Ambleside Roman Fort (Galava)
Period: Roman Date: AD117-138
Location: Ambleside/Waterhead
The current fort dates to around AD117-138, during the reign of Hadrian but excavations have suggested the presence, partly beneath the stone buildings, of an earlier fort with a turf wall and timber buildings, constructed possibly in the 90s AD.

The first fort which was built in the 1st Century AD is shown on the map with a blue outline when you move your mouse cursor over the photo. The second fort is shown in white.

The clear stone structures to the north are the Granaries, just below in the centre are the Headquarters Buildings with a temple to the rear with a sunken treasury. To the south of the Headquarters is the commander’s residence, consisting of rooms grouped around an open courtyard.

The areas to the front and rear of the central range of buildings would have been occupied largely by barracks and perhaps stables.

Finds suggest that the fort was occupied into the later fourth century and beyond. Given its strategic location, this fort, like that at Birdoswald on Hadrian’s Wall, could have become the base for a local warlord and his militia after the Romans departed.

A tombstone of Flavius Romanus from the third century, which was found in the 1960s to the east of the fort, states that he was killed by an enemy inside the fort; whether his killer was a personal enemy or a member of an attacking force is unknown.

The Graneries on the central northern side of the fort. The gravel between the two buildings is a walkway. The butresses indicate the support of a superstructure and slate roof.
The Headquarters Buildings with a Temple to the right. The sunken treasury is the dark hole to the right.
The sunken Treasury.
The Commander's Residence.
Part of the main gate exposed and fenced off. This gatehouse on the eastern side was the main entrance and had double portals with guard towers incorporating guard rooms on either side. The main road went straight to the most important building; the headquarters. The other three entrances only had one portal.
The raised platform on which the fort was built.
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