Newstead Temporary Camp 5

Marching or Temporary Camps

Newstead Temporary Camp 5 has been gradually pieced together from different air photographs since the 1950s, with parts of all four sides now identified. It measures some 925m from north to south by around 710m, although appears to be wider at its southern extent than at its northern, and enclosed around 67ha (166 acres). Two entrances protected by tituli are visible on both the east and west sides, and it is assumed that the camp had further gates in the shorter sides adding up to six in total.
The northern part of this camp intersects the southern annexes of the fort. Excavations by Bradford University recorded a V-shaped east– west ditch, measuring 2m in depth and 6m in width (Clarke and Jones 1994), which was not believed to be related to the large camp (R F J Jones pers comm). While these dimensions would make this the largest Roman-camp ditch so far excavated in Scotland, it is not that much larger than the ditches at Burnswark South and Raedykes (1.8m by 5.5m and 2.1m by 4.5m respectively). A single abraded amphora sherd was found in the ditch (Clarke and Jones 1994), and although its location makes it a possible candidate for a further annexe to the fort, the supporting evidence from air photographs does not corroborate this suggestion. Furthermore, a bread oven was also located within this camp. Excavations in the area where the northern part of the east side is believed to run recorded a ditch; it measured 1.5m wide and was 1m deep with steep sides and a flat bottom, which had been cleaned out several times. The excavators interpreted this as having been a large drain ( Jones et al 1992: 14). Further excavations in this area recorded a V-shaped ditch just over 1.5m in width and 1m in depth, but less than halfway across the trench it petered out rather than turn a corner, as would be expected if this were the camp ditch. The ditch was later extended to the north and again had a flat-bottomed steep profile. The excavators believed that these ditches related to land demarcation rather than to this large camp (Jones et al 1993: 18–19). However, an appraisal of the air photographic evidence suggests that some of the excavated ditches are on the line of this large camp.

R H Jones.

  • Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) p.57;
  • The Roman Occupation of South-Western Scotland by the Glasgow Archaeol. Soc., ed. S.N. Miller (1952) p.206;
  • Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1955-7 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xlviii (1958) pp.87/8;
  • Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1958-1960 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. li (1961) p.121;
  • Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1969-72 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lxiii (1973) p.216;
  • Britannia xxi (1990) p.313 & fig.7 p.314; Britannia xxv (1994) p.261;
  • Britannia xxvii (1996) pp.403/5 & fig.8;
  • Britannia xxxiv (2003) pp.305/6.
  • Roman Camps in Scotland. Edinburgh. Page(s): 282-4 RCAHMS Shelf Number: E.10.1.JON by Jones, R H.   (2011)
  • https://canmore.org.uk/site/55626/newstead

Roman Roads near Newstead Camps

None identified