Roman fort at Wensley


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012004

Date first listed: 17-Mar-1995


Ordnance survey map of Roman fort at Wensley
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2018 at 13:58:02.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Wensley

National Grid Reference: SE 08116 89266


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 earthworks survive at this site, the full extent of the fort is discernible from aerial photographs, with the ditch system surviving intact. Significant information on the date and internal layout of the site will be preserved.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The fort is situated in meadowland on the north bank of the River Ure, west of the village of Wensley. It has been identified from aerial photographs, surviving in the form of below ground features with the ditches and entrances discernible as crop marks. It measures 130m north west to south east by 100m north east to south west internally, an area of 1.3ha. The area is enclosed by two ditches each 4m wide and spaced 6m apart. The north west, south east and south west sides are clearly discernible on the photographs, also the north angle and part of the north west side. Three of the gateways are visible as breaks in the ditches: these consisted of earthern causeways, situated centrally on all four sides of the fort. The entrances are protected externally by a traverse, a detached section of rampart and ditch in front of the entrance, blocking the line of direct access to it. The plantation wall which clips the southern corner of the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 24561

Legacy System: RSM


White, R, (1984)

End of official listing