Type: Roman Fort
NE (8½) to Blennerhasset (Cumbria)|
NW (6) to ALAVNA (Maryport, Cumbria)
Probable Road: SSW (17) to TVNNOCELVM (nr. Braystones, Beckermet, Cumbria)
The name of this station is recorded only in the Ravenna Cosmology of the seventh century, where it is appears as Derventione (R&C122), between the compound entry for MAGLONA (Old Carlisle, Cumbria) and the entry for BRAVONIACVM (Kirkby Thore, Cumbria). Epigraphic evidence from the site is sparse (only four inscriptions on stone are listed in the RIB), and neither confirms nor refutes the identification of Derventio with Papcastle. The modern name first appears as Pabecastr in 1260, which is a compound of Old Scandinavian and Old English papi+cæster, meaning 'the Roman fort inhabited by a hermit.'
|LEG VI V P F F|
|"The Sixth Legion, Victorious, Loyal and Faithful made this."|
The sixth legion were based in York for almost the entire period of Roman rule in Britain, and the building inscription shown above could date to any of several periods when campaigns were conducted in the north of England and Scotland, from the Brigantian insurrection of the late AD60's to the campaigns of Emperor Severus against the Caledonian tribes during the first quarter of the third century.
|... IN CVNEVM FRISIONVM ABALLAVENSIVM... EX V P XIIII KAL ET XIII KAL NOV VSLM GORDIANO II ET POMPEIANO COS|
|"[...] for the Formation of Frisians from Aballava¹ [...] former veteran of the praetorian guard,² willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow on the fourteenth and thirteenth days before the calends of November, when Gordianus - for the second time - and Pompeius were consuls.³"|
(RIB 882; altarstone; dated 19-20 Oct AD241)
The name of this unit, the Cuneus Frisiavonum Aballavensium, itself imparts a wealth of information to the military historian:
The 'Frisian Wedge' is also attested on another similar inscription from the Papcastle site (RIB 883; not shown) dated a few years later, at which time the unit was under the command of Nonius Philippus who held the rank of legatus. There are other examples of Cunei Frisiorum; at VINOVIA (Binchester, Durham; RIB 1036; undated) and VERCOVICIVM (Housesteads, Northumberland; RIB 1594; AD222-35).