell, G. S. + Wilson, D. R.. 1987. Air Reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-84. Britannia. 18. Unknown. 5.
SDV354409Interpretation: Hegarty, C.. 2013. Transcription of Okehampton Roman Fort cropmarks from Aerial Photographic and Lidar Sources.
SDV35573Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. 1980. CUC/CMM. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unknown. 74,75,88-90.
SDV357291Ground Photograph: Horner, B.. 09/07/2014. Okehampton Roman Fort. Digital.
SDV64198Monograph: Griffith, F.. 1988. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Paperback Volume. 50.

Associated Monuments

MDV28945Parent of: Fortlet south of Okehampton Roman Fort (Monument)
MDV28946Parent of: Four Enclosures north of Okehampton Roman Fort (Monument)
MDV56731Parent of: Possible Enclosure South-west of Okehampton Roman Fort (Monument)
MDV6841Related to: North Tawton Roman Fort I (Monument)
MDV57367Related to: Roman Road East of Chichacott Road, Okehampton (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1756 - POT (I to III - 1 AD to 300 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 7 2019 10:25AM