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Roman signal station 190m north west of Vale House Farm

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Roman signal station 190m north west of Vale House Farm

List entry Number: 1016464

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: County Durham

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Bowes

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 11-Feb-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Mar-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28597

Asset Groupings

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

Roman signal stations were rectangular towers of stone or wood situated within ditched, embanked, palisaded or walled enclosures. They were built by the Roman army for military observation and signalling by means of fire or smoke. They normally formed an element of a wider system of defence and signalling between military sites such as forts and camps and towns, generally as part of a chain of stations to cover long distances. In northern England stations were used in particular to augment the main frontier formed by Hadrian's Wall, but elsewhere stations were constructed along the coast to keep lookout over the sea and to signal information both along the coast and to inland sites. Signal stations were constructed and used in Britain mainly during three distinct periods. The earliest examples were built between AD 50 and AD 117 for use during the earliest military campaigns during the conquest period. Signal stations at this period took the form of a wooden tower surrounded by a ditch and bank and possibly a slight timber palisade. After AD 117 towers were more usually built in stone, some on the same site as earlier timber towers. The latest series, in the mid-4th century AD, were more substantial stone signal stations built mainly along the Yorkshire coast. These had a tower up to 30m high which was surrounded by a curtain wall and external ditch. Signal stations survive as low earthworks, or their below ground remains may be identified on aerial photographs. Fewer than 50 examples have been identified in England. As one of a small group of Roman military monuments, which are important in representing army strategy, government policy and the pattern of military control, signal stations are of importance to our understanding of the period. All Roman signal stations with surviving archaeological remains are considered to be nationally important.

The signal station near Vale House Farm is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of towers thought to have been used for signalling purposes across Stainmore. Taken as a group, they will add to our knowledge and understanding of the Roman occupation of the area.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a tower of Roman date, situated on the top of a small spur above the Stainmore Pass adjacent and parallel to the Roman road. The tower commands extensive views in all directions except to the north where the ground rises. The tower is one of a chain of similar monuments which cross Stainmoor between the Roman forts of Bowes and Brough thought to have functioned as signal stations. It is visible as a roughly round mound of earth which measures 10m across. It is bounded by a slight bank which, where it is best defined on the western side, is 4m wide and stands to a maximum of 0.4m. There are gaps through the centre of the north and the south banks, and the latter, which is 1.5m wide, is thought to have been the site of an original entrance.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Vyner, et al, The Archaeology of the Stainmore Pass, (1998)
Other
NY91SW06,

National Grid Reference: NY 94710 12786

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1016464 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 11:19:29.

End of official listing