NGRef: NY2257
OSMap: LR85
Type: Roman Fort
Roads
Probable Road: NE (4) to Concavata (Drumburgh, Cumbria)
Stanegate: E (6) to Aballava (Burgh-by-Sands, Cumbria)

The Roman Fort at Kirkbride

N.G.RefDimensionsArea
NY 2295 5732 525 x 495 feet
(c. 160 x 150 m)
6 acres
(2.4 ha)

The Kirkbride fort is situated a few miles to the south of the Wall fort at Bowness on Solway. The fort was likely founded by Gnaeus Julius Agricola and probably re-built during the mid/late Trajanic period as part of the Stanegate frontier. It is possible that the Kirkbride fort, built on the River Wampool beside the natural sheltered harbour offered by the Moricambe mud-flats, represents the Portus Trucculensis mentioned by Tacitus (Agricola XXXVII.iv) but as yet unidentified.

Various finds scattered over a large area around Kirkbride and dated to the early-2nd C. A.D. had long alerted archaeologists to the presence of a Roman fort here, but it was not until the drought of 1976 that crop-marks captured by aerial photography enabled archaeologists to trace the outline of a substantial fort with a single ditch, measuring about 525 x 495 feet (c. 160 x 150 m) over the ramparts, and aligned roughly north-north-east across the Wampool. The crop-marks also revealed two roads, leading from the northern and eastern gateways of this 6-acre (2.4-hectare) turf and timber fort.

Kirkbride Bibliography and Lynx

Hadrian's Wall from the air by G.D.B. Jones & D.J. Woolliscroft (Tempus Stroud, 2001) pp.66-70;
De Vita Julii Agricolae by Cornelius Tacitus, translated by M. Hutton (Harvard, 1970);
www.pastscape.org.uk