Roman fort and watch tower, 800m SSW of Amberfield


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1007067.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 08-Dec-2021 at 06:36:59.


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

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Carlisle (District Authority)
Burgh By Sands
National Grid Reference:
NY 32444 58176

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. The Roman fort and watch tower, 800m SSW of Amberfield are preserved as cropmarks and excavation has revealed the monument contains archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. The fort and watch tower lie about 800m south of the route of Hadrian's Wall and are therefore form part of one of the most important Roman military landscapes in England. In addition, with the presence of a watch tower superseded by a fort, the monument provides insight in to the development of military strategy during the Roman occupation of England.


The monument includes the remains of a Roman fort and watch tower situated on a slight rise around 800m south of Hadrian's Wall. The fort and watch tower are preserved as cropmarks. The tower is circular in plan and surrounded by a slight rampart and ditch with a diameter of 20m and has been shown by excavation to date to the first half of the 2nd century AD. The tower lies within the eastern corner of the fort which dates to the later 2nd century AD. The fort is square, about 140m across and defined by a single ditch with entrances on the south west and south east sides. Within the interior of the fort are traces of a large building with internal divisions, which is thought to be the principia, and a second rectangular building interpreted as a granary. Partial excavation of the fort revealed the remains of the ramparts and south east gateway, with the ramparts being 5m wide later widened to 7.5m and being constructed from clay on a pebble base. To the south east of the fort is an annexe measuring 120m by 140m which is also included within the monument. The monument is crossed by a road and farm track, the metalled surfaces of which are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

SOURCES PastScape Monument No:- 10767 NMR:- NY35NW34 Cumbria HER:- 4395


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

Legacy System number:
CU 526
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing