The Roman Road from Church Brough to Kirkby Thore, Margary 82

The line of this road is well recorded on modern mapping except for the first few miles from Bough. Beyond Warcop, It is never very far from the A66 which is clearly derived from it.


This road is part of the Stainmore Road from York and it used to be thought it was aiming for Brougham but, as can be seen from the map, it is more aligned on Old Penrith but more of this later..


Route Map - Brough

Leaving the vicinity of the fort the Roman line is represented by the existing track from Swindale beck heading up towards the A66 at Bullestone Bridge

Beyond Flitholme Bride the A66 and the Roman diverge near Brough Hill.

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map 1

Lidar Image

Traces are somewhat intermittent so it is really joining the dots of this first stretch.

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lidar 1

Route Map - Warcop

There are two options for the route at the "Warcop Chicane".

There is evidence for a Roman line both direct across the chicane and also around the chicane as per the current A66.

Perhaps there were two Roman lines - an initial straight direct route that became boggy and warranted a later diversion around the wet patch?

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map 2

Lidar Image

The two options for the Chicane can be made out so there were probably two routes in Roman times. As we shall see later at Temple Sowerby, there were definitely two Roman routes there.

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lidar 2

Lidar Image

Just after passing Appleby, there are the clear signs of a small Roman fortlet. The location is rather close to Kirkby Thore fort so the spacing is a bit odd.

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appleby fortlet

Lidar image - Crakenthorpe Roman Temporary Camp

One of the best surviving temporary camps in our area despite the modern A66 passing through the middle of it. It is assumed to be from the campaign of Quintus Petilius Cerialis around 70AD.

Perhaps 10 entrances are visible and these are protected by external traverses or tituli. The north-eastern side and probably also the south-eastern side seem to have entrances at a regular spacing of around 60 metres.

The camp is aligned with the Roman road where you have expected the camp to have pre-dated the road. Perhaps the campaign route and the later permanent road share one and the same period here.

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crackenthorpe camp

3D Lidar Image - Kirkby Thore

Looking along the line of the road towards the north-west. The A66 marks the route.

Kirkby Thore was actually an important cross roads with a road coming in from Low Borrowbridge and one heading off to Alston (the Maiden Way).

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3d lidar

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Last update January 2018

© David Ratledge