Roman camp on Fox Covert Lane 650m north west of Picton Gorse


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


Ordnance survey map of Roman camp on Fox Covert Lane 650m north west of Picton Gorse
© 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 42466 70147, SJ 42503 70064

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 on Fox Covert Lane is one of an important and unusual group in the area. They will provide evidence of the construction and use of camps elsewhere in the British Isles. Additionally they will provide information on the activities of the troops based in Chester during the Roman occupation. This camp survives reasonably well except for the undoubted destruction of some of the remains by the construction of the lane. The ditch and base of the rampart will survive under the ploughsoil and the interior will contain evidence of the temporary buildings and latrine or rubbish pits.


The monument includes a Roman camp visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs. These reveal a rectangular enclosure bounded by a ditch and divided into two separate areas, lying in two fields on either side of Fox Covert Lane. The camp is one of a group found in the fields to the east of Chester City and is close to the camps at Upton. They are interpreted as practice camps built by troops from the Roman garrison at Chester. The camp measures 170m from north to south and 150m from east to west and is overlaid by the lane surface running from the north east corner to a point midway along the southern side which has destroyed the remains at this point. Each of the remaining corners has the rounded shape of a typical Roman earthwork camp. By analogy with other camps the ditch would have had a V-cut about 3m wide inside of which there would have been a rampart of earth about 6m wide at the base. The rampart has been spread and the ditch infilled by later ploughing. The interior will contain traces of temporary buildings and pits for latrines and rubbish disposal.

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
RCHME, , Upton Heath, (1989)
Collens, J ,


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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