List entry

List entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Wolsty South tower 13b, 200m WNW of New House, part of the Roman frontier defences along the Cumbrian coast

List entry Number: 1014807

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
CumbriaAllerdaleDistrict AuthorityHolme St. Cuthbert

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 31-Oct-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Feb-1997

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27713

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Hadrian's Wall marks one of the frontiers of the Roman Empire. The international importance of the surviving remains has been recognised through designation as a World Heritage Site. The military importance of the Tyne-Solway route across the Pennines was recognised by the Romans in the second half of the first century AD when a military road, the Stanegate, was constructed along with a series of forts. There is evidence that the Tyne-Solway route was being recognised as a frontier by the start of the second century AD, but the line was consolidated in the early second century AD by the construction of a substantial frontier work, Hadrian's Wall, in c.120 AD. Subsequent attempts to establish the boundary further north, between Clyde and Forth, failed by c.160 AD. Hadrian's Wall then remained the frontier of the Roman Empire in Britain until c.400 AD when Roman armies withdrew from Britain. For most of its course, the 70 miles of Hadrian's Wall running from coast to coast comprised a continuous stone wall (which in places was first temporarily built of turf) with permanent structures sited at intervals of one Roman mile (milecastles) and at third of a mile intervals (turrets) between the milecastles. At a later date, the Wall was strengthened by 16 full-size garrison forts built either on, or close to, the Wall. To the north of the Wall, for most of its length, lay a substantial defensive ditch and to the south a complex of banks and ditches provided east-west communication and demarcated the frontier zone from the province. To the west of Bowness-on-Solway, where the Wall reached the sea, however, the frontier had a different character and served a slightly different purpose. At the western end of the Wall a system of milefortlets and towers, spaced similarly to the milecastles and turrets along the Wall, extended the frontier system for at least 27 miles down the Cumbrian coast and helped control movement across the estuary of the Solway Firth. In places these milefortlets and towers were supplemented by lengths of palisade fences. Throughout its long history the Wall was not always well maintained. It was often neglected and sometimes overrun, but it remained in use until the late fourth century when a weak and divided Roman Empire finally withdrew its armies from the Wall and Britain. The frontier works along the Cumbrian coast survive as earthworks or buried archaeological remains, the latter sometimes visible on aerial photographs. They survive in this form largely as a result of the more ephemeral materials of which they were built (timber and turf instead of the stone of Hadrian's Wall land frontier) rather than because of poor survival of archaeological remains. Components of the coastal frontier which have surviving archaeological remains, whether visible or not, will generally be considered of national importance.

Despite the lack of surface remains, limited antiquarian investigation and subsequent fieldwalking across the site have shown that buried remains of Wolsty South tower 13b survive well. The monument will contribute to any further study of the Roman frontier defences along the Cumbrian coast.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes the buried remains of Wolsty South tower. Within the sequence of Roman towers along the Cumbrian coast this one has been identified as 13b. The tower was originally of sandstone construction and is located on top of a natural ridge, once an ancient sand dune, which at this point runs approximately parallel with the present coastline. Limited antiquarian investigation of the monument in 1880 revealed foundations up to 1m deep consisting of eight courses of cobbles mixed with clay, and indicated that the tower had been square in plan, measuring c.6.2m externally with walls 1.2m thick. Internally the tower had been surfaced with rubble freestone mixed with clay. The entrance was thought by the investigator, Robinson, to have been on the south east side on the basis of a rough pavement measuring c.1.8m by 1.2m being located opposite the centre of that wall. Fragments of Roman pottery were also found during the investigation. In 1963 fieldwalking across the site after ploughing revealed more fragments of pottery including rims considered by the finder, Bellhouse, to date to the Hadrian-Antonine period (AD 117-161.)

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Bellhouse, R L, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Roman Sites On The Cumberland Coast 1962-3, , Vol. LXVI, (1966), 40-1
Collingwood, R G, 'Trans Cumb And West Antiq And Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Roman Signal Stations on the Cumberland Coast, , Vol. XXIX, (1929), 146-7
Other
RCHME Survey - Unique ID No. 9152, RCHME, Cumberland Coast Events Record - Tower 13b, (1995)

National Grid Reference: NY 09650 50155

Map


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This copy shows the entry on 22-Oct-2014 at 02:40:53.