Concavata (Drumburgh) Fort
Coggabata, or Congavata / Concavata, (with the modern name of Drumburgh) was a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall, between Aballava (Burgh by Sands) to the east and Mais (Bowness-on-Solway) to the west.
Located on a small drumlin or sandy hillock on the edge of Burgh Marsh overlooking the wide mud-flats of the Eden and Esk estuaries, the Wall fort at Drumburgh lies about 1½ miles north of the Stanegate, half way between the Trajanic fort at Kirkbride and the Hadrianic fort at Burgh-by-Sands.
The only classical reference to the Wall fort at Drumburgh is contained in the Notitia Dignitatum of the early-fifth century, where the Roman name for the station is recorded as Congauata, between the entries for Aballaba (Burgh-by-Sands, Cumbria) and the tentatively identified station Axeloduno (Netherby, Cumbria). The modern name is an amalgamation of Gaelic druim ’round hill, hillock’, and Old English burh ‘fortified encampment’, meaning something along the lines ‘the Fort on the Small Hill’.
Excavations conducted in the early twentieth century by Haverfield, reported the width of the Wall foundations at Drumburgh to be 9½ feet (almost 3 metres) wide. It was proved also that the Drumburg fort was an afterthought, being added to the Wall following its original completion. This is also attested by the fort’s position, being centrally located between MileCastle 76 and Turret 76A.
The Epigraphy of Concavata
Only three inscribed stones have been recovered from the Drumburgh fort and subsequently reported in the RIB; two ‘cohort stones’ (RIB 2051/2) which record the work of the individual legionary cohorts responsible for building specific portions of the defenses or internal buildings of the fort, also another undesignated short inscription (RIB 2053). All these texts are shown here.
RIB2053 - Building inscription of Vindomorucus
The Drumburgh Garrison
The plan and dimensions of the Drumburgh fort suggest that it housed an auxiliary infantry cohort of five hundred men. It is thought that it was built at the same time as the fort and extension at Segedunum (Wallsend, Tyne & Wear) on the opposite end of the Wall, which housed a similar force, but the original Drumburgh garrison unit(s) left no record of their stay.
The fourth century garrison is recorded in the Notitia Dignitatum as Cohors II Lingonum, a five-hundred strong infantry unit enlisted from among the Lingones tribe of Upper Germany. The unit is also attested at other forts in northern England at Ilkley in North Yorkshire (RIB 635), and at Moresby on the Cumbrian Coast (RIB 798 et 800).
Concavata Related Links
References for Concavata
- Hadrian’s Wall Map and Guide by the Ordnance Survey (Southampton, 1989);
- The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). H
- adrian’s Wall Map and Guide by the Ordnance Survey (Southampton, 1989);
- The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965)