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Burwen Castle Roman forts

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Burwen Castle Roman forts

List entry Number: 1012608

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Craven

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Elslack

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 24534

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 the monuments have been bisected by the building of the railway, much survives undisturbed. The two forts which exist on a single site illustrate the development of construction and design of this rare monument type.

History

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

Details

The monument includes two Roman forts, one within the other and together known as Burwen Castle. The earlier fort lies within the later one and dates from about AD 70-80. It includes a square clay rampart, enclosing an area of the higher ground. The larger fort, which dates from about AD 210, is roughly oblong and has a stone rampart. The forts are bisected by a disused railway line. The main portion of the monument is located within the field to the north. The ramparts of the earlier fort rise to a height of 0.22m above ground level. Stones project through the turf indicating a stone or rubble base probably with turf on top. The eastern rampart is indistinct and the southern rampart has been destroyed by the railway line. The interior is fairly level and there are no buildings surviving visibly, although remains of them will survive beneath the turf. The later fort survives best on the western side where the rampart is most distinct. It appears to have consisted of a stone wall surmounted by turf and an embankment behind. A dip in the rampart may indicate a western gateway. Beyond it is an outer fortification or external traverse in the form of a slight bank running parallel to it. There also appears to be an extension of the western rampart running down to Earby Beck. The north rampart of the later fort survives as a ledge running along the hillside. On the eastern side the ground falls away and what appears to be a stone step marks the outer rampart. Part of the southern rampart has survived in the field to the south of the disused railway track.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
'Yorkshire Archaeological Society' in The Roman Forts at Elslack, ()
'Yorkshire Archaeological Society' in The Roman Forts at Elslack, ()
May, T, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Burwens Castle Roman Forts, , Vol. 21, (1911), 113-167
May, T, 'The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in , , Vol. 21, (1911), 113-167

National Grid Reference: SD 92465 49455, SD 92524 49388

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012608 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2017 at 05:30:29.

End of official listing