Two Roman forts and two Roman camps at St Andrew's Hill
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Mid Devon (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- ST 01808 07640
Reasons for Designation
Roman forts served as permanent bases for auxiliary units of the Roman Army.
In outline they were straight sided rectangular enclosures with rounded
corners, defined by a single rampart of turf, puddled clay or earth with one
or more outer ditches. Some forts had separately defended, subsidiary
enclosures or annexes, allowing additional storage space or for the
accommodation of troops and convoys in transit. Although built and used
throughout the Roman period, the majority of forts were constructed between
the mid first and mid second centuries AD. Some were only used for short
periods of time but others were occupied for extended periods on a more or
less permanent basis. In the earlier forts, timber was used for gateways,
towers and breastworks. From the beginning of the second century AD there was
a gradual replacement of timber with stone.
Roman forts are rare nationally and are extremely rare south of the Severn
Trent line. As one of a small group of Roman military monuments, which are
important in representing army strategy and therefore government policy, forts
are of particular significance to our understanding of the period. All Roman
forts with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be nationally
Despite the partial diminution of the northern and eastern defences of the larger, later fort by hedge removal and the effects of cultivation on other features, the two Roman forts and two Roman camps at St Andrew's Hill survive comparatively well. The results of both aerial reconnaissance, geophysical survey, partial excavation and field walking have also revealed considerable quantities of information, which in turn, indicates that a great deal more remains conserved within the contexts of the forts and camps. This information will relate to the construction and use of the different structures, as well as including evidence relating to the local environment.
This monument includes two Roman camps and two Roman forts situated on the
prominent St Andrew's Hill immediately to the north west of Cullompton town
centre, overlooking the valley of the River Culm. The monument survives as a
series of buried features which have been identified by aerial reconnaissance
and geophysical survey, and partly as earthworks integrated within the
existing field boundary pattern.
The two camps lie to the eastern side of the monument and are defined by
double defensive ditches; one camp appears to overlie and thus post-date the
other. Over the western side of these, a fort was constructed which is defined
on its southern and western sides by double defensive ditches, each containing
an entrance. The northern and eastern sides appear to coincide with a second
fort and partly underlie the northern and eastern defences of this feature.
There are two lengths of ditch outside the west gate of the first fort which
are thought to represent a titulum and possible evidence for a six post
gateway. The second fort overlies the first, but is also larger. To the north
and east the ramparts remain evident as low banks up to 17m wide but not
exceeding 0.4m in height. To the west and south the ramparts have been
integrated in the existing field pattern and survive to a height of 1.5m. Up
until the 1980s all four sides of this fort were preserved in this way, but
the hedges to the north and east were removed at this time. A partial
excavation in 1992 revealed the extent of the outer ditch on the western side
of the fort. It measured up to 3.6m wide and up to 1.8m deep and had a punic
profile, being steeper on the outside edge than the inner side. Excavation
indicated that this feature had been completely backfilled before post-
medieval times. Finds from both the excavation and field walking have revealed
pottery assemblages which confirm a date of AD 50 to 70, although the exact
abandonment date of the fort remains unclear. The second fort is thought to
have had an entrance on the western side approximately where a present day
field boundary is situated because excavation revealed a significant narrowing
of the outer ditch close to this location. Any other entrances remain unclear
since all the sides have been affected by alteration.
Within the fort, other features have been identified by geophysical and
photographic means which include the foundations of possible granaries, a
verandah on the courtyard of the principa of the larger fort, possible
building lines and a well or kiln. To the south, the monument is defined by a
field boundary which is included within the scheduling. The field boundary on
the western side of the later fort is also included within the scheduling as
is the buried ditch which lies outside it.
The stock proof fences and gateposts which lie within the monument are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, ST00NW49, (1993)
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