Roman fort 200m known as Roman camp north-east of Stretton Mill.
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. All Roman forts with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be nationally important.
Despite suffering from a degree of plough damage the Roman fort 200m north east of Stretton Mill will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the fort’s construction, layout, and use. Its relationship with the other Roman military sites and defended settlement of Pennocrucium is of great significance to Roman military strategy, and Roman occupation and settlement during the Romano-British occupation period.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 June 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 on slightly sloping elevated ground overlooking the River Penk valley to the east. The fort is known from cropmarks identified on aerial photographs and survives as a rectangular enclosure with rounded corners aligned north west to south east enclosed by double ditches on its north west, north east and south west sides and a single ditch on its south east side. It measures externally 150m in length (north west – south east) and 130m in width (south west - north east), covering a total area of approximately 2 hectares. To the south east are further ditches which appear as an extension to the fort enclosing an additional area of approximately 0.4 hectares. Excavations have confirmed the location of the ditches and pottery fragments from its internal ditch date from AD 50–200.
Earthworks to the north east of the monument may represent the site of an annexe to the fort but as this has not been formally assessed it is not included in the scheduling. The fort lies 250m north of Watling Street, the early Roman road from London to the legionary fortress of Wroxeter. A number of Roman military sites have been identified in the vicinity of Stretton Mill and Water Eaton, including a large Vexillation fortress, another fort, a number of camps and a small defended settlement known as Pennocrucium. They occupy a strategic location and a nodal point in the Roman road system, with roads leaving Watling Street for Chester, Wroxeter, Greensforge, and perhaps Metchley.