Roman camp 200m south west of Knowe Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NY 48888 39310

Reasons for Designation

Roman camps are rectangular or sub-rectangular enclosures which were constructed and used by Roman soldiers either when out on campaign or as practice camps; most campaign camps were only temporary overnight bases and few were used for longer periods. They were bounded by a single earthen rampart and outer ditch and in plan are always straight-sided with rounded corners. Normally they have between one and four entrances, although as many as eleven have been recorded. Such entrances were usually centrally placed in the sides of the camp and were often protected by additional defensive outworks. Roman camps are found throughout much of England, although most known examples lie in the midlands and north. Around 140 examples have been identified and, as one of the various types of defensive enclosure built by the Roman Army, particularly in hostile upland and frontier areas, they provide an important insight into Roman military strategy and organisation. All well-preserved examples are identified as being of national importance.

Despite the absence of any upstanding earthwork features, the Roman camp 200m south west of Knowe Farm has been identified on aerial photographs. It is one of many Roman camps lying adjacent to the main Roman road connecting the Vale of York with Carlisle. Many of these camps display marked differences in plan, defensive arrangements, numbers of gateways, size and subsequent troop disposition. The monument will contribute to any study of Roman military campaigning in northern England.


The monument is a Roman camp located on flat land overlooking the narrow valley of the River Petteril to the west. It lies c.850m NNW of Old Penrith Roman fort (known to the Romans as Voreda) and a short distance west of the A6 trunk road which here follows the line of the Roman road that connected Old Penrith with the fort at Carlisle (known to the Romans as Luguvallium). The camp is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs which highlight features such as infilled ditches. Aerial photographs show the camp perimeter ditch in its entirety and indicate that the camp measures approximately 180m by 110m internally. There are four gateways, one situated at the mid point of each side, each defended by a tutulus - an earthen mound and ditch in front of the gate constructed to prevent a direct approach and thus hinder an attacking force. All drystone walls, post and wire fences, gateposts, telegraph poles and a watering trough are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
St Joseph, J K, 'Journal of Roman Studies' in Air Reconnaissance of North Britain, , Vol. 41, (1951), 54
AP No XPI 2521,29, Cumbria County Council, Roman Camp SW of Knowe Farm, (1984)
AP No. 2521,28, Cumbria County Council, Roman Camp SW of Knowe Farm, (1984)
Carlton, R.J., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Roman Camps, (1988)
SMR No. 2922, Cumbria SMR, Roman Camp SW of Knowe Farm, (1984)


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