Longshaws Fortlets


The defences of this small fort consist of two widely-spaced ditches backed by a substantial berm and a 40 ft. wide rampart. The area available for occupation is about 150 ft. square, an area of only ½-acre (c.46 m²; 0.2 ha), although the defences measure over 390 ft. across from east to west, and cover an area just under 3½ acres (c.120 m; 1.4 ha). There is an entrance through the centre of the western rampart and corresponding causeways across both ditches on this side; there are traces of a similar arrangement through the opposite defences, but the ditches are much less distinct on the eastern side at this point and the outer defences are missing above the steep scarp down to the River Font on the north-east – if they ever existed – although the inner ditch here is unbroken.

Just 100 ft. east of the main fort is another semi-permanent encampment or fortlet measuring about 200 ft. north to south, by 185 ft. transversely, with defences consisting of a 10-12 ft. wide rampart and ditch, covering an area of just over ¾-acre (c.60 x 56 m; 0.34 ha).

The presumed course of Roman Dere Street passes just two miles to the west of this interesting site, along which the Hadrian’s Wall fort of Onnum (Halton Chesters, Northumberland) lies about 15 miles to the south-west and the fort of Alauna (Learchild, Northumberland) lies some 15 miles to the north.

References for Longshaws

  • Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1965-1968 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lix (1969) pp.105-7 & fig.I.

Map References for Longshaws

NGRef: NZ135885 OSMap: LR81

Roman Roads near Longshaws

None identified

Sites near Longshaws Fortlets