Roman fortlet at Salkeld Gate


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 50054 36282

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.

Despite the absence of any upstanding earthwork features, the Roman fortlet at Salkeld Gate has been identified on aerial photographs. It will retain significant archaeological information, including information on the original form of the enclosing defences. It is one of many Roman sites lying adjacent to the main Roman road which connected the Vale of York with Carlisle, and will contribute to any study of Roman military campaigning in northern England.


The monument is a Roman fortlet located on the summit of a low hillock a short distance east of the A6 trunk road which here follows the line of the Roman road which connected forts at Brougham (known to the Romans as Brocavum) and Old Penrith (known to the Romans as Voreda). The northern half of the fortlet is visible as cropmarks on an aerial photograph which clearly shows features such as the infilled ditches which surround the site. Fortlets had fairly standard layouts and plans and the visible information about the northern part of this site provides sufficient information to allow the full extent of the site to be defined. The site was rectangular with rounded corners and measures approximately 48m by 50m. The ditch which defines the northern side of the fortlet measures approximately 38m long but only about 14m of the east and west ditches are visible. All field boundaries and the surface of a farmtrack are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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), 53-4
AP No. DM 055, Cambridge University Collection, (1949)
FMW Report, Crow, J., AM 107, (1988)


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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