Burgh-by-Sands Early - Hadrianic Fort

Hadrianic Wall Fortlet

Aerial photographs taken by G.D.B. Jones in 1975 revealed the distinct outline of a Roman fort on top of the commanding hill about 0.6 miles (c. 1 km) SSW of the Burgh-by-Sands Wall fort. The site was later confirmed by excavations conducted in 1978-79 which suggested a construction date around the late-Trajanic / early-Hadrianic period. It is generally accepted that this fort was built as part of the initial scheme for Hadrians Wall, but was, for some reason, built ½-mile to the rear of the original Turf Wall. The fort exhibits at least three phases of construction and appears to have been preceeded by a watchtower sited upon the crest of the ridge.

The original fort was protected by a single ditch backed by a revetted rampart of beaten clay set upon a base of large riverine cobbles about 16 feet (c. 5 m) wide, which was later widened to about 24 feet (c. 7.5 m). These defenses measured 475 feet NE-SW by 450 feet transversely (145 x 137 m) and occupied an area of 4.9 acres (1.98 ha).

An annexe was later attached to the south-east side of the fort, measuring about 460 feet by 395 feet (c. 140 x 120 m), thereby adding an extra 4.1 acres (1.68 ha) of occupation space; these defenses appear rather less impressive on Aerial Photographs than those of the fort itself. The excavations conducted by Barri Jones in 1978-9 revealed the existence of timber buildings in both the fort and the annexe, but the distinct outlines of a stone-built praetorium and a granary building were recorded on APs in 1984.

Map References for Burgh-by-Sands Fort I Early-Hadrianic Fort

OS National Grid Reference: NY 3237 5824
Dimensions: 475 x 450 feet (145 x 137 m)
Area: 4.9 acres (1.98 ha)

Roman Roads near Burgh-by-Sands Fort I Early-Hadrianic Fort

Wall: ESE (5.25) to Uxelodvnvm (Stanwix, Cumbria) Stanegate: E (6) to Lvgvvalivm (carvetiorvm) (Carlisle, Cumbria) Wall: W (3.5) to Concavata (Drumburgh, Cumbria) Stanegate: W (6) to Kirkbride (Cumbria) Roman Military Way: SE (2.5) to Grinsdale