In terms of the reach of Ancient Rome, it’s hard to find more important historic sites than surviving Roman forts. Often built to the same blueprints across the entire Empire, today the remains of these sites signify the practical, unwavering strategy of Roman expansion.
Indeed, nothing quite symbolises ancient Rome like its military. A mighty machine which crushed all before it for hundreds of years, the Empire was forged by its unyielding legions and solid soldiers. However, as well as the men, training and weapons a key factor in Roman military success was their ability to build; today that legacy is literally carved into the terrain around us.
One of the mainstays of this military construction was the Roman fort and several examples can still be visited. While some were temporary encampments which survive as ditches in the ground, others are permanent outposts still very much intact. Today, these Roman forts are often popular with visitors and can bring you face-to-face with the great conquering armies of old.
Check out our list of Roman forts below and discover some amazing places to visit on your travels.
Qasr Bashir is an exceptionally well preserved fourth century AD Roman fortress that lies in the Jordanian desert.
Vindolanda was one of the main Roman wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall, the 73-mile barrier built by the Emperor Hadrian from 122 AD.
Arbeia Roman Fort was one of the wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall and served as a military supply base for the other encampments.
Ardoch Roman Fort contains the well preserved earthworks of a Roman fort in Scotland, with ditches up to six foot high.
The Bar Hill Fort was one of the Roman forts along The Antonine Wall, a second century Roman defensive wall in Scotland.
Birdoswald Roman Fort is one of the best preserved of the wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall.
The Roman Fort at Burgh Castle is one of the best preserved Roman sites in Britain. Built between 260 AD and 280 AD, the walls of this impressive fortification remain in remarkably good condition - they survive on three sides and stretch as high as four metres. Burgh Castle Roman Fort - known as Gariannonum - was originally built as part of the Saxon Shore defences, which were designed to act as a defensive system protecting against seaborne raiders from Denmark and Germany. Today the remains of Burgh Castle Roman Fort are truly impressive; both for their state of preservation and for the located, situated as it is on a low cliff above the Waveney estuary.
Caer Gybi hosts the remains of a small Roman fort and naval base which formed part of the local Roman defences of the area in the latter Roman Empire period.
Caerleon Roman Fortress is home to what is said to be Europe’s only viewable Roman Legionary Barracks.
The Cawthorn Roman Camps are the remains of a late 1st / early 2nd century AD Roman military enclosure situated in the south of the North York Moors.
Chesters Roman Fort was part of Hadrian’s Wall and is a now a well-preserved archaeological site.
Croy Hill was the site of one of the Roman forts of the second century AD Antonine Wall, of which a defensive ditch is still visible.
Situated on the site of a Roman fort in the historic city of Chester, Dewa Roman Experience allows visitors a hands-on exploration of a Roman legionary base.
Djemila in Algeria is the site of extensive Roman ruins of a former military base.
Haidra contains the remains of the Roman city of Ammaedara and includes a number of interesting ruins including the large Byzantine fort and underground Roman baths.
Housesteads Roman Fort is one of the best preserved and most important of the forts along Hadrian’s Wall.
The Kinneil Estate, centred around the 15th century Kinneil House contains the remains of a Roman fortlet, part of the Antonine Wall.
The London Roman Fort was a second century AD military fort which housed Roman Londinium’s soldiers.
Novae was a Roman town and military camp, the ruins of which are now found in Bulgaria.
Pevensey Castle is a Norman castle built upon the fourth century AD Roman fort of Anderida, the remains of which are still visible today.
Richborough Roman Fort marks the site where the Romans first invaded Britain in 43 AD and still contains the original Roman walls.
Segedunum Roman Fort was one of the Roman wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall, the iconic barrier built under Emperor Hadrian from 122 AD.
The ruins of Timgad are the extremely well-preserved remains of an Ancient Roman military encampment in Algeria.
The Roman fort of Trimontium no longer stands, but the nearby museum uses artefacts and replicas to tell a story of a military power and the struggles that took place on the border with Scotland.