Maiden Castle near Brough


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007183

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1924


Ordnance survey map of Maiden Castle near Brough
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Stainmore

National Grid Reference: NY 87212 13150


Maiden Castle Roman Fortlet.

Reasons for Designation

Roman fortlets are small rectangular enclosures with rounded corners defined by a fortified rampart of turf and earth with one or more outer ditches. The ramparts were originally revetted at the front and rear by timber uprights in shallow trenches and were almost certainly crowned with timber wall walks and parapets. Fortlets were constructed from the first century AD to at least the later fourth century AD to provide accommodation for a small detachment of troops generally deployed on a temporary basis of between one to two years and supplied by a fort in the same area. The function of fortlets varies from place to place; some were positioned to guard river crossings or roads, particularly at vulnerable points such as crossroads, whilst others acted as supply bases for signal towers. Roman fortlets are rare nationally with approximately 50 examples known in Britain, half of which are located in Scotland. As such, and as one of a small group of Roman military monuments which are important in representing army strategy and therefore government policy, fortlets are of particular significance to our understanding of the period and all surviving examples are considered nationally important.

Maiden Castle Roman Fortlet is rare nationally, is representative of its period and is well preserved as an earthwork. Excavation has shown that the monument contains archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. The monument provides insight into Roman military strategy during the occupation of Britain. Its significance is increased by the presence of a broadly contemporary settlement close to the south east. Taken together the monument provides insight into the relationship between Roman fortifications and native settlements during the Romano-British period.


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 fortlet, situated on a south west facing slope of Beldoo Hill. The monument consists of a square enclosure measuring nearly 40m by 50m surrounded by an intermittent wall and ditch. The wall is preserved as a bank of earth and stone around 1.7m high with partial excavation demonstrating that preserved, coursed walling survives buried within the banking. On the north side of the enclosure there is a narrow berm, an outer 0.4m deep ditch and another stony bank, which continues around three sides of the fortlet. The defences are pierced by gateways on their east and west sides and a hollow way runs through the fort from east to west. Partial excavation of the fort revealed it to date from the second to fourth centuries AD. Further archaeological remains identified within the vicinity of the monument are not currently included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.


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

Legacy System number: CU 283

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:- 15918

End of official listing