Two Roman forts and two Roman camps at St Andrew's Hill


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Two Roman forts and two Roman camps at St Andrew's Hill
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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 important.

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 included.

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

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