Maryport

Alauna Carvetiorum Roman Fort

Quick Facts

All that remains of Alauna Fort

All that remains of Alauna Fort

Where

Maryport, Cumbria – Map and Website

When

  • Hadrian ordered the building of this fort in the second century AD as the command headquarters and supply base for the fortlets and towers extending south along the coast from the western end of Hadrian’s Wall.
  • Alauna’s first unit was the First Cohort of Spaniards stationed here from AD 124-140.
  • Following the Spaniards, the First Cohort of Dalmatians from modern Croatia (Cohors Delmatarum) was garrisoned at Alauna for the next twenty years before they were replaced by the Cohors 1 Baestasiorum CR.
  • The Baestasians were originally from the region of modern Holland and the CR after their name denotes the award of Roman citizenship to the soldiers which they received during a campaign in Scotland in AD139-142.
  • There are five altars from the Baestasians at Maryport dedicated by two of the unit’s commanders, Upianus Titianus and Titus Attius Tutor.
  • A large and prosperous civilian settlement occupied the area to the north and the east of the fort of Alauna for 280 years. Two altars found here were dedicated by a woman called Hermione, daughter of Quintus. One was to Imperial Virtue and the other to Juno, consort of Jupiter.
  • The fort’s earthwork shape. The fort covered 6.5 acres (2.3 hectares) and housed 1,000 soldiers.

What Remains

  • The fort’s earthwork shape. The fort covered 6.5 acres (2.3 hectares) and housed 1,000 soldiers.
Serpent Stone

Serpent Stone

Senhouse Roman Museum

Where

Maryport, Cumbria – Map and Website

When

  • In 1570, John Senhouse started a collection of Roman military altar stones and inscriptions from the Roman fort of Alauna Carvetiorum and its vicus (civilian settlement) which was located at what is now Maryport.
  • When the fort was dismantled in the eighteenth century to provide building stone for the town of Maryport, Colonel Humphrey Senhouse hired a man to record and rescue any inscribed or carved stonework.
  • In 1992 the heirs to the Senhouse estate had the altars and stones brought to their current location called the Battery, which was once a Royal Naval Artillery Volunteer Drill Hall.

What Remains

  • The Senhouse has the largest collection of Roman military altar stones and inscriptions in Britain.
  • The Serpent Stone, a four foot high phallus-shaped, pinky-coloured stone. At the top, the head is carved into a human face on one side. The body of the stone is a chunky eight-sided stem protruding from roughly hewn stone on the bottom. The reverse side has a fat serpent slithering up the side with its head at the top, appearing to wear a torque, the solid metal neck ring that Celts often wore.
  • The museum has compiled a list of the Cohort’s commanders of the Roman fort of Alauna from the altar inscriptions found here.
Milefortlet 21

Milefortlet 21

Milefortlet 21

Where

North of Maryport, Cumbria on the B5300, park at Crosscanonby Salt Pans Carpark – Map

When

  • In the second century AD, Hadrian ordered the building of fortlets and towers extending south along the coast from the western end of Hadrian’s Wall.

What Remains

  • All that remains here are the deep rectangular ruts of the ditches and foundations of where the milefortlet stood.
  • The milefortlet was excavated in 1990-91 and consisted of a ditch surrounding a 6m wide rampart, a road connecting east to west, and several buildings used as living quarters for the soldiers stationed here.
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