Virosidium Roman Fort, Bainbridge

Geophysical Survey Project

Category

Category: 
Geophysics
Community
Roman
Events & Outreach

Author

Alice James

Rebecca Cadbury-Simmons

This weekend NAA will be undertaking a community geophysical survey of Virosidium, a Roman fort located on the outskirts of Bainbridge in the Yorkshire Dales.

The research project follows on from the We Dig Community! test-pitting excavation that took place within Bainbridge during the summer of 2017 (https://blog.yorkshiredales.org.uk/category/historic-environment/we-dig-community/). The test-pitting project discovered a complete (albeit broken) Black Burnished Ware pot on the outskirts of the fort, which suggested that the archaeology of the fort may extend beyond the previously understood boundaries.

In 1994, the Newcastle office of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) completed a survey of the Bainbridge Roman Fort and Annex Scheduled Monument. Although the survey was completed primarily to assess the condition of the monument and suggest an appropriate management plan, it was also hoped that the survey would identify the suitability of a geophysical survey of the site. The survey created a detailed plan of the fort but concluded that there was a high level of ground disturbance caused by robber trenches and trial trench excavations. Consequently, the report suggested that geophysical survey was only likely to be effective in the south-west corner of the fort and in the northern part of the annex where less ground disturbance was suggested to have occurred.  

The current project aims to target areas within the fort and annex to assess the potential for a geophysical survey. Where meaningful data is collected, it is hoped we will further the archaeological record of the fort and its hinterland by suggesting the extent and form of buried features likely to relate to the Roman occupation of the site.  

NAA will be working with local volunteers, some of whom were involved with the earlier excavation project. Make sure you keep an eye on our social media this weekend to see how we get on! 

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