Brocavum (Brougham) fort

Fort and Minor Settlement

The ancient name for the Brougham fort has been identified from two ancient geographical references; the Brocavo item of the Antonine Itinerary is listed 20 miles from Verteris (Brough Castle, Cumbria) and 22 miles from Luguvalium (Carlisle) Fort (Carlisle, Cumbria) at the terminus of Iter V, also the Brocara of the Ravenna Cosmology (R&C#156), which occurs between the entries for Fanvm Cocidi (Bewcastle, Cumbria) and the inidentified station Croucingo.

The Brocavum Fort

The fort is sited in a field adjacent to Brougham Castle Farm, just off the A66 trunk road about two miles south of Penrith. There is a small marching camp on the opposite side of the A66 about 400 yards north-east of the fort, sited on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Rivers Eamont and Lowther. Another temporary camp is situated about three miles to the north-east on Langwathby Moor.

The Garrison Units

Cohors Gallorum?

RIB782 - Fragmentary dedication?

[...]
RI[...]
GALL[...]R [...]
MIL LEG VIII
AVG
... Cohort] of Gauls, military [tribune] of the Eighth Legion Augusta.
No commentary.

The Eighth Legion were present during the initial invasion of Britain in 43AD, very likely acting as escort to the Emperor Claudius, who is documented to have stayed for only sixteen days on the island before leaving for the continent. Vexillations of this legion are known to have been stationed in the province during the early part of the second century and possibly also during the Carausian revolt at the end of the third century, though the context of the inscription means that the legion need not have been in Britain at the time the stone was commissioned.

Numerus Equitum Stratonicianorum?

RIB780 - Altar dedicated to Mars

DEO MARTI
[...]
[...] IANVARIVS
N EQ
[...]RATONICIANO
RVM V M
PRO SE ET SOVIS
To the god Mars ... Januarius ... of the unit of Stratonician Cavalry deservedly fulfilled his vow for himself and his family.
No commentary.

Other Inscribed Stones

RIB773 - Altar dedicated to Balatucairus

DEO BALATVCAI
RO BACVLO PR
O SE ET SVIS V
L S
To the god Balatucairus Baculo readily fulfilled his vow for himself and his family.
For a comparable form Blatucairus see Jackson Lang. Early Brit. 430.

RIB785 - Funerary inscription for Crescentinus

D M
CRESCENTINV
S VIXIT ANNIS
XVIII VIDARIS
PATER POSVIT
To the spirits of the departed Crescentinus lived 18 years. Vidaris his father set this up.
Werle, Zeitschr. f. dt. Wortforsch. 12 (1910) s.v. considers that Vidaris is a Germanic name. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): Some twenty inscribed tombstone fragments from the cemetery east of the fort have been found since 1954: Tomlin, Cumb. Westm. AAST 2nd Ser. 76 (1976), 1-5.

RIB787 - Funerary inscription for Tittus M[…]

D C M
TITTVS M[...]
VIXIT ANN[...]
[...]VS MINVS XXXII M[...]
FRATER TI[...]VLVM
[...]T
To the spirits of the departed Tittus M[...] lived 32 years more or less. M[...], his brother, set up this inscription.
Collingwood suggests that from the use of plus minus this is probably a Christian tombstone. Jocelyn Toynbee (BAAJ 3rd Ser. xvi (1953) 14) considers that ‘the arguments for this are not quite conclusive' R.P.W. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): Diehl notes (ILCV iii, p. 599) that the formula titulum posuit is frequent in Christian epitaphs from Trier and the Rhineland (cf. RICG i, p. 624); but of the other four instances in RIB, none is explicitly Christian, and RIB 620 and 689 are certainly not Christian.

RIB2285 - Milestone of Constantine I

IMP
C VAL
CONST
ANTINO
PIENT
AVG
For the Emperor Caesar Valerius Constantinus, most dutiful Augustus.
Constantine I, a.d. 307-37.

Probable Fortlet at Lightwater Bridge

Sited upon an old river scarp on the south bank of the Eamont only 1,300 feet (c.395m) from the Brocavum fort but better situated to observe long stretches of the river, a rectangular ditched enclosure with rounded corner-angles measuring 200 feet by at least 120 feet (c.60 x 36+ m) and covering an area of about ½ acre (c.0.22 ha) has been identified as a Roman fortlet (St. Joseph, 1961).

If this small site east-north-east of the main fort indeed proves to be a fortlet, it is very unlikely that the two were occupied at the same time, and although it is probable, due to its superior position, that the fortlet post-dates the fort, this supposition cannot be proved without further investigation.

Other Roman Finds in the Area

RIB790 - Fragmentary dedication

[...] AR
[...]SS
[...] VG
[...] ES
[...] IVS
[...]INVS
[...] DEDIT
... gave.
Perhaps more likely to have been brought from Brougham, 6.4 km. to the northwest, than across the River Eden from Kirkby Thore, 4.8 km. to the north-east.

RIB791 - Inscription

BALNEVM [...]
[...] VETERI OP[...]N DILABSVM [...]
[...]ILIS PER T CELLA[  ...]
[...]ALIBVS ET F[...  ...]
[...]S[...]
This bath-building [for ... styled ...] which after the old work had been burnt had fallen into ruin ... by renewing the pillars in all the rooms and by ... the channels and pipes ..
Perhaps more likely to have been brought from Brougham, 6.4 km. to the northwest, than across the River Eden from Kirkby Thore, 4.8 km. to the north-east.The corresponding slab preceding this one must have carried the full style of the emperor who undertook the work cf. Wright Arch. Ael. 4th Ser. xxii (1944) 85.

RIB792 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus and the Genius Loci

I O M
GENIO
LOCI
SVVBR AP
OLLINA
RIS PRIN
CEP C I V
To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, and to the Genius of this place Subrius Apollinaris, princeps of the First Cohort of V(...), (set this up).
7.  The cohort here abbreviated to v is unlikely to have been coh. I Vardullorum as this normally placed Fida immediately after the numeral. It may well have been coh. I Vangionum; no evidence is yet known for its position before Antonine times. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): 6‒7.  Princeps is the title of a centurion or decurion who is the acting-commander of a unit, especially one reduced in strength or a detachment: Speidel, Brit. xii (1981), 7-13. See also Glossary.

References for Brocavvm

Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65; Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65; Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65; Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65;

Roman Roads near Brocavvm

SW (20) to Ambleside (Ambleside, Cumbria) E (7) to Bravoniacvm (Kirkby Thore, Cumbria) Itinera II et V: NNW (7) to Voreda (Old Penrith, Cumbria) S (18) to Low Borrowbridge (Cumbria) NNW (4.5) to Plvmpton Head N (5) to Salkeld Gate N (4) to Stonybeck