OSMap: Hadrian's Wall, LR86.
Type: Camp
Roman Military Way: NW (2.5) to Aballava (Burgh by Sands, Cumbria)
Roman Military Way: E (2.5) to Lvgvvalivm (Carlisle, Cumbria)

The Grinsdale Camps


These four camps all lie about 2½ miles east of Burgh by Sands, roughly half-way to Carlisle. The Boomby Lane camps both have their minor-axes aligned with the Wall and very likely post-date the Hadrianic barrier, though the earliest of these camps may belong to the Agricolan period. The Nowtler Hill camps sited as they are, protectively overlooking the Wall and Vallum, are probably contemporary with them.

Nowtler Hill Camps

Nowtler Hill 1 & 2 (a.k.a. Grinsdale 1 & 2)

These two camps were first identified by Daniel Lysons in 1800, and are visible nowadays only as crop-marks in fields to the south-west of Grinsdale, near Kockupworth. Lysons reported that all four gateways of both camps were protected by external tituli, most of which are still visible in modern AP's.

Nowtler Hill 1, Grinsdale, Cumbria
NY36275701 210 x c.250 ft
(64 x c.75 m)
c.1¼ acres
(0.5 ha)
This camp occupies the summit of Nowtler Hill, is aligned SW-NE and was probably built before Camp-2. It is trapezoidal in outline, with longer sides measuring and feet (78 & 73 metres), and its short sides both (64m). There are gateways placed centrally in all sides save the SW, those to NW and SE protected by external tituli while extra defences outside the NE gate are obscured by a modern road which crosses the site from SW-NE, separating the E corner-angle from the rest of the camp. The camp apparently faced NE.
Nowtler Hill 2, Grinsdale, Cumbria
NY36005676 128 x 187 ft
(39 x 57 m)
½ acre
(0.2 ha)
This small rectangular camp occupies the SW slopes of Nowtler Hill about (300m) from Camp-1. There are four gates, those in the E & W sides places centrally and those in the N & S displaced towards the E, the camp therfore faced ESE. The gates are known to have been protected by external tituli on all sides save the E where details have been destroyed by a modern field-boundary.

Boomby Lane 1 & 2 (a.k.a. Grinsdale 3 & 4)

Lying on the west bank of the River Eden between Grinsdale and Knockupworth between the Wall and Vallum, are two superimposed Roman encampments. Both camps are aligned roughly east-west but do not share any defensive elements, the smaller camp overlying the western defences of the larger and misaligned with it. The relationship and building sequence of these two camps has yet to be determined.

Boomby Lane 1, Grinsdale, Cumbria
NY36875739 460 x 545 ft
(140 x 166 m)
5¾ acres
(2.3 ha)
This camp is the larger of the two at Boomby Lane and has two gates, set centrally in the north and the south sides, both of which were protected by external titulum defences. The camp faced ENE.
Boomby Lane 2, Grinsdale, Cumbria
NY36835740 236 x 466 ft
(72 x 142 m)
c.3 acres
(1.2 ha)
This small camp lies almost entirely within Boomby Lane-1 and has more pronounced crop-marks. No gateways are visible on A.P.'s.
See: Roman Camps in England - The Field Archaeology by the R.C.H.M.E.
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: GRINSDALE CAMPS"