King Street Roman fort, Harbutt's Field
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008460
Date first listed: 30-Nov-1993
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Apr-2019 at 17:21:25.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SJ 70221 66954
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. Although no upstanding remains of the fort at King Street survive, geophysical survey and limited excavation have established the position and extent of the whole site and confirmed that significant archaeological remains survive beneath the present ground surface. The survival of the entire area and plan of a Roman fort is exceptional for this area of England. It will provide a significant contribution to studies of the early Roman conquest and control of this area.
The monument includes a Roman fort located on the northern fringe of
Middlewich, a town generally identified as the Roman settlement known as
A Roman fort had been postulated to exist at Salinae since the 18th century but was only positively identified by field work during 1993. No upstanding remains survive but resistivity survey work, which measures the way in which electrical currents pass through the ground and uses this information to provide an insight into the nature of below-ground remains, has confirmed the location of the site and also that extensive remains of the whole fort survive beneath the present ground surface. The details of this have also been confirmed by magnetometer survey, which measures the different magnetic response of buried features, and by aerial photography.
The complete plan of the fort has been revealed by this work. It is a roughly square enclosure, measuring approximately 110m by 125m with rounded corners and entrances visible in the middle of all four sides. There is evidence of a structure located within the northern gateway. The enclosure was surrounded by a single rampart and ditch. There are further features outside the rampart and ditch which may represent ancillary features such as the roads leading to the site, and a possible outer ditch on the north side of the fort. A number of internal features have also been identified.
The geophysical survey work was followed by limited excavation. This revealed that the ditch survives as a buried feature, as do postholes which relate to the construction of the rampart. Within the interior of the fort, deposits of burnt clay were found along with evidence of the slots in which timber beams used in the foundations of the Roman buildings would have been set. Pottery fragments found indicate that the fort was in use in the late first century AD.
Although no upstanding remains of the fort at King Street survive, geophysical survey and limited excavation have established the position and extent of the whole site and confirmed that significant archaeological remains survive beneath the present ground surface.
The survival of the entire area and plan of a Roman fort is exceptional for this area of England. It will provide a significant contribution to studies of the early Roman conquest and control of this area.
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: 12615
Legacy System: RSM
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