Romans by the river

Volunteers have been working hard to re-awaken the Roman remains © National Trust Jamie Lund

Volunteers have been working hard to re-awaken the Roman remains

Ambleside Roman Fort once housed a cohort of 500 fierce infantrymen charged with protecting a vital mountaintop road connecting Ambleside and Penrith. Now, the beautifully situated remains are in need of protection.

Over the last two years, teams of volunteers, conservation builders and archaeologists have been working hard to protect and strengthen the above-ground remains of Ambleside Roman Fort.

The work involved removing the turf capping from the low walls of the fort, raking out earth, and mixing and applying lime-rich mortar to create a hard-wearing cap. This year we achieved our target of consolidating 95 metres of walling to complete the work in the Main Gateway and Commander's House. This complements the 80 metres of consolidation inside the Headquarters Building undertaken last year and completes the job!

We’ve also found over 2000 archaeological finds, which have now been delivered to the offices of Oxford Archaeology North in Lancaster. Here they will be looked at by a specialist finds archaeologist and a report will be produced detailing their significance.

Moving forward we hope to improve access to the site and install some great interpretation for visitors to enjoy. The next stages of the project may even include having the metalwork X-rayed in order to find out the original function of those rusty pieces of metal.

Ambleside Roman Fort is open every day, year round. So next time you’re in Ambleside, walk along to the fort and see it for yourself.

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