Scheduled Monument: Roman camp on Bootham Stray, 450m north east of Moor Farm (30127)

See our for general information on Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments and Conservation Areas.

Authority Department of Culture Media and Sport
National Ref 1019342
Date assigned Friday, May 17, 1963
Date last amended Friday, January 5, 2001


Roman camps are rectangular or sub-rectangular enclosures which were constructed and used by Roman soldiers either when out on campaign or as practice camps; most campaign camps were only temporary overnight bases and few were used for longer periods. They were bounded by a single earthen rampart and outer ditch and in plan are always straight-sided with rounded corners. Normally they have between one and four entrances, although as many as eleven have been recorded. Such entrances were usually centrally placed in the sides of the camp and were often protected by additional defensive outworks. Roman camps are found throughout much of England, although most known examples lie in the midlands and north. Around 140 examples have been identified and, as one of the various types of defensive enclosure built by the Roman Army, particularly in hostile upland and frontier areas, they provide an important insight into Roman military strategy and organisation. All well-preserved examples are identified as being of national importance. Whilst the Roman camp on Bootham Stray, 450m north east of Moor Farm is barely identifiable above ground, archaeological investigations immediately to the north of the protected area have confirmed that the Roman camp retains archaeological information that will add to the understanding of such monuments. The camp's importance is further enhanced by the survival of a second camp 250m to the east, and by their proximity to the Roman fortress at York, one of the main centres of Roman Britain. It is also one of only two of an original group of up to eight camps to survive. Details The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a Roman army camp on the north western margin of Bootham Stray. The remains of a second camp are centred about 250m to the west and are the subject of a separate scheduling. Both camps have been surveyed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. This camp, 450m north east of Moor Farm, is the best surviving example of a group of up to eight camps noted in the area by 18th century antiquarians. It lies about 2.5km north of the site of Eburacum, the Roman legionary fortress at York. The camp lies on level but low lying ground, and because of their proximity to the fortress, the group have been interpreted as practice camps for the Roman army. It is rectangular in plan, approximately 150m north-south and 85m east-west, orientated to the NNW and was defined by an earthwork bank and external `V'-shaped ditch. The northern third of the camp is protected underneath a 0.6m thick blanket of soil laid in 1995 to form a football pitch. The southern two thirds of the camp, which lies within the medieval common of Bootham Stray, demonstrates the best upstanding earthwork survival within the area of the monument. This can be seen as a perimeter bank 6m-7m wide and up to 0.3m high with a gate mid-way along the south side. Gates at the mid point of both the north and eastern sides have been identified from aerial photographs, although their form has been masked by later activity. All the gates of the two camps appear to follow the same design. If viewed from the centre of the camp, the bank on the left side of the break forming the gateway is continued inwards to form a curved bank or clavicula, the end of which lies opposite the end of the bank on the right hand side. This is one of the designs that the Roman army employed to make gateways more defensible in the event of a surprise attack. In 1952 a section was cut across the southern defences of the camp, east of the gateway. This revealed a bank of heavy clay 5.5m wide with an external `V'-shaped ditch 1.3m wide and 1.2m deep, separated from the bank by a 0.4m wide berm. All buildings and modern fencing as well as the top 0.3m of the football pitch are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

External Links (1)

Sources (0)



Grid reference Centred SE 5987 5489 (118m by 201m)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish Clifton Without, City of York, North Yorkshire

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Record last edited

Dec 9 2014 3:57PM


Your feedback is welcome; if you can provide any new information about this record, please contact the City Archaeologist.