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RAVENGLASS ROMAN FORT

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  ITVNOCELVM, ITUNOCELUM, GLANNAVENTA, CLANOVENTA, GLANNOVENTA
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The site of Ravenglass Roman fort, identified as the site of Glannaventa noted in classical sources. It is located in Walls Plantation, 700 metres south of Ravenglass, adjacent to the coast, and bordered to the north and south by shallow ravines. The east rampart survives up to 1.5 metres high and measures 128 metres long. The fort was defended on the east side by a double ditch, the inner of which is faintly visible measuring 5 metres wide and up to 0.3 metres deep. The south side of the fort has a very clear and sharp rampart up to 1 metre high. On the fort's north side, beyond the rampart, there is a single ditch, the two eastern ditches having merged into one at the north-east corner. This ditch becomes deeper towards its western end and develops into a ravine 6 metres deep. The western edge of the fort has been subjected to coastal erosion that has destroyed the wall and intervallum along this side. A railway runs north-south through the fort in a cutting and the monument is therefore divided into two areas. Casual finds and limited excavations within the fort indicate an early Hadrianic fortlet constructed in circa AD 122. In size this fortlet is similar to milefortlets associated with the Cumbrian coastal defence system and is thought to indicate either an extension of this system down to Ravenglass, or a separate localised defensive arrangement constructed to guard the estuaries. A later Hadrianic fort was built on the same site but on a different alignment in circa AD 130 to consolidate the coastal defences. This fort displays evidence of destruction by fire in circa AD 197, AD 296 and AD 367, dates that mirror known periods of widespread turmoil in northern England. It was rebuilt after the latter destruction but no date of final abandonment is known. The fort was garrisoned by the Cohort I Morinorum, a unit 500 strong, at one time during its history.

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