Cardurnock (tower 4b) and earlier ditch system and patrol road, part of the Roman frontier defences along the Cumbrian coast
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Name: Cardurnock (tower 4b) and earlier ditch system and patrol road, part of the Roman frontier defences along the Cumbrian coast
List entry Number: 1016074
The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District Type: District Authority
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first scheduled: 01-Aug-1961
Date of most recent amendment: 21-Feb-1997
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: RSM
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
Hadrian's Wall marks one of the frontiers of the Roman Empire. The
international importance of the surviving remains has been recognised through
designation as a World Heritage Site.
The military importance of the Tyne-Solway route across the Pennines was
recognised by the Romans in the second half of the first century AD when a
military road, the Stanegate, was constructed along with a series of forts.
There is evidence that the Tyne-Solway route was being recognised as a
frontier by the start of the second century AD, but the line was consolidated
in the early second century AD by the construction of a substantial frontier
work, Hadrian's Wall, in c.120 AD. Subsequent attempts to establish the
boundary further north, between Clyde and Forth, failed by c.160 AD. Hadrian's
Wall then remained the frontier of the Roman Empire in Britain until c.400 AD
when Roman armies withdrew from Britain.
For most of its course, the 70 miles of Hadrian's Wall running from coast to
coast comprised a continuous stone wall (which in places was first temporarily
built of turf) with permanent structures sited at intervals of one Roman mile
(milecastles) and at third of a mile intervals (turrets) between the
milecastles. At a later date, the Wall was strengthened by 16 full-size
garrison forts built either on, or close to, the Wall. To the north of the
Wall, for most of its length, lay a substantial defensive ditch and to the
south a complex of banks and ditches provided east-west communication and
demarcated the frontier zone from the province.
To the west of Bowness-on-Solway, where the Wall reached the sea, however, the
frontier had a different character and served a slightly different purpose. At
the western end of the Wall a system of milefortlets and towers, spaced
similarly to the milecastles and turrets along the Wall, extended the frontier
system for at least 27 miles down the Cumbrian coast and helped control
movement across the estuary of the Solway Firth. In places these milefortlets
and towers were supplemented by lengths of palisade fences.
Throughout its long history the Wall was not always well maintained. It was
often neglected and sometimes overrun, but it remained in use until the late
fourth century when a weak and divided Roman Empire finally withdrew its
armies from the Wall and Britain.
The frontier works along the Cumbrian coast survive as earthworks or buried
archaeological remains, the latter sometimes visible on aerial photographs.
They survive in this form largely as a result of the more ephemeral materials
of which they were built (timber and turf instead of the stone of Hadrian's
Wall land frontier) rather than because of poor survival of archaeological
remains. Components of the coastal frontier which have surviving
archaeological remains, whether visible or not, will generally be considered
of national importance.
A combination of aerial photography and limited excavation have shown that buried remains of three periods of the Roman frontier defences including an observation platform, a series of ditches including some which held palisade fences, and a Roman tower survive reasonably well. The monument will contribute to further study of the Roman frontier defences along the Cumbrian coast.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes the buried remains of a Roman observation platform and a
later stone tower together with the buried remains of an associated linear
defensive system here comprising a series of ditches, some of which contained
palisade fences. The linear defensive system has been identified in part by a
combination of aerial photographs, excavation and geophysical survey elsewhere
along the Cumbrian coast, but in particular between Bowness-on-Solway and the
northern shore of Moricambe. Within the sequence of towers along the Cumbrian
coast Cardurnock has been identified as number 4b. The monument is located
immediately to the west of Cardurnock village and was revealed during the
1970s by a combination of limited excavation and aerial photography; the
latter clearly showed the crop mark of an infilled ditch running south from
the Roman tower for approximately 110m. The excavation found a series of three
periods of activity; the first period was attested by the presence of a clay
platform fronted by a palisade ditch which was interpreted by the excavator as
the remains of a low clay and turf mound which would have served as a point
where patrolling sentries could have observed over the top of the frontal
palisade towards the sea. This defensive arrangement was complemented by a
forward ditch which is visible on aerial photographs and located some 11m to
the seaward side of the palisade. The excavation revealed that the clay
platform and its adjacent palisade ditch were abandoned during the second
period of activity when a fresh palisade ditch was cut directly through the
clay platform. Behind this new ditch traces of a patrol road were found during
the excavation. The forward ditch remained in use during this second period
but no evidence for a new observation platform was found during the
excavation. The excavation showed that this second defensive arrangement
subsequently became redundant during the third period when the running
palisade and forward ditch was abandoned and replaced by a stone tower
constructed overlying the forward ditch some 11m to the west of the site of
the earlier clay platform.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
them is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
Books and journals
Bellhouse, R, 'CWAAS Research Series' in Roman Sites On The Cumb Coast: A New Schedule Of Coastal Sites, , Vol. III, (1989), 18-29
Jones, G D B, 'Britannia' in The Solway Frontier: Interim Report, , Vol. 13, (1982), 288-92
Located in /1 file, English Heritage,
National Grid Reference: NY 17114 58829
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 - 1016074 .pdf
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2018 at 01:21:29.
End of official listing