Lanchester Roman Fort
Lanchester is one of those Roman locations you read about - and when you actually go to see itfind there is nothing to see!Lanchester Roman Fort was constructed about 140AD by the 20th legion. It served as supply forton Dere Street during the Scottish Campaigns of the mid-2nd century but was to remain in useuntil the Roman withdrawal in about AD410.Dere Street, built about AD80 was one of the most important roads in Roman Britain. It wasoriginally a military supply route, running from York to the Firth of Forth. Later it became themain supply route to Hadrians Wall from the fortress at York.A number of forts were built along its length. In County Durham there were forts at Piercebridge,Binchester, Lanchester and Abchester.Corbridge, also on the line of the road was an important fort, supply depot and civiliansettlement.Dere Street remained in continuous use throughout the Roman period.There was a sizeable civilian settlement to the east and south and Dere Street passed to the east.Water was brought to the fort in three aqueducts from four miles away. The fort was garrisonedcontinuously and during the 3rd century there were cavalry units at Lanchester raised fromamong the German tribes of the Suebones and the Lingones.The rubble core is the wall, constructed in Herring bone fashion is all that now remains of thesouth western corner of the fort. The wall originally stood to a height of 15 feet (4.5m). Therewere four strongly defended fates into the fort and towers at each corner. Much of the fort wasdestroyed in the 18th century when the stone was taken away to build the enclosure walls in thesurrounding fieldsOnly a very small part of the fort has been excavated and there is little to see on the surface – thefort lies on private land and access is not allowed.