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Historic England Research Records

Wall 1

Hob Uid: 304428
Location :
Staffordshire
Lichfield
Wall
Grid Ref : SK0903006620
Summary : The cropmark of a Roman temporary camp. A complex of military establishments, including two camps, a sequence of forts and a probable vexillation fortress, together with the later small fortified settlement or posting-station of Letocetum, has been recorded in the vicinity of the present village of Wall. The sites lie along Watling Street, the major Roman road from London to the Legionary fortress of Wroxeter (Viroconium). The junction with Ryknield Street, a nodal point in the Roman road system of the region lay only 0.5km ESE of the present village. Immediately N of Watling Street and less than 740m W of the W corner of the fort, cropmarks have revealed the existence of a camp, camp 1. It lies on an E-facing valley side, at the point wher ethe incline decreases a little to form a slight but gently sloping shelf. An unnamed stream in the bottom of a broad valley seperates the camp from the main military complex around Wall village. There are good views SE, S and SW, but the outlook to the NE is blocked by rising ground. The NW quadrant of camp 1 is missing and the layout is not rectangular, the three visible corners being slightly acute. The area enclosed comprises about 2.5ha (6 acres). The S ditch, about 182m long, and the E ditch, about 152m long, are each interrupted, almost at their central points, for a gate; the same was probably also true of the W side. In no case, however, is any traverse evident. On topographical grounds, the camp appears to have faced E, its highest, W, side lying at the foot of steeper terrain to the W. The cropmarks of the ditch of the camp are relatively narrow, and are somewhat obscured by the marks of former field-boundaries and ridge-and-furrow.
More information : Recent air photography has revealed the cropmarks of three Roman camps west and south of Wall. The first, centred at about SK 092067, may approach 1575ft. from east to west. Recent widening of the A5 has damaged part of the S side. A smaller camp, 600ft. from east to west, seems to occupy the SW quadrant. (Presumably not SK 00 NE 12 which is about 50ft (E-W). The rounded SE angle and part of the E side are visible. To the S of Wall there are traces of what is apparently another camp at SK 099064. 300ft. of the N side, the rounded NW angle and 200ft of the W side have been identified to the north of the bypass constructed in 1967. (1)

The air photographs were not available at the time of investigation but nothing of significance was seen at the references given. The fields concerned were under crops. (2)

SK 0904 0663 (Camp 1) Roman temporary camp classified by RCHME's Roman Camps Project, accords with camp at SK 092067 in Source 1. The camp at SK 099 064 is now assigned a separate NMR number, SK 00 NE 16. (3)

This camp has been re-assessed in connection with RCHME's survey and publication of Roman Camps in England. The following descriptive account is taken from the published text. NAR Number SK 00 NE 9 now unique to Wall 1 Roman temporary camp. For Wall 2 camp see SK 00 NE.
A complex of military establishments, including two camps, a sequence of forts and a probable vexillation fortress, together with the later small fortified settlement or posting-station of Letocetum, has been recorded in the vicinity of the present village of Wall. The sites lie along Watling Street, the major Roman road from London to the Legionary fortress of Wroxeter (Viroconium). The junction with Ryknield Street, a nodal point in the Roman road system of the region lay only 0.5km ESE of the present village (Margary 1973, 286 291 (3a)).
Immediately N of Watling Street and less than 740m W of the W corner of the fort, cropmarks have revealed the existence of a camp, camp 1 (St Joseph 1961, 123 (3b); CUCAP BEG 75 (3c)). It lies on an E-facing valley side, at the point wher ethe incline decreases a little to form a slight but gently sloping shelf. An unnamed stream in the bottom of a broad valley seperates the camp from the main military complex around Wall village. There are good views SE, S and SW, but the outlook to the NE is blocked by rising ground. The NW quadrant of camp 1 is missing and the layout is not rectangular, the three visible corners being slightly acute (CUCAP BEG 73-8 (3d)). The area enclosed comprises about 2.5ha (6 acres). The S ditch, about 182m long, and the E ditch, about 152m long, are each interrupted, almost at their central points, for a gate; the same was probably also true of the W side. In no case, however, is any traverse evident. On topographical grounds, the camp appears to have faced E, its highest, W, side lying at the foot of steeper terrain to the W. The cropmarks of the ditch of the camp are relatively narrow, and are somewhat obscured by the marks of former field-boundaries and ridge-and-furrow.
A small rectangular ditched enclosure, perhaps associated with the Roman road and adjacent to its N side, appears to overlie the SE corner of the camp (NAR SK 00 SE 12); their relative chronology cannot be determined without excavation. An extensive area W of the forts and N of the Roman road is known to have contained cemeteries (NAR SK 00 NE 4), and it is possible that this enclosure, and a very small square cropmark with a possible central pit visible in the NE corner of the camp, may represent burials. South of the A5 a dark rectangular feature is probably a medieval moated site. The traces of 'a much larger camp', in the SW quadrant of which this camp was said to lie (St Joseph 1973, 233 (see auth 1)), are not convincing as a camp and their function is unknown.
Topographically, each camp would have been quite satisfactory as an isolated unit. Nevertheless, the proximity of both to a sequence of forts (Gould 1964 (3e), 1967 (3f); Round 1970 (3g)), which would have overlooked them, could suggest a relationship between the various establishments. Full information is included in the NMR Archive. (4)

Published source. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Air reconnaissance in Roman Britain, 1969-72
Source details :
Page(s) : 233
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 63
Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DJC 20-AUG-74
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4G
Source : Excavations at Wall, Staffs, 1966-7 on the site of the Roman forts
Source details : (Wall Excavation Report No. 9)
Page(s) : Jul-31
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 11
Source Number : 5
Source : Roman camps in England : the field archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 175
Figs. : 145
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Wall/ink AP transcription 1
Source details :
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Source Number :
Source : Wall/pencil AP transcription
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : RCHME Roman Camps Project ms text and plan.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Humphrey Welfare and Vivien Swan/1994/RCHME: Roman Camps in England Project.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4A
Source : Roman roads in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 4B
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details : St Joseph, JKS. `Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1958-60'
Page(s) : 119-35
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 51, 1961
Source Number : 4C
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : CUCAP BEG 75
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4D
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : CUCAP BEG 73-8
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4E
Source : Transactions of the Lichfield and South Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society
Source details : Gould, J. `Excavations at Wall (Staffordshire), 1961-3, on the site of the early Roman forts and of the late Roman defences'
Page(s) : Jan-50
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 5, 1963-4
Source Number : 4F
Source : Excavations at Wall, Staffs, 1964-6, on the site of the Roman forts
Source details :
Page(s) : Jan-40
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Temporary Camp
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ST 15
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SK 00 NE 9
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 304404
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 00 NE 9
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-08-20
End Date : 1974-08-20
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WALL 1 AND 2 ROMAN CAMPS
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31