Roman fort 350m south west of Buckton Park.
Reasons for Designation
Roman forts served as permanent bases for auxiliary units of the Roman Army. In outline they were straight sided rectangular enclosures with rounded corners, defined by a single rampart of turf, puddled clay or earth with one or more outer ditches. Some forts had separately defended, subsidiary enclosures or annexes, allowing additional storage space or for the accommodation of troops and convoys in transit. Although built and used throughout the Roman period, the majority of forts were constructed between the mid-first and mid-second centuries AD. Some were only used for short periods of time but others were occupied for extended periods on a more or less permanent basis. In the earlier forts, timber was used for gateways, towers and breastworks. From the beginning of the second century AD there was a gradual replacement of timber with stone. Roman forts are rare nationally and are extremely rare south of the Severn Trent line. As one of a small group of Roman military monuments, which are important in representing army strategy and therefore government policy, forts are of particular significance to our understanding of the period.
Although much is already known about the Roman fort 350m south west of Buckton Park, which had particularly complex and unusual features, it will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, development, social, political and strategic significance, internal arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 May 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a Roman fort situated just above the floodplain of the River Teme beside a tributary. Known locally as ‘Buckton Fort’ it survives as entirely buried structures, layers and deposits visible on aerial photographs. Partial excavations have shown the fort was constructed around AD 80 as a replacement for the nearby but earlier Jay Lane fort (scheduled separately) but in this instance sited to take advantage of a better water supply to enable the construction of baths. Initially the fort was of turf ramparts with timber gate towers.
In AD 120 the fort was rebuilt in stone but remained of similar size (approximately 2.3ha) the ditch was cleared and a stone wall was built in front of the turf rampart and impressive stone gate towers were erected beside twin portal gates of up to 22.3m wide. This was the largest auxiliary fort gatehouse known in Britain. The towers unusually contained stone staircases a refinement normally reserved for legionary fortresses. Internally the fort had the benefit of gravel roads and the central buildings which included the granaries and headquarters were also stone built. The fort housed a cavalry unit. Subsequently the threat from the Welsh frontier reduced significantly and the fort was deliberately dismantled down to the foundations (presumably for re-use elsewhere, some sources suggest Leintwardine). The fort was finally abandoned in AD 130.