Keys to the Past

Carvoran Roman fort (Greenhead)

The Roman fort of Carvoran was known to the Roman as Magna. It lies overlooking a gap in the Tipalt valley and guards this, the river crossing and the junction of two Roman roads. The fort was probably built about AD80, at the same time as the Stanegate road, and only later became part of the Hadrian's Wall frontier. This fort is not attached to Hadrian's Wall and lies south of the Wall and vallum. Although Carvoran largely survives as a turf-covered platform, there are some pieces of stonework visible in the north-west corner. The fort has been known for many centuries and was first recorded by antiquarians in 1599. They all wrote about substantial buildings within the fort as well as streets and a bath house with plastered walls. Apart from the visible remains, aerial photography has shown that a much larger fort once stood here, indeed there is evidence that there might have been several forts built here before the stone one which we can see today. Geophysical survey at the fort shows traces of a field system to the west, barrack blocks in the north of the fort, and stone buildings lining the Stanegate road. There have been no organised excavations at Carvoran and the only finds have been chance discoveries such as altars and inscriptions. These show that some of the troops stationed here came from as far afield as Syria. This is a Scheduled Monument protected by law.

Reference number:N6051
Historical period: Roman (43 to 410)
Legal status:Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1966; R W Emsley

See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Greenhead

Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.