Roman fort 300m east of Drayton Lodge Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020283

Date first listed: 22-Oct-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-2001


Ordnance survey map of Roman fort 300m east of Drayton Lodge Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 11:17:50.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Shifnal

National Grid Reference: SJ 76102 09670


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

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 modification of the defences, the Roman fort 300m east of Drayton Lodge Farm is a good example of its class. It is believed to date to the earliest stages of the Roman military advance into the western midlands of England, and is therefore of particular importance to the understanding of the conquest of this area by the Roman forces.

The buried remains of structural features, including the headquarters building, commanding officer's house, barrack blocks and storehouses, all probably built from wood, are expected to survive within the interior. The very pronounced soil and crop marks seen from the air of the infilled ditches indicate that they survive well, and may be waterlogged in part. Within the ditch fills a range of artefacts and organic remains, associated with the occupation of the fort, are likely to be preserved. In addition, organic remains surviving in the ditches will provide valuable evidence about the local environment and the use of the surrounding land at the time the fort was constructed and subsequently.


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


The monument includes the buried remains of a Roman fort. It is located 1.2km south of Watling Street, the present A5, and 2km south west of the Roman marching camps at Burlington, which are the subject of a separate scheduling. The fort is situated on gently sloping ground, which rises to the south, and is overlooked by low hills to the north and east. From this location Watling Street and the sites of the Roman marching camps at Burlington cannot be seen. The fort was discovered during aerial reconnaisance and has been recorded from aerial photographs taken over the last 30 years. It is rectangular in shape with a roughly triangular annex to the east. Its overall dimensions are approximately 155m north-south by 205m east-west. An internal rampart, now no longer visible as an earthwork, defines a rectangular area of about 0.9ha. The rampart is surrounded by four ditches, now infilled but surviving as buried features. The two innermost ditches on the northern side are partly overlain by a modern farm track. At the mid-point on the eastern side the two middle ditches turn at right angles to form an entrance causeway about 15m wide. The adjacent ditch to the east, which separates the main body of the fort from the annex, is slightly angled in relation to the causeway. The ditch defining the annex has also been infilled, but survives as a buried feature.

The size of the fort indicates that it was built to accommodate an auxiliary unit of 500 infantry - a Cohors quingenaria peditata. From its topographical location it would appear that the fort was established at the time of the Claudian military advance into this area, about AD 47, thus predating Watling Street, which was constructed around AD 50. The fort is also considered to have been built about the same time as the auxiliary fort at Wroxeter, nearly 20km to the west, which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

The surface of the farm track is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 34909

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
White, R, Dalwood, H, 'Central Marches Historic Towns report' in Archaeological assessment of Wroxeter, Shropshire, (1996), 2
Olique APs and a vertical AP in SMR,
White, R, (2000)

End of official listing