NGRef: TF9539
OSMap: LR132
Type: Camp

Roads
None identified

N.G.REF DIMENSIONS AREA
TF956392 c.300 x 200 ft
(c.91 x 61 m)
c.1¼ acres
(c.0.55 ha)

First observed from the air and reported in J.R.S. 1953 (see below), this small, suspected camp lies in farmland overlooking the valley of the river Stiffkey just east of Copy's Green, North Norfolk, near the centre of an imaginary triangle formed by the villages of Binham, Great Walsingham and Wighton, being slightly closer to the latter village. The site lies on a gentle, natural summit which commands wide views in all directions save the south-east, where the ground rises slightly (Bartholomew ½-inch series sheet 26, Norfolk).

"Elsewhere in the south evidence of early Roman military sites is of the slightest. It has long puzzled air observers why more early temporary forts and camps have not come to light ... Only near Dorking ... in Surrey, and at Wighton in north Norfolk have enclosures been seen that may be small temporary camps. ... Three-quarters of a mile east-south-east of Wighton (TF 956392), at the highest point in an almost level field, is a rectangular enclosure, measuring some 300 ft. from east to west by 200 ft. from north to south. The angles are rounded, and there is at least one gate, in the centre of the east side. Excavation is needed to reveal the nature of these sites." (J.R.S. 1953 p.82)

Although the Wighton enclosure has undoubtedly Roman characteristics, i.e. parallel sides with centrally-placed gateway(s) and rounded corners executed through right-angles, its small size is sufficient to have housed only a fraction of a standard cohort of five-hundred troops, and its remote location well away from any known Roman roads does not bode well in its identification as a Roman military work. In addition, as the suspected camp lies in the territories of the Iceni, a one-time client-kingdom of Rome, the area should not have required a Roman military presence at all, and there are very few historical contexts which may explain such a camp:

In light of all this negativity, I am personally inclined to think that the identification of this site as Roman must be viewed as speculative at best.

See: The Roman Shore Forts - Coastal Defences of Southern Britain by Andrew Pearson (Tempus, Stroud, 2002);
Boudicca by Graham Webster (Batsford, London, 1993);
The Roman Invasion of Britain by Graham Webster (Batsford, London, 1993);
Air Reconnaissance of Southern Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. XLIII (1953) pp.81-97;
Annales by Cornelius Tacitus, translated by J. Jackson (Loeb, Harvard, 1937);
Ρωμαικη ιστοια by Cassius Dio translated by Earnest Cary (Loeb, Harvard, 1914);