Plumpton Head Roman Fortlet and Camp
Period: Roman Date:  
Location: Just South of Voreda
Both the camp and fortlet are located just a short distance south of Voreda Roman Fort.
Fortlet (North):
The monument is a Roman fortlet located on the summit of a low hillock a short distance east of the A6 trunk road which here follows the line of the Roman road which connected forts at Brougham (known to the Romans as Brocavum) and Old Penrith (known to the Romans as Voreda). The northern half of the fortlet is visible as cropmarks on an aerial photograph which clearly shows features such as the infilled ditches which surround the site. Fortlets had fairly standard layouts and plans and the visible information about the northern part of this site provides sufficient information to allow the full extent of the site to be defined. The site was rectangular with rounded corners and measures approximately 48m by 50m. The ditch which defines the northern side of the fortlet measures approximately 38m long but only about 14m of the east and west ditches are visible. All field boundaries and the surface of a farmtrack are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.
Camp (South):
The monument is a large Roman camp located on gently undulating land north west of Balmers Farm and immediately to the west of the A6 trunk road, which here follows the course of the main Roman road that connected forts at Brougham, (known to the Romans as Brocavum), and Old Penrith, (known to the Romans as Voreda). Much of the camp is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs which highlight features such as infilled ditches. Whilst most of the camp survives only beneath the present ground surface, the southern side retains slight upstanding earthworks. The aerial photographs show part of the east side of the camp, much of the north and west sides, and the two northern angles. The northern side measures about 390m and the western side measures about 360m. In the visible portion of the eastern side there are three gateways each defended by a tutulus - an earthen mound and ditch in front of the gate created to prevent a direct approach and thus hinder an attacking force. A survey of the camp in 1972 focussed on the upstanding earthworks but also located two gateways defended by tutuli on the camp's western side and two tutuli on the camp's northern side. The large size of this camp and its multiplicity of gates link it with similar camps at Reycross and Crackenthorpe located on the Roman road across Stainmore between Yorkshire and the Eden valley. These camps are of a size sufficient to have accommodated a legionary force on the march and are considered to have been constructed by the Roman governor of Britain, Petilius Cerialis, during his military campaigns against the indigenous northern tribes between AD 71-74. They are evenly spaced at a distance of a one-day march from Catterick to Carlisle and are relics of the earliest Roman infiltration of northern England. All modern field boundaries and gateposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.
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