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.
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... Read More
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.
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... Read More
Portchester Castle is an excellently preserved former Roman fort whose original Roman walls still stand complete up to around six metres.
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... Read More
Arbeia Roman Fort was one of the wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall and served as a military supply base for the other encampments.
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... Read More
Ardoch Roman Fort contains the well preserved earthworks of a Roman fort in Scotland, with ditches up to six foot high.
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. ... Read More
The Bar Hill Fort was one of the Roman forts along The Antonine Wall, a second century Roman defensive wall in Scotland.
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... Read More
Birdoswald Roman Fort is one of the best preserved of the wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall.
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... Read More
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.
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... Read More
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.
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.... Read More
Caerleon Roman Fortress is home to what is said to be Europe’s only viewable Roman Legionary Barracks.
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... Read More
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.
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... Read More
Chesters Roman Fort was part of Hadrian’s Wall and is a now a well-preserved archaeological site.
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... Read More
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.
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... Read More
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.
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... Read More
Djemila in Algeria is the site of extensive Roman ruins of a former military base.
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... Read More
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.
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... Read More
Housesteads Roman Fort is one of the best preserved and most important of the forts along Hadrian’s Wall.
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... Read More
The Kinneil Estate, centred around the 15th century Kinneil House contains the remains of a Roman fortlet, part of the Antonine Wall.
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... Read More
The London Roman Fort was a second century AD military fort which housed Roman Londinium’s soldiers.
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... Read More
Novae was a Roman town and military camp, the ruins of which are now found in Bulgaria.
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... Read More
Pevensey Castle is a Norman castle built upon the fourth century AD Roman fort of Anderida, the remains of which are still visible today.
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... Read More
Richborough Roman Fort marks the site where the Romans first invaded Britain in 43 AD and still contains the original Roman walls.
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... Read More
Segedunum Roman Fort was one of the Roman wall forts of Hadrian’s Wall, the iconic barrier built under Emperor Hadrian from 122 AD.
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... Read More
The ruins of Timgad are the extremely well-preserved remains of an Ancient Roman military encampment in Algeria.
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... Read More
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.
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... Read More
The Wall Roman site houses the remains of what was a Roman military staging site, essentially an inn along the ancient route towards Wales.
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 –... Read More