Two Roman camps near Greensforge

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1006080

Date first listed: 03-Nov-1980

Map

Ordnance survey map of Two Roman camps near Greensforge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Staffordshire

District: South Staffordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Kinver

County: Staffordshire

District: South Staffordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Swindon

National Grid Reference: SO 85573 88489, SO 85800 87997

Summary

Two Roman camps 460m south west of Greensforge Bridge.

Reasons for Designation

Roman camps are rectangular or sub-rectangular enclosures which were constructed and used by Roman soldiers either when out on campaign or as practice camps; most campaign camps were only temporary overnight bases and few were used for longer periods. They were bounded by a single earthen rampart and outer ditch and in plan are always straight-sided with rounded corners. Normally they have between one and four entrances, although as many as eleven have been recorded. Such entrances were usually centrally placed in the sides of the camp and were often protected by additional defensive outworks. Roman camps are found throughout much of England, although most known examples lie in the midlands and north. Around 140 examples have been identified and, as one of the various types of defensive enclosure built by the Roman Army, particularly in hostile upland and frontier areas, they provide an important insight into Roman military strategy and organisation. All well-preserved examples are identified as being of national importance.

The two Roman camps 460m south west of Greensforge Bridge survive as buried archaeological remains which will contain important evidence about the occupation and use of the site as well as Roman military strategy and organisation during the Romano-British period of occupation.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 June 2015. This 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, which fall into two areas, includes the buried remains of two Roman camps, situated in a slightly elevated position on the western edge of the Smestow valley. The two Roman camps have been identified as cropmarks on aerial photographs, defined in part by their defensive ditches which are rectangular in plan with rounded corners both aligned WSW-ENE. The larger camp measures internally approximately 320m (north to south) by 430m (east to west) enclosing an area of up to 14 hectares and is situated in an elevated position, especially at its western end. Approximately 180m to the south and slightly down slope lies a second camp which measures internally 140m (north to south) by 240m (east to west) enclosing an area of up to 3.5 hectares. The southern camp has good views to the south along the valley of Spittle Brook and down Smestow Brook towards the confluence with the river Stour.

Two Roman forts and further temporary camps lie approximately 400m to the ENE on the eastern side of the Smestow valley and a large camp at Swindon lying 2km to the north is clearly inter-visible with the larger northern camp. This complex of military installations would have been an important stronghold in the Roman military campaigns.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: ST 231

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Books and journals
Welfare, H, Swan, V, Roman Camps in England: The Field Evidence, (1995)
Other
Pastscape: 116578 and 116575

End of official listing