NGRef: NY6523
OSMap: LR91
Type: Roman Camp
NW (1.5) to Bravoniacvm (Kirkby Thore, Cumbria)
SE (10.5) to Verteris (Brough-under-Stainmore, Cumbria)

The Crackenthorpe Marching Camp

NY650237 c.985 ft²
(c.300 m²)
23 acres
(9.3 ha)

This unusually sited camp was seemingly aligned upon the line of the Roman road between Kirkby Thore and Brough Castle, which originally passed about 200 ft (60m) outside the north-eastern defences of the camp and lay on the same alignment as the disused railway cutting. The modern A66 main road passes through the north-eastern half of the camp, and Powis Cottage lies just inside the south-eastern defences, the minor road to Long Marton cutting across the eastern corner-angle.

The defences are rhomboid in plan and enclose an area of 23 acres (9.3ha), however, the course of the Gaylock Syke runs through the south-western portion of the camp, thus making about 5¼ acres (2.1ha) of the camp's interior unsuitable for pitching tents. There are ten visible gates; four on the north-east, with external tituli protective outworks on three of them, three on the south-east all with tituli, two gates with tituli on the south-west and a single gate on the north-west without any outer defences.

This large temporary marching camp and other similarly-sized fortifications at Rey Cross and Plumpton Head have all been attributed to the campaigns of governor Quintus Petilius Cerialis against the Brigantian dissident Venutius sometime around 72/73AD. Another pre-Flavian camp from this particular campaign may be awaiting discovery at Carlisle.

Milestone from Hangingshaw, Long Marton, Appleby, Cumbria


"For Imperator Caesar Marcus Julius Philippus Pius Felix, the invincible emperor in perpetuity, and to Marcus Julius Philippus the most noble Caesar.¹"

(RIB 2284; milestone; dated: 244-249AD)

  1. Philip the Arab was the praetorian prefect of the boy-emperor Gordian III, whom he murdered whilst on campaign in Mesopotamia and thus took control of the empire in February 244AD. Despite this bloody start to his reign, he later became the first Roman emperor to embrace the Christian belief. He ruled jointly with his like-named son until September or October 249, when they were both killed in battle at Beroea in Macedonia.
See: Roman Camps in England - The Field Archaeology by the R.C.H.M.E.;
Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995);
The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
All English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: CRACKENTHORPE CAMP"