Roman camp at Upton, 350m north east of the water tower north of Long Lane


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Roman camp at Upton, 350m north east of the water tower north of Long Lane
© 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.

Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 41934 69855

Reasons for Designation

Roman camps are rectangular or sub-rectangular enclosures which were constructed and used by Roman soldiers either when out on campaign or as practice camps; most campaign camps were only temporary overnight bases and few were used for longer periods. They were bounded by a single earthen rampart and outer ditch and in plan are always straight-sided with rounded corners. Normally they have between one and four entrances, although as many as eleven have been recorded. Such entrances were usually centrally placed in the sides of the camp and were often protected by additional defensive outworks. Roman camps are found throughout much of England, although most known examples lie in the midlands and north. Around 140 examples have been identified and, as one of the various types of defensive enclosure built by the Roman Army, particularly in hostile upland and frontier areas, they provide an important insight into Roman military strategy and organisation. All well-preserved examples are identified as being of national importance.

The Roman camp at Upton survives as a well defined cropmark visible on aerial photographs. It survives as a ditch and rampart buried under ploughsoil on what was once open heathland. It is one of a group of five camps within a square kilometre to the west of Upton Grange Farm. These appear to have been made as practice camps by troops from the garrison at Chester. Examples of these are unusual and they will provide evidence for the construction and function of camps throughout the British Isles. The monument will retain important evidence about the construction of its defences and the interior will contain traces of any temporary buildings or pits for latrines and refuse.


The monument includes a Roman camp visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs taken in 1990. The camp is one of a group of five within a square kilometre to the west of Upton Grange Farm. Since there are so many of these camps grouped together it is suggested that they were constructed as practice camps by troops from the garrison at Chester. The camp is enclosed by a ditch which has rectangular sides and rounded corners in the shape of a playing card. It measures 100m by 120m with the longer sides east to west. The area enclosed is 1.2ha. Excavations of other Roman camps have revealed that the ditch will be V-cut with a rampart within the ditch circuit. The rampart and ditch have been ploughed level so that no trace is now visible on the ground. The rampart will be about 6m wide at the base and the ditch 1.45m deep and 2m wide.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 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
Higham, N, A Cropmark at Upton Grange, (1987)
Ainsworth, S, 'Journal of the Chester Arch. Soc.' in Two Rectangular Enclosures at Stamford Heath, (1988)
Collens J and Philpott R, Cheshire County Council SMR, (1990)


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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