The Roman Fort at Kirkbride is situated a few miles to the south of the Wall fort at Bowness on Solway. The fort was likely founded by Agricola and probably re-built during the mid/late Trajanic period as part of the Stanegate frontier. It is possible that the Kirkbride fort, built on the River Wampool beside the natural sheltered harbour offered by the Moricambe mud-flats, represents the Portus Trucculensis mentioned by Tacitus (Agricola XXXVII.iv) but as yet unidentified.

Various finds scattered over a large area around Kirkbride and dated to the early-2nd C. A.D. had long alerted archaeologists to the presence of a Roman fort here, but it was not until the drought of 1976 that crop-marks captured by aerial photography enabled archaeologists to trace the outline of a substantial fort with a single ditch, measuring about 525 x 495 feet (c. 160 x 150 m) over the ramparts, and aligned roughly north-north-east across the Wampool. The crop-marks also revealed two roads, leading from the northern and eastern gateways of this 6-acre (2.4-hectare) turf and timber fort.

The fort may have been a supply base for the western Stanegate until replaced by the fort at Bowness-on-Solway in the second half of the second century AD. This argument is supported by the turf and timber fort never being rebuilt in stone and it also encompassed a fairly large area.

Roman Roads near Kirkbride

Stanegate: E (6) to Burgh-by-Sands (Aballava) (Burgh by Sands, Cumbria) Military Road: SW (13) to Beckfoot (Beckfoot, Cumbria) Possible road: NNW (3.5) to Bowness (Bowness on Solway, Cumbria) Probable Road: NE (4) to Concavata (Drumburgh, Cumbria)

OS National Grid Reference: NY 2295 5732
Dimensions: 525 x 495 feet (c. 160 x 150 m)
Area: 6 acres (2.4 ha)
Sites near Kirkbride Roman Fort