Birdhope Camps

Marching or Temporary Camps

Birdhope Camps are the earthwork remains of three Roman temporary camp superimposed on each other. They lie on one of the largest areas of relatively level ground adjacent to Dere Street between North Tynedale and the Border.

Birdhope 1, Northumberland

OS National Grid Reference: NY826988
Dimensions: c.770 x c.1,200 ft (c.235 x c.365 m)
Area: c.30½ acres (12.3 ha)
Description: these camps lie some (450m) WNW of the Bremenium (High Rochester) fort, Dere Street lies close beside the E defences of this large camp which has a perimeter shaped like a parallelogram, and the Sills Burn flows to the S beyond the road, most of the perimeter has been plotted, and what cannot be recorded may easily be inferred, only one gateway has been identified in the W side slightly displaced to the N and protected by an internal clavicula, Camps-2 & 3 lie wholly within the NE part of this camp, several Bell-pits and a number of Roman mausolea lie within and outside the SE corner of the camp.

Birdhope 2, Northumberland

OS National Grid Reference: NY826988
Dimensions: c.560 x c.606 ft (c.170 x c.185 m)
Area: 7¾ acres (3.1 ha)
Description: this almost rectangular camp lies wholly within the NE corner of Camp-1 but does not utilize any of the larger camps defences, Camp-3 lies within this camp, 4 gates are visible all protected by external tituli, and set centrally in each side, those to E & W being displaced slightly to the N and the S gate slightly to the E, it s possible that the camp faced N, the defences of this camp are quite substantial, and it is possible that occupation here was somewhat more than temporary.

Birdhope 3, Northumberland

OS National Grid Reference: NY826988
Dimensions: c.360+ x c.492 ft (c.110+ x c.150 m)
Area: c.5¼ acres (2.1 ha)
Description: this camp lies within the defences of Camp-2, only 110m of the W and S sides and the SW corner angle have been recorded, but it seems probable that the camp measured some (150m) N-S.

There are two more camps nearby at Sills Burn and another at Bellshiel.

References for Birdhope Camps

  • Roman Camps in England – The Field Archaeology by the R.C.H.M.E.

Map References for Birdhope Camps

NGRef: NY8298 OSMap: LR80

Roman Roads near Birdhope Camps

None identified