The Ancaster Marching Camp is a large camp lies (600m) NNW of the Roman town of Ancaster, the complete outline is known, but most of the W side has been obliterated by a modern field boundary running along its length, there is an apparent gateway in the middle of the N side and another possible gateway in the E side some (60m) from the NE corner-angle, the camp apparently faced N, part of the S half of the camp has been destroyed by a railway cutting and a quarry. The camp lies near the junction of two natural routes, one linking the basin of the River Trent with the regions about The Wash, and the other, followed by Ermine Street which passed less than 550 m to the E, running from N to S along the limestone ridge. The pre-Flavian Roman fort and later town of Ancaster lay about 600 m to SSE on the valley floor (Todd 1981 (3b)).

The siting of the camp clearly took advantage of the panoramic views to the W, SW and to the immediate S; to the N, however, the ground continues to rise to about 80 m above OD. The spur itself creates dead ground immediately to the SE.

The camp, which measures just over 400 m from N to S by 282 m transversely, encloses an area of a little under 11.3 ha (28 acres). Its S half has been damaged by the railway cutting and a former quarry, now a rifle range. The position of the SW angle and a hint of a turn in the W end of the N ditch, suggest that the recognition of the W side from the air has been prevented by the almost coincident modern field wall. The probable position of this W ditch occupies the crest of the W side of the spur, and this topography may have dictated the alignment of the whole camp. An interruption in the line of the N side may be a gate, since it occupies a central position. Unfortunately the equivalent point on the S is masked by one of two small quarries now evident only as cropmarks.

References for Ancaster Camp

  • Roman Camps in England – The Field Archaeology by the R.C.H.M.E.

Map References for Ancaster Camp

NGRef: SK9843 OSMap: LR130

OS National Grid Reference: SK979444
Dimensions: 925 x 1,312 ft (282 x 400 m)
Area: 28 acres (11.3 ha)

Roman Roads near Ancaster Camp

Ermine Street

Sites near Ancaster Camp