Parton Roman fort


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Copeland (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NX 98244 20839


Roman Fort and Civilian Settlement, immediately west of Moresby Hall.

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 Civilian Settlement immediately west of Moresby Hall is preserved as an earthwork and in places as cropmarks and is highly representative of its period. Excavation has revealed indicated the degree of preservation with the foundations of buildings and architectural features such as hypocaust surviving as buried deposits. The significance of the fort is increased by its association with its civilian settlement. Taken as a whole the monument provides insight into the Roman military occupation of northern England and the complex relationship between Roman forts and native settlement and commercial activity.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 23 March 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.

The monument includes the remains of a roman fort and its civilian settlement, situated on level ground near Parton Bay on the Cumbrian coast. The fort, which is preserved as earthworks and in places as cropmarks, consists of a sub-rectangular enclosure with rounded corners measuring approximately 122m by 109m. The enclosure is orientated east-west and is surrounded by an intermittent rampart and at least one ditch. The turf-covered rampart is strongest on the west and south sides and rises from a height of 1m at its east end to approximately 4m in the south west corner of the fort. A number of partial excavations have revealed the presence of a civilian settlement, or vicus, and associated buildings surrounding the fort. Finds include the remains of buildings, buried walls, fragments of tombstones, altars and sections of hypercaust indicating the presence of a building such as a bath house. The dates from inscriptions and coins found within the excavations indicate that the fort and vicus were occupied from AD128 until 3rd to 4th centuries AD. Geophysical survey has also revealed the presence of an earlier ditch running underneath the fort.


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

Legacy System number:
CU 277
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:-8593, 1030633, 1030624


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

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