NGRef: SJ4169
OSMap: LR117
Type: Camp
None identified

The Upton Group consists of seven camps, the northernmost of which lies at Picton, about a third of a mile (c.600m) ENE of Upton Camp 5, while the southernmost (Camp 6) at Upton Recreation Centre lies just 660 feet (200m) north of the main Roman road between Chester and Wilderspool about two miles north-east of the fortress.

Upton 1, Cheshire
SJ418695 c.480 x 417 ft
(146 x 127 m)
c.4½ acres
(c.1.86 ha)
Discovered on aerial photographs taken on 18th August 1986, this camp was investigated on the ground in July 1987, when trial trenching revealed a typical Roman military V-shaped ditch 4¾ feet (1.45m) deep and 5¼ feet (1.6m) wide, with evidence of rapid silting. An earthwork survey conducted by the RCHME in 1989 recorded the ditch surviving as a slight depression between 8 inches and 1 foot deep (0.2-0.3m), fronted by a low counterscarp bank, with the internal rampart surviving to the dizzying height of around 12 inches (0.3m). About 70% of the perimeter of this camp can be traced, including the SW, SE and NE corner-angles, each with attached lengths of rampart. No gateways may be readily identified.
Upton 2, Cheshire
SJ421695 c.400 x 387 ft
(122 x 118 m)
c.3½ acres
(c.1.44 ha)
Discovered from the air on 18th August 1989, the entire perimeter of this camp is recorded, apart from a short section of the W side. There are no traces of any gateways.
Upton 3, Upton-by-Chester High School, Cheshire
SJ421692 c.380+ x 280+ ft
(c.115+ x 85+ m)
c.2½+ acres
(c.1+ ha)
Found sometime before 1964, this camp was at first thought to be a "Civil War redoubt", occupied during the siege of Chester in 1645?. The camp is known only from its NE corner-angle, with about 280 feet (c.85m) of the N side and 380 feet (c.115m) of the E. An earthwork survey published in 1994 showed that the angle had survived as a slight earthwork standing 1 foot (0.3m) high. Evaluation excavations the same year recorded a V-shaped ditch about 3¼ft. deep and 6¼ft. wide (0.97 x 1.9m), which showed evidence of rapid silting.
Upton 4, Cheshire
SJ419699 c.515 x 423 ft
(157 x 129 m)
c.5 acres
(c.2.02 ha)
Discovered on aerial photographs taken on 8th August 1990, the entire perimeter has been traced, aside from short gaps in three of its sides. None of these gaps may be positively identified as gateways.
Upton 6, Upton Recreation Centre, Cheshire
SJ424689 c.360 x 270 ft
(110 x 82 m)
c.2¼ acres
(c.0.9 ha)
Discovered from the air on 8th August 1995. The entire defensive perimeter of this camp apart from the SE angle is recorded on A.P.'s or may be exrapolated. The south side of this camp was evaluated in August 1996. Sections across the defences revealed evidence of deliberate dimantling of internal timber structures followed by a period of rapid silting. Radiocarbon dating performed on samples taken from the bottom of the ditch gave calibrated readings of 115BC - 405AD, giving a mean somewhere around 145AD. Pollen analysis of samples taken on site in 1997 revealed that at the time the camp had been built the area was a patchwork of both wet and dry secondary woodland interspersed by open moorland, dominated by Oak, Alder, Hazel and Heather.
Upton Grange Moat, Cheshire
SJ423691 c.360 x 360 ft
(c.110 x 110 m)
c.3 acres
(c.1.2 ha)
Graham Soffe in 1989 was the first to recognise the Roman origins of this existing monument. The ditch of a small temporary camp was seemingly flooded during the Medieval period to form a Moat, which now survives only on the east side of the present Grange. The entire perimeter of this square camp may still be traced on the ground, apart from the NW angle which lies beneath the Grange buildings.
See: A Note on New Evidence from Aerial Reconnaissance for Roman Military Sites in Cheshire by Robert A Philpott in Britannia xxix (1998) pp.341-353;
a copy of O.S. Landranger map 117 Chester and Wrexham would also be of benefit.
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: UPTON CAMPS"