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Ravenglass Roman Fort Bath House, Ravenglass, Cumbria: Archaeological Watching Brief

Jepson, Nathaniel (2011) Ravenglass Roman Fort Bath House, Ravenglass, Cumbria: Archaeological Watching Brief. Project Report. Oxford Archaeology North. (Submitted)

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Abstract

English Heritage have proposed improvements to visitor facilities at the site of the Roman fort bath house in Ravenglass, Cumbria (NGR SD 088958). These improvements consisted of: laying strengthening mesh to create a disabled access path and also on areas of high wear through the doorways of the ruins; removing an area of cobbles between the roadside and access path and installing a drainage pipe; replacing the current roadside fencing with bollards; installation of a drop-down bollard to allow access to maintenance vehicles only; and removal of the current signage. The site of the well-preserved ruins of the bath house, known as Walls Castle, is a Scheduled Monument (no 13570). This is all that remains of the second century AD fort, Glannaventa. The fort was built as part of the system of fortlets and observation towers, similar to the milecastles and turrets, that served as an extension to Hadrian’s Wall down the Cumbrian coast to Ravenglass and Eskmeals. Glannaventa lay adjacent to a natural harbour, which acted as an important naval base for supply communications both along the coast and also inland via Hardknott Pass. Excavations of the fort on the coastal side of the railway in 1978 helped to establish a possible stratigraphic sequence for the site, which suggested that a ditched, and possible palisaded, fort was constructed about AD 120, that was subsequently given a turf rampart in AD 130. The results also suggested that the fort was demolished and re-built between AD 190 and AD 210. Occupation of the site continued until at least AD 350-370 and possibly later. The bath house was later adapted to be used as a house from the medieval period and was home to the Penningtons, probably from c 1610. This ensured its survival as one of the most complete standing structures from Roman Britain.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cumbria
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:1471
Deposited By: Mr Peter Schofield
Deposited On:12 Feb 2014 13:18
Last Modified:12 Feb 2014 13:18

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