Bremenium Roman Station, High Rochester, 400m N of Hopesley House.
Reasons for Designation
Roman forts served as permanent bases for auxiliary units of the Roman Army. In outline they were straight sided enclosures with rounded corners, defined by a 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. 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.
Bremenium Roman Station has a particularly complex history of use and development. Despite the construction of later buildings, walls and a road the monument survives in good condition, notably with standing walls, and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the use and abandonment of the monument and its surrounding landscape.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 May 2016. 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.
This monument includes a Roman fort and its associated earthwork defences and standing masonry, situated on a west facing slope overlooking Sills Burn. The earthworks are formed by both ramparts and at least six ditches. The fort measures roughly 147m x 136m with the main rampart being visible on all sides. Stretches of the standing Roman walling are visible on the south, west and north side and gateways still exist on the north and west sides. There are also the remains of an interval turret to the west of the south gate and those of an angle turret within the SE angle of the fort.
There have been a number of excavations in and around the monument during the 19th and 20th centuries. Recent excavations and geophysical survey have indicated the extent of preservation of archaeological remains and the link between the fort and its surrounding landscape. These have revealed extensive remains indicating the long and complex developmental sequence of the fort. The fort, known as Bremenium, was sited on the Dere Street Roman road. The original Agricolan Fort (AD 78-85) consisted of a single ditch and rampart, which was later replaced by a larger rampart and complex system of ditches. In the Antonine period (AD 139-Late 2nd century) the fort was rebuilt with a rubble wall and clay rampart. During the Severan period (Early-Late 3rd century AD) the defences were levelled and a fort wall was built. The final alterations occurred during the Constantinian period (c. 306AD-Mid 4th century) when a larger stone wall, four gateways and angle and interval turrets were added. Water was supplied to the fort via an aqueduct, which entered through a stone-covered channel through the south gate. The fort was destroyed in the mid-4th century AD. The fort is a listed building Grade II.