Roman camp on Stamford Heath, 350m north east of Stamford Hollows Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014379

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Roman camp on Stamford Heath, 350m north east of Stamford Hollows Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Christleton

National Grid Reference: SJ 45977 66925


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

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 Stamford Heath survives reasonably well as a cropmark and slight standing earthwork. This indicates that there will be substantial survival of the ditches and the remains of post holes and pits of any temporary buildings in the interior. The proximity of the Roman road to the north, and the position in relation to other Roman sites in Chester and in the surrounding hinterland of the fortress, make this an important site for our understanding of the process of conquest and government of this region during the Roman occupation.


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


The monument includes a Roman camp recognised as a cropmark by aerial photography and just visible as a standing earthwork in two fields on Stamford Heath near Christleton. The earthworks stand no more than 0.3m high and have been reduced by ploughing in the northern half. The site is overlaid by narrow ridge and furrow, the remains of earlier cultivation, in the southern half. This part is now under permanent pasture. A pond marked on the tithe award map is now filled in but its site is marked by a very slight hollow in the south west quarter of the enclosure. This pond post dates the period of use of the camp. The site is 200m south of the Roman road whose course is followed by the modern Tarvin Road. The camp measures 120m internally from north to south and 85m from east to west. It is rectangular with the north west corner rounded in the playing card shape of a typical Roman earthwork camp. The other corners, although not visible, will also be rounded and the south west corner lies under the hedgerow of the surrounding field. The bank is 8m wide at the base and stands to a maximum of 0.3m high. The ditch is outside this rampart and is traceable all around the rampart. It measures 3m wide and 0.1m deep. No entrances have been found but comparison with other Roman camps would suggest that they will be located in the mid-point of each side. The area enclosed by rampart and ditch is 1.02ha which is comparable to the smaller of the enclosures on Upton Heath to the north east of Chester 4km away. The modern field boundaries are not included in the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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: 25729

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
RCHME, , Rectangular Enclosure Stamford Lodge, (1987)
RAF, (1947)

End of official listing