Bomber Camp Romano-British farmstead and associated enclosure


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


Ordnance survey map of Bomber Camp Romano-British farmstead and associated enclosure
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Pendle (District Authority)
Bracewell and Brogden
National Grid Reference:
SD 84295 47626

Reasons for Designation

In Cumbria and Northumberland several distinctive types of native settlements dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non- defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also common. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common. Elsewhere, especially near the Scottish border, another type occurs where the settlement enclosure was `scooped' into the hillslope. Frequently the enclosures reveal a regularity and similarity of internal layout. The standard layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. In front of the houses were pathways and small enclosed yards. Homesteads normally had only one or two houses, but larger enclosures could contain as many as six. At some sites the settlement appears to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main enclosure and clustered around it. At these sites up to 30 houses may be found. In the Cumbrian uplands the settlements were of less regimented form and unenclosed clusters of houses of broadly contemporary date are also known. These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives throughout the period of the Roman occupation. Their origins lie in settlement forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved earthworks. In lowland coastal areas they were also originally common, although there they can frequently only be located through aerial photography. All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important.

Enclosures were originally bounded by stone walls, ditches, timber palisades, or banks of stone and earth. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and may have been subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of these enclosures may therefore vary depending upon the their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes provides important information on the social organisation and farming practices of any associated settlements. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Bomber Camp Romano-British farmstead and associated enclosure survives reasonably well and remains unencumbered by modern development. It is a rare example in Lancashire of a Romano-British farmstead which has an associated enclosure. Limited excavation within the farmstead during the late 1930's has demonstrated evidence of fourth century AD occupation and further evidence of the nature and function of this occupation will exist. Additionally the monument will contribute to any study of Romano-British settlement patterns in Lancashire and the north of England.


The monument includes Bomber Camp Romano-British farmstead and associated enclosure. The farmstead is located on a gently sloping south east facing hillslope and the enclosure lies immediately to the south east in the shallow valley. The farmstead includes an enclosure approximately 70m square which is surrounded on all sides by a ditch, now dry, measuring up to 2m wide by 0.5m deep. The ditch is flanked by an outer bank 5m-7m wide and up to 0.3m high on all sides except the north west, and an inner bank up to 4m wide and 0.4 high on the north west and south west sides. Access into the farmstead's interior is by an entrance situated at the mid-point of the south east side. The associated enclosure lying immediately to the south east of the farmstead is bounded by drainage ditches which run from close to the south and east corners of the farmstead and curve round to enclose a sub-oval area with maximum measurements of approximately 140m south west - north east by 110m north west - south east. Within this enclosure there are two rectangular raised platforms both measuring c.8m by 5m which are interpreted as hut platforms. Limited excavation of the farmstead undertaken in 1939 showed that the interior was roughly paved with boulders and dated an occupation area found at the centre of the farmstead to the fourth century AD. Finds included pottery, an iron sword blade, the top stone of a quern, a stone pounder and a spindle whorl. All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

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Books and journals
Musson, R C, Kitson Clark, M, 'Proceedings Leeds Philosophical Society' in Proceedings Leeds Philosophical Society, , Vol. 5 Pt.4, (1941), 239-51
FMW Report, Capstick, B, Rectangular earthwork called Bomber Camp, (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.

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