Wreay Hall Signal-Station

Fort and Signal Station

The rounded eastern corner-angle, an attached length of about 300 ft. of the north-east side and a shorter length of the south-east side were discovered from the air by Prof. J.K. St. Joseph in the late-1940’s. The fort platform is easily seen from ground-level.

Two republican denarii have been found on the site of the fort; an issue of 81BC, and a late-second century BC Roma/Quadriga type. These coins were withdrawn from circulation by Trajan c.107AD (vide Cassius Dio, LXVIII.xv.3), although in Britain they may have continued in use until the reign of Hadrian.

The Wreay Hall Signal-Station

This site was discovered by Prof. St. Joseph at the same time as the nearby fort and investigated on the ground by R.L. Bellhouse. The double-ditched camp measured about 62 by 55 feet (c. 19 x 17 m) within the defences, enclosing an area of less than one-tenth of an acre (0.03 Ha). The meagre pottery evidence, like that at the nearby station on Barrock Fell, points to an occupation around the late-4th century.

Epigraphic Evidence from the Wreay Area

There are no Latin inscriptions on stone recorded in Volume I of the R.I.B., but a couple of Roman milestones or honorific pillars have been unearthed nearby along the Carlisle – York road. One from Low Hesket, about 9 miles south-east of Carlisle (RIB 2288; vide infra), and another at Scalesceugh, only 5 miles south-east of Carlisle (RIB 2289; milestone; dated: 238-244AD).

RIB2288 - Milestone of Constantine I

IMP C
FL VAL
CONS
TANTI
NO P F
INV
AVG
For the Emperor Caesar Flavius Valerius Constantinus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus.
Constantine I, a.d. 307-37.

References for Wreay

  • Historical Map and Guide – Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001);
  • Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995);
  • Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65;
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); 

Roman Roads near Wreay

Iter II: NNW (5) to Luguvalium (Carlisle) Fort (Carlisle, Cumbria) Iter II: SSE (8) to Voreda (Old Penrith, Cumbria)