Roman Forts | Ancient Roman Fort List

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.

Roman Forts | Ancient Roman Fort List: Editor's Picks

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1. Qasr Bashir

Qasr Bashir is an exceptionally well preserved fourth century AD Roman fortress that lies in the Jordanian desert.

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Qasr Bashir (aka Q’Sar Bashir or Qasr Al Bashir), is an extremely well preserved Roman fortress that lies in the Jordanian desert. Unlike many Roman remains, Qasr Bashir is exceptionally well preserved, having never been re-built by later civilisations.

Built at the beginning of the fourth Century AD and known as Mobene, the walls of Qasr Bashir still stand intact, at a height of up to 20 feet in places, while the main entrance remains to this day. The huge corner towers still rise up two stories from the ground.

It is likely that Qasr Bashir was originally home to an auxiliary cavalry unit, charged with defending the Roman frontier and keeping the peace in the surrounding area. For lovers of well-preserved Roman architecture Qasr Bashir is certainly a hidden gem. Standing within the solid walls of Qasr Bashir, you will certainly be able to feel the living history of life on the edge of the Roman Empire.

Fans of Simon Scarrow’s Eagle series may be interested to note that Qasr Bashir (described as Q’Sar Bashir in the author's comments) was the setting for his novel, The Eagle in the Sand.

Photo by Bert Kaufmann (cc)

2. Vindolanda

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.

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Vindolanda was one of the main Ancient Roman wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall, the 73-mile barrier built by the Emperor Hadrian from 122 AD.

However, Vindolanda is thought to have been inhabited by the Romans from 85 AD, following the victory of the Roman Governor Agricola at the Battle of Mons Graupius, well before this iconic wall was built.

Prior to functioning as a wall fort, the initial role played by Vindolanda was that of a fort guarding the supply route known as Stanegate, which ran from east to west.

Today, Vindolanda remains very well preserved and there is much to see. The structures at Vindolanda range from a pre-Hadriatic baths complex to post-Roman mausoleum and church, demonstration of the lengthy period for which the site has been occupied (up to the sixth century AD, well after the Romans had left).

Amongst other sites found at Vindolanda are military offices and barracks dating to the Severan period and numerous sites from the third and fourth centuries including houses, workshops, a Praetorium, a temple and more baths.

In addition to the reconstructions and excavated elements, there are also several replica sites on display, including a great timber and stone model of a section of Hadrian’s Wall and several Roman buildings such as a house and a shop, really bringing the experience to life.

For those wanting to see what else has been found at the excavations, the Vindolanda museum offers an array of artefacts including one of the country’s biggest ancient leather collections. It’s a testament to the high level of preservation of Vindolanda that a delicate material such as leather has survived so well. Writing tablets have also been well preserved and, while many of these particularly rare finds are now at the British Museum, some are always on display at Vindolanda, offering a fantastic insight into the lives of its former residents through their written words.

Photo by scalespeeder (cc)

3. Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle is an excellently preserved former Roman fort whose original Roman walls still stand complete up to around six metres.

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Portchester Castle in Hampshire offers a fantastic insight into various periods of British history and originally dates back to the Roman era.

Built during Roman times, probably in the third century AD, Portchester Castle is the country’s only example of a Roman fort whose walls still stand complete up to around six metres.

Over the centuries, Portchester Castle has been renovated and rebuilt many times and its use has altered to suit the needs of its owners. In the eleventh century, parts of Portchester Castle were rebuilt into a Norman keep and in the fourteenth century Richard II transformed it into a palace. Like their Roman predecessor, both of these incarnations served a defensive function.

Yet, during the Napoleonic Wars, the role of Portchester Castle changed, as it became a prison for around 7,000 French prisoners of war. This change was due in large part to the reduced importance of Portchester Castle as a defensive structure following the building of the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard by King Henry VII.

Today, Portchester Castle is run by English Heritage who offer audio tours and exhibitions about the site as well as children’s activities.

Roman Forts | Ancient Roman Fort List: Site Index

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Arbeia Roman Fort

Arbeia Roman Fort was one of the wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall and served as a military supply base for the other encampments.

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Arbeia Roman Fort was built in around 160 AD and guarded Hadrian’s Wall and the entrance to the River Tyne. One of many wall forts along the wall, Arbeia Roman Fort also acted as a military supply base.

Today, Arbeia Roman Fort has been partially reconstructed, allowing visitors to really experience how this mighty fortification would once have looked and felt. The museum of Arbeia Roman Fort houses original artefacts found at the site ranging from coins and gemstones to the country’s best preserved ringmail armour suit and several tombstones.

Ardoch Roman Fort

Ardoch Roman Fort contains the well preserved earthworks of a Roman fort in Scotland, with ditches up to six foot high.

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Ardoch Roman Fort, also known as the Braco Fort or Alavna Veniconvm is a well preserved - many say exceptionally preserved - fort in Scotland. The earthworks include six foot high ditches although there are now no remaining wooden or stone structures at the site.

Photo by kenny barker (cc)

Bar Hill Fort

The Bar Hill Fort was one of the Roman forts along The Antonine Wall, a second century Roman defensive wall in Scotland.

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Bar Hill Fort was one of the forts along The Antonine Wall, a second century Roman defensive wall in Scotland.

Today, visitors can still discern parts of Bar Hill Fort - once this wall’s highest fort - including its bath complex. It is also a double treat for history buffs, as there is also a nearby Iron Age fort.

Photo by TyB (cc)

Birdoswald Roman Fort

Birdoswald Roman Fort is one of the best preserved of the wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall.

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Birdoswald Roman Fort is not only one of the most well-preserved of the wall forts of the iconic Hadrian’s Wall, it is also next to some of the best stretches of this 73-mile barrier.

At its peak, Birdoswald Roman Fort would have housed up to 1,000 soldiers who were there to guard Hadrian’s Wall. Even after the Romans left Britain, Birdoswald Roman Fort remained inhabited up to the fifth century AD and later, in the sixteenth century, a medieval fortified farmhouse was built there, succeeded by a regular farmhouse.

Today, visitors can enjoy the extensive remains found at Birdoswald Roman Fort, which include much of its defensive structures such as its walls and gateways as well as buildings such as granaries and workshops.

The Birdoswald Roman Fort visitor centre offers a further glimpse into life in Roman Britain, with a model of the Wall as it would once have looked and displays of artifacts found at the site. Uniquely, it is even possible to stay within the walls of Birdoswald Roman Fort as part of a holiday. It is under the remit of English Heritage.

Photo by JohnFielding (cc)

Burgh Castle Roman Fort

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.

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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.

The forts acted as naval bases and defended trading centres and local settlements. Other Saxon Shore forts in the area are also located at Brancaster and Caister-on-Sea.

The walls of Burgh Castle Roman Fort were Originally around four metres wide and stood as much as four and a half metres high. They were fortified further by projecting towers or bastions which were used for catapults and ballistae - adding further firepower to the fort’s defences.

After the end of the Roman period, the site continued to be used by the Saxons with evidence of the site being used at one time for a monastery and later as a Norman fortification.

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. The site is operated by English Heritage and as well as exploring the ruins themselves, the site has a series of interpretation panels exploring the history of Burgh Castle.

Photo by kevingessner (cc)

Caer Gybi

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.

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Caer Gybi in Holyhead contains the remains of a small Roman fortlet and naval base.

It is thought that Caer Gybi was constructed to defend against pirates who were operating in the area and this smaller fortlet was probably an outpost of the larger Roman fort at Segontium. It is believed that the Roman watchtower, which stood on the nearby Holyhead Mountain, served as the lookout post for Caer Gybi.

Although the construction date of Caer Gybi is unknown, it is believed that it was built in the late 3rd or early fourth century AD. The structure was made up of three defensive walls with circular watch towers at each corner. The fourth side of the fortlet fronted the sea and may have been a dock for the Roman warships which would have patrolled the area.

The Romans abandoned the region in the late fourth century AD and, by the 6th century AD, the site had been given to Saint Cybi who founded a monastery within the walls. The medieval Church of St Cybi still stands there today.

The architecture of Caer Gybi reflects other Roman defences of the time, many of which formed the "Saxon Shore" forts, and can still be seen in places such as Portchester Castle and Pevensey Castle. The construction even mirrors Roman sites further afield, such as the well-preserved Lugo Roman Walls in northern Spain.

Today, visitors to Caer Gybi can still view much of the original Roman defences, with walls standing up to 4m in places and at least one original corner tower.

Photo by Alun Salt (cc)

Caerleon Roman Fortress

Caerleon Roman Fortress is home to what is said to be Europe’s only viewable Roman Legionary Barracks.

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Caerleon Roman Fortress is home to the impressive remains of a first century Roman legionary barracks, fortifications, amphitheatre and baths. In fact, they are said to be Europe’s only such barracks on display.

Built in approximately 75AD, the Caerleon Roman Fortress was known as Isca and would have been home to the Second Augustan Legion. Spread over 50-acres, it would have housed approximately 5,000 people and was in use for some 200 years.

Today, the well-preserved ruins of Caerleon Roman Fortress offer a fascinating insight into life at a Roman fort on the edge of the Empire. Amongst the highlights are its grand bathhouse, 6,000-seater amphitheatre begun in 90AD and the L-shaped barracks themselves.

The nearby National Roman Legion Museum contains a number of fascinating exhibits detailing finds and artefacts from the site.

Cawthorn Roman Camps

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.

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The Cawthorn Roman Camps are the remains of a Roman military enclosure situated in the south of the North York Moors.

Today, little remains of the site apart from the earthworks which were constructed at the perimeter of the camps. The Cawthorn Roman Camps probably date from the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD.

This article about the Cawthorn Roman Camps is a stub and is in line for expansion by our editorial team. You can help expand this information by adding comments below.

Photo by Glen Bowman (cc)

Chesters Roman Fort

Chesters Roman Fort was part of Hadrian’s Wall and is a now a well-preserved archaeological site.

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Chesters Roman Fort, originally known as Cilurnum, was built as part of Hadrian’s Wall, the famous 73-mile barrier constructed under the remit of the Emperor Hadrian from 122 AD.

The role of the 600 soldiers garrisoned at Chesters Roman Fort was to guard a bridge across the Rover Tyne which carried the wall.

With extensive well-preserved remains that include four main gates, an altar and shrine and several buildings such as a baths complex and the commandant's home, Chesters Roman Fort offers an illuminating glimpse into the lives of the soldiers who lived here. Within the sites visitor centre, there are also displays of artefacts found along Hadrian’s Wall.

Chesters Roman Fort is an English Heritage site.

Croy Hill

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.

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Croy Hill was the site of one of the Roman forts of the Antonine Wall, a vast second century defensive barrier in Scotland which ran from West Kilpatrick to Carriden, along what is now Scotland’s central belt.

The wall was constructed to control trade and offer protection from the more aggressive of the Caledonian tribes; it was built in just two years. The Antonine Wall would continue to be occupied until the late 160s AD when the Romans began to retreat to its more famous counterpart, Hadrian's Wall.

Today, visitors to Croy Hill can still make out two beacon platforms and a defensive ditch which would have formed part of the original fortifications.

Photo by Nick Bramhall (cc)

Dewa Roman Experience

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.

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Built on the former site of an ancient Roman fort, Dewa Roman Experience is a hands-on archaeological site containing the remains of this a Roman legionary base.

The Roman fort site at Chester was a strategic base for the Roman army circa AD 50. Initially the site had been a small fort used to defend Chester’s harbour and crossing point of the river Dee during campaigns against tribes in Wales and to the north and east of Chester. The name ‘Deva’ in Latin means ‘Holy One’, and takes its name from the river.

The Romans based themselves at Chester temporarily in the beginning, as resources were diverted to dealing with the Boudiccan uprisings in AD 60. A permanent military presence was established soon after, however, as the Romans attempted to conquer Britain in its entirety. The Second Legion was later stationed in Chester, circa AD 78, but the legion was withdrawn in AD 87 to help defend the Rhine frontier.

The Romans set great store by fighting conflicts at sea – Chester’s excellent harbour was therefore ideally suited as a base, and was subsequently developed into a major military centre. Its importance was demonstrated when the Romans chose it as the intended point of departure for a planned invasion of Ireland, although the plan never came to fruition.

Circa AD 90 the fort was occupied by the Twentieth Legion, and the legionary depot was rebuilt with stone. The Twentieth Legion was involved in campaigns against the Picts in Scotland whilst stationed in Chester, as well as periodically being involved in refurbishment work until the Romans’ departure from Britain in the 5th Century.

Today, visitors to Dewa Roman Experience may immerse themselves in Roman Chester – the fort was excavated in 1991 and visitors can wander through the streets and explore archaeological remains.

The visit begins with a virtual trip on board a Roman galley. There is a museum on site, and visitors can also take part in a number of historical themed activities, such as trying on Roman armour, firing a catapult and creating a mosaic. Additionally there is a soldier patrol, where visitors may experience life as a soldier, preparing for battle and defending a Roman amphitheatre.

Contributed by Chris Reid

Photo by Sapphira (cc)

Djemila

Djemila in Algeria is the site of extensive Roman ruins of a former military base.

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Djemila in Algeria is an archaeological site housing the ruins of a UNESCO-inscribed Ancient Roman settlement. Founded under the name Cuicil, it is thought that Djemila was first established between 96 and 98 AD under the Emperor Nerva and occupied until the fifth or sixth century.

Constructed amidst mountainous terrain, Djemila was built to fit in with its surroundings and, as it expanded in the second century, amassed an impressive set of buildings. Like Timgad, Djemila was probably the home of a military base.

Today, Djemila houses a wealth of Ancient Roman ruins such as those of the Arch of Caracalla, a well-preserved bath complex, temples such as the Temple of Venus Genitrix and the theatre built by Emperor Antoninus Pius. Djemila has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982.

Haidra

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.

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One of the earliest Roman settlements in North Africa, Haidra in Tunisia contains the remains of the Roman city of Ammaedara. Well off the beaten track, Haidra – also called Hydrah – attracts few tourists and even the archaeological excavations have been few and far between.

Founded in the first century AD, Ammaedara was originally a legionary outpost, used by the Third Legion Augusta during their campaign against the rebellious Numidian leader Tacfarinas – a deserter from the Roman auxiliaries who led his people in an uprising against Rome during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius.

After the defeat of the rebellion, Ammaedara was settled by veterans from the campaign and grew into a thriving Roman city. Indeed, remains of the cemetery of the 3rd legion have been identified on outskirts of the site.

It is unclear as to whether a pre-Roman settlement existed at Haidra. Though the foundations of a Punic temple to Ba'al-Hamon were found near the site, there is little additional evidence of a major settlement.

The Romans ruled the region until the Vandal invasions of the 5th century AD and the ruins of Haidra contain evidence of the period of Vandal rule as well as the subsequent Byzantine period which followed after Justinian’s successful re-conquest.

Today Haïdra contains a number of interesting ruins dating from the various periods in the city’s history. Perhaps the most impressive is the imposing Byzantine fortress - built around 550 AD on the orders of Justinian, it acted as a defensive stronghold for the newly conquered Byzantine lands.

Dating to around the same period is the Church of Melleus which is in a reasonable state of preservation with a number of surviving columns and interesting inscriptions from the 6th and 7th centuries on the paving stones. Evidence of the Vandal period survives in the form of the Vandal Chapel - dating to the reigns of King Thrasamund and King Hilderic in the early 6th century AD.

Of the other ruins at Haïdra, the most prominent is the Arch of Septimius Severus. Built in 195 AD it remains very well preserved with decorative markings still intact. However, one of the best places to actually explore is the underground bath complex, a series of reasonably intact bath chambers and corridors which you can still wander around freely.

Scant remains of the original market and theatre can also be seen as well as just one surviving column from the ancient temple that stood on the capitol. Other elements to explore at Haïdra include the Roman cemetery and the three mausoleum towers – impressive structures that have survived the ages in pretty good condition.

Photo by phault (cc)

Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort is one of the best preserved and most important of the forts along Hadrian’s Wall.

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Housesteads Roman Fort, originally known as 'Vercovicium', is one of the best preserved and most important of the forts along Hadrian’s Wall.

Built in around 124 AD, Housesteads Roman Fort housed around 1,000 troops and remained in use until the fourth century.

Visitors to Housesteads Roman Fort can see the various stages of architecture of this Roman fortification including the well-preserved remains of its four gates and curtain wall, a hospital, latrines and, of course, a section of Hadrian’s Wall.

Managed by English Heritage, Housesteads Roman Fort also has a museum with a model showing how this imposing site would have looked in its prime.

Photo by Historvius

Kinneil House and Museum

The Kinneil Estate, centred around the 15th century Kinneil House contains the remains of a Roman fortlet, part of the Antonine Wall.

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Kinneil House and Museum, part of the Kinneil Estate, has a rich history spanning almost 2,000 years.

The Kinneil Estate holds a wealth of historic sites, including a Roman fortlet - part of the Antonine Wall - the ruins of a medieval church, a cottage belonging to inventor James Watt and Kinneil House and Museum.

Kinneil Museum
The Kinneil Museum is a good place to start your visit to the Kinneil Estate. Housed in the stables of Kinneil House, the museum details the history of the site, hosts a number of artefacts from the estate – some dating back to Roman times – and also includes an audio visual show.

Kinneil Roman Fort
Forming part of the Antonine Wall, Kinneil Roman Fort was one of the mile-castles built to protect the borders of the Roman Empire. Visitors can view part of the roadway and a partial reconstruction of the line of the wall. A number of artefacts from the site can be viewed in Kinneil Museum. Kinneil Roman Fort is part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site. 

Kinneil House
Kinneil House itself dates back to the 15th century and is open on selected days throughout the year (check official website for dates or contact Kinneil Museum). This historic house was the home of the Dukes of Hamilton and contains a wealth of interesting sights, including a number of rare renaissance wall paintings.

Kinneil Church
Just a short walk from Kinneil House and Museum lie the ruins of the 12th century Kinneil Church. Abandoned in the 17th century, Kinneil Church was also partially destroyed by fire leaving just the western gable and historic graveyard. The church bell can be seen in Kinneil Museum.

James Watt’s Cottage
James Watt’s Cottage, at the rear of Kinneil House, is the site where famous inventor James Watt worked to develop the steam engine. Watt was under the patronage of industrialist John Roebuck who lived in Kinneil House.

A visit to Kinneil Estate is also not complete without taking the opportunity to explore the surrounding parks, woodlands and ponds. You'll find more information on the Kinneil website - www.kinneil.org.uk.

Photo by pandrcutts (cc)

London Roman Fort

The London Roman Fort was a second century AD military fort which housed Roman Londinium’s soldiers.

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The London Roman Fort was built in around 120 AD - around the same time as Hadrian’s Wall - to house the soldiers of Roman Britain’s most important town of the time, Londinium.

Covering around 12 acres in its heyday, the London Roman Fort would have been a square complex similar in architecture - but around three times the size of - forts such as those of Housesteads and Chester. It was probably home to around 1,000 soldiers.

The pin on the map shows the section of the London Roman Fort found on Noble Street, which would have been its southwest corner. Other parts of the fort are contained underground, notably in an underground car park nearby.

For information, ask the Museum of London, which also hosts tours of this site.

Novae

Novae was a Roman town and military camp, the ruins of which are now found in Bulgaria.

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Novae, also known as Nove, was a Roman town and military camp and the headquarters of the 8th Augustan Legion, the ruins of which are now found in Bulgaria .

Established in around 45AD, at its peak, Novae was of vital strategic importance for guarding from eastern attacks and grew to a size of around 27 hectares.

Sadly, relatively little remains of Novae today and the scant ruins of this settlement can be seen near Svishtov. There is a visitor centre at the site, housing excavated finds such as coins and statues and explaining the history of Roman Novae.

Photo by Pengannel (cc)

Pevensey Castle

Pevensey Castle is a Norman castle built upon the fourth century AD Roman fort of Anderida, the remains of which are still visible today.

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Pevensey Castle is a Norman castle built upon the fourth century AD Roman fort of Anderida, the substantial remains of which are still visible today. Indeed, the main outer defensive walls of the larger Roman fortification have survived very much intact, forming a wider outer ring within which the main castle now stands. These Roman walls are among the very best Roman remains to have survived in the UK.

Pevensey Castle itself, found within the south-east corner of the Roman walls, mostly dates back to the Norman invasion of 1066. In fact, Pevensey was the site where William the Conqueror landed in Britain on 28 September of that year. There the Normans found the fourth century AD Roman fort, upon which they built the first incarnation of Pevensey Castle in timber. Pevensey Castle was actually the first castle that William built.

Later under the Normans, in the twelfth century, the timber castle was replaced by a stone structure, the beginnings of the Pevensey Castle we see today. With an imposing gatehouse, bailey wall and square keep, Pevensey Castle was a mighty fortification. So much so that, despite several attempts to breach its walls - most notably in a siege carried out Simon de Montfort against the sheltering supporters of King Henry III in 1264 - Pevensey Castle survived the medieval period.

Over the centuries, Pevensey Castle would continue to be reinforced several times, including in the sixteenth century and during the Second World War. Now a picturesque ruin under the remit of English Heritage, Pevensey Castle is open to visitors. Amongst its attractions are the remaining elements of the Roman fort, which includes the majority of the original outer walls and towers, as well as the medieval dungeons.

Photo by trenchdroid (cc)

Richborough Roman Fort

Richborough Roman Fort marks the site where the Romans first invaded Britain in 43 AD and still contains the original Roman walls.

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Richborough Roman Fort, originally called “Rutupiae”, in Kent marks the site where the Romans successfully invaded Britain in 43 AD.

Known by many as the “gateway to Britain” and also Richborough Castle, Richborough Roman Fort is thought to have begun as a military stronghold for the invading Roman soldiers and developed into a civilian town and one of the country’s main ports. One reminder of the leisure facilities of this historic town can be seen around five minutes away in the form of the vague remnants of an amphitheatre.

When visiting Richborough Roman Fort, it is hard to believe that this now very much land-based site was a coastal defensive structure. However, in 2008, archaeologists discovered the location of the original Roman coast.

The impressive stone walls that still stand at Richborough Roman Fort are the remains of a wall fort built by the Romans in the late third century AD to protect against the Saxons. Visitors can also see remaining defensive ditches and the ruin of a first century triumphal arch.

Photo by AndrewH324 (cc)

Segedunum Roman Fort

Segedunum Roman Fort was one of the Roman wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall, the iconic barrier built under Emperor Hadrian from 122 AD.

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Segedunum Roman Fort was one of the ancient Roman wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall, the iconic UNESCO-listed barrier built under the Emperor Hadrian from 122 AD.

There were several wall forts along the 73-mile stretch of Hadrian’s Wall, each garrisoned by Roman soldiers. From around 122 AD, Segedunum Roman Fort held 600 soldiers and was one of the eastern forts along the wall. It would continue to perform this role for a period of around 300 years. After this time, the fate of Segedunum Roman Fort is unknown, except that it was built over in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries only to be uncovered from the 1970s onwards.

The interactive museum at Segedunum Roman Fort displays a myriad of finds excavated at the site of the fort including armour and weaponry. It also houses everyday objects including one very unique object - the only known Roman British stone toilet seat.

Visitors to Segedunum Roman Fort can view the remains of the fort itself as well as its reconstructed Roman baths. Segedunum Roman Fort is also a good place to see a section of Hadrian’s Wall, especially from atop the 35 metre viewing tower.

Timgad

The ruins of Timgad are the extremely well-preserved remains of an Ancient Roman military encampment in Algeria.

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The ruins of Timgad in Algeria are an impressive set of ancient Roman remains and rank among the best such ruins in North Africa.

Founded by the Emperor Trajan in 100 AD, the settlement of Timgad, then known as Thamugas, was probably a base for the Third Augustan Legion.

Timgad was both a military colony and an incentive to the African people to serve in the Roman army, as anybody who did so for twenty-five years would have a home in the base. An interesting point to note about the ruins of Timgad is that all of the homes built there were similar in size, a sign of equality amongst Rome’s citizens. The original settlement was a perfect square, spanning an area measuring 355 square metres.

Timgad continued to grow throughout the second century and reached its zenith during the reign of Septimius Severus, from which most of the current buildings date.

Much of Timgad was damaged in the fifth century and, despite a brief Byzantine revival of the settlement under Justinian, it was finally destroyed during the seventh century Arab invasion and abandoned by the eighth century.

Today, the vast ruins of Timgad are a well preserved UNESCO World Heritage site. Amongst other things, visitors can view the remains of a stunning second century Trajan arch, a 3,500-capacity theatre, a forum and a series of fourteen bath complexes. There is even a library and the remains of temples and churches, the latter demonstrating the later prominent Christian presence in Timgad.

The ruins of Timgad have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982.

Photo by Eileen Henderson (cc)

Trimontium Museum

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.

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Unfortunately no upstanding stones remain of the Roman fort at Newstead, but visitors to the Trimontium Museum in nearby Melrose can still get a tangible insight into life in the Roman frontiers through a wide variety of artefacts and reproductions.

A guided walk run by the Trimontium Museum also points out visible features in the landscape of Newstead, such as the ploughed-out rampart and the amphitheatre, to give visitors as much of a sense of the former structure as possible.

Derived from ‘trium montium’ (or ‘three mountains’), the fort of Trimontium took its name from its position nestled in between the three Eildon Hills. Its advantageous placing made it a perfect advance post for the Roman province, and its design was geared towards this purpose. Central earthen defences, crafted in the first century, were strengthened by four outer ditches at the end of the second century. The western annex was also given a series of wall and trenches for further protection. Supplies and men reached the fort from a series of roads that extended outwards from the fort, giving it a wheel-like appearance from an aerial perspective.

Trimontium is thought to have been occupied by the Romans three times, with a garrison that numbered between 2000 and 5000 at any given time. First between 80 and 105 AD, then in around 140 AD as a support centre when Hadrian's successor Antoninus Pius brought an army back into Scotland, and finally from the desertion of the Antonine Wall in the 160s AD until the withdrawal of the army in around 185 AD. After this, the fort was no longer an occupied stronghold, but may have been visited by troops inspecting the buffer zone north of Hadrian’s Wall.

Since the site was first excavated in 1905, a wealth of artefacts has been discovered charting the extensive use of the fort. Now housed in the museum, they include items ranging from shoes and tools to armour and arrowheads. As well as gaining an impression of the military prowess of the Roman army, visitors can see some of the finer details of daily life that help to bring the past to life.

Photo by Alun Salt (cc)

Wall Roman site

The Wall Roman site houses the remains of what was a Roman military staging site, essentially an inn along the ancient route towards Wales.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Wall Roman site in Staffordshire houses the remains of what was a Roman military staging site, essentially an inn or “mansio” along the ancient route towards Wales.

Then known as Letocetum, the Wall Roman site was a convenient stop along this important military road.

Visitors to the Wall Roman site – now managed by English Heritage – can see the foundations of this Roman hotel as well as those of its Roman baths. There is also an on-site museum displaying finds from the Wall Roman site.