Antiquities
Roman

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Daniel and Samuel Lysons

Year published

1816

Pages

128-189

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'Antiquities: Roman', Magna Britannia: volume 4: Cumberland (1816), pp. CXXVIII-CLXXXIX. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50671 Date accessed: 31 August 2014.


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Antiquities.

British Antiquities. — Of the rude memorials of the early inhabitants of this island, a considerable number occur in the county of Cumberland, the largest and most complete of these is the circle of stones called Long Meg and her daughters, in the parish of Addingham, on the road from that place to Little-Salkeld; this circle is 350 feet in diameter, and consists of stones of various kinds, and of unequal height; some above nine feet high, and others hardly appearing above the surface of the earth; on the south side, at the distance of about seventeen paces from the circle, stands a single upright stone, eighteen feet high, from which this monument derives its name, and between this and the circle are two others of smaller size, forming a sort of square projection from the south side of the circle.

Another circle of stones, on a much smaller scale, but more entire than the one just described, is situated on the summit of a smooth hill, surrounded with very grand mountain scenery, about a mile and a half southeast of the town of Keswick, on the south side of the road to Penrith. It is not quite circular, the diameter being about 34 yards from north to south, and nearly 30 from east to west (fn. 1) . The largest of the stones does not exceed eight feet in height. On the eastern side is an oblong inclosure, about 10 feet by 20, formed by ten stones, and connected with the circle.

A third circle of stones, of the same kind, called the Grey Yawd, is described by Nicolson and Burn, as being on the summit of the fell called King Harry, in the parish of Cumwhitton, consisting of about 88 stones, set in an exact circle of about 52 yards in diameter; one single stone, larger than the rest, standing out of the circle, about five yards to the northwest (fn. 2) .

At a place called Swinside, near Millum, is a circle of stones, called Sunken-Kirk (fn. 3) , and part of another near it (fn. 4) .

In the year 1790 Hayman Rooke, Esq. communicated to the Society of Antiquaries an account of three stone chests, formed of dressed stones, fitted close at the sides without cement, which he had discovered within a circular earth-work, 63 feet in diameter at the top, which was level: within this area six large stones were remaining near the centre, which Mr. Rooke supposed to have been part of a circle of stones (fn. 5) .

Many of the rude weapons and tools of the early inhabitants of Britain, formed of hard stone or flint, and resembling those of the South Sea Islands, have been discovered in Cumberland (fn. 6) , particularly in the south-west part, near the sea-coast (fn. 7) . A heavy stone, hammer, seven inches in length, and four and a half in width, was found at Bootle in 1813; a stone hatchet, figured in the Archæologia, Vol. II. (fn. 8) , was found many years ago near Spurston, in the parish of St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.

British and Roman Roads and Stations, and the Roman Wall. (fn. 9) — "As this country was of great importance in a military view to the Romans, which appears from the lines drawn across it by them at different periods, to resist the incursions of their northern enemies; and as the British inhabitants, who formed the mass of its population, preserved their own manners long after the departure of the Roman armies, (not being subdued finally by the Saxons till so late as the year 945); the remains both of British and Roman antiquity are to be met with in every part of it. It is therefore reasonable to expect, that the roads and towns of the first inhabitants should have been discovered in equal numbers; but as it was a frontier province during much of the time the Romans maintained themselves in the island, and fortified by that people in every part with particular attention, the civil works of the Britons seem to have been very generally defaced, or altered by the conquerors for their own use, while the religious ones were reserved because they were neglected.

"We have, however, every reason to presume that the British towns were connected in this county, as in every other, by British roads, and that one great trackway in particular ran from the banks of the Eamont to Carlisle, nearly in the line of the present turnpike road; especially as this road, after passing Carlisle, proceeds evidently towards Birrenswork, and Woodcastle, in Annandale, throwing off a branch north-east to Castleover, all which, as may be seen by the plans of them in General Roy's work (fn. 10) , were British fortresses of considerable importance; and this idea receives great confirmation from its being allowed that one division of the Roman army under Agricola advanced into Scotland by this very road, which he certainly had no leisure to make, and which was therefore probably before his time, as it remains at this day, the great communication between the western and northern part of the island. The Maiden way from Kirby-Thore to Bewcastle seems also to have been another of these British trackways. The British towns, as well as their roads, have been mostly defaced by the residence of their conquerors, whose neglect or occupation of them, during so long a period, were equally fatal. The name of Old-Carlisle would lead us to include it in the number, as was the case with Old-Sarum, Old-Winchester, OldOswestry, and perhaps Old-Durham; but it has only its name to plead, the situation and remains are clearly Roman. Mr. Whitaker contends that Volantium and Axelodunum were both originally British fortresses, raised by the Volantii against their neighbours the Selgovæ; but he rests on little authority except etymology, the weakest ground on which a theorist can stand. (fn. 11) Castle-Carrock, besides its name, "the castle on the rock," has also a British appearance, but more of a religious than civil nature. WallsCastle, on the coast near Ravenglas, produces also strong pretensions to the same origin, for though supposed to be only the first residence of the Pennington family, it bears marks of having been occupied by far earlier inhabitants, as not only coins, both Saxon and Roman, but stone axes, and arrowheads of flint, the undoubted arms of our Celtic ancestors, have been frequently dug up round it.

"But the town which appears to have the fairest claim to be considered British, is Carlisle itself. It is situated on the British trackway, the principal communication between the western and northern parts of the island, on which several cities of the first natives appear, as I before observed, to have been built at proper distances; and was inhabited by the Romans, as is proved by their coins and altars, though a Roman station lies in its immediate neighbourhood. Our antiquaries too seem to have been more fortunate than usual in tracing its Celtic name through its Latin one of Lugoballium. Lug is a tower or fortress; Lugo Augusti is Turris Augusti, in Mela. Lugdunum is the fortress on the hill; Lugoballium may be the fortress near the Vallum. The circumstance of its not being garrisoned at the time of the Notitia, which seems to have puzzled Horsley, is in favour of its British origin; for though the Romans inhabited the town, as they did other towns of the natives, using it as a vicus to their neighbouring station, they naturally preferred a fortress constructed according to their own rules; and the garrison of Congavata, which was only four hundred yards from it, was to all military purposes the garrison of Carlisle also. Richard of Cirencester too expressly mentions Luguballium among the British cities.

"Though there is little reason to doubt of this being the fact, it is only on Roman ground that we can tread with certainty. In tracing the Roman wall, we meet, at unequal distances, but in the most advantageous military positions, several large fortresses surrounded by deep ditches, defended by high walls of earth or stone, and containing within their area, altars, inscriptions, coins, and other marks of that enterprizing and intelligent people. These fortresses, which are invariably of a square or oblong form, are each of them capable of containing a garrison of a Roman cohort (about 600 men), and each of them has on the side sloping to a river, or to the southern sun, a vicus, or small village, for the families and followers of the troops. The regular figure, which the Romans always preferred, where the shape of the ground and other circumstances would permit them, makes it most probable, that where stations are irregular in their shape, yet shew by the remains found in them proofs of having been inhabited by the Romans; as is the case of Silchester, Kenchester, Bath, and other towns, these may have been British cities, occupied by the conquerors (as I presume Carlisle to have been) for reasons of their own.

"That the celebrated wall which crosses the northern part of this county, was the work of the Roman legions, no one has ever ventured to deny; though a modern writer has adopted a new hypothesis, both with respect to its builder, whom he supposes to be Gallio, instead of Severus, and to the names of the stations on it as enumerated in the Notitia, which he refers to the northern vallum between the Forth and the Clyde (fn. 12) . This idea, though ingeniously defended, has made few converts, and the opinion of our best antiquaries seems to be, that some of the Roman generals, perhaps Agricola, about A.D. 79, might draw a line of forts from the Frith of Solway to the mouth of the Tyne: that A. D. 121, the Emperor Hadrian, in conformity with his favourite plan of contracting the limits of the empire, connected these forts by a vallum of turf, with a ditch on its northern side, which is still visible: that A. D. 210, Severus constructed a wall of hewn stone to the north of Hadrian's line, protected by 300 small turrets within call of each other; by 81 large towers, at intervals of a mile each, and by 18 large stations, at the average distance of four miles: the whole forming a regular and compact defence from the east to the west sea: and that finally, about the year 448, when the Romans were on the point of leaving the island, their general, Gallio of Ravenna, assisted the British inhabitants in giving the wall of Severus a complete repair. This extraordinary work, after having endured the frosts and tempests of above 1600 winters; the violence of the Barbarians, who forced their way through it in many parts; the plunder of the neighbouring inhabitants, whose fences, houses, and churches, have been all raised from its materials, and the still more destructive ruin of those enemies to antiquity, our modern turnpike roads, is yet seen in many parts, running proudly over the mountains and wastes of the north, at an elevation even now of six or seven feet (fn. 13) , (which in Horsley's time was ten, and in Bede's more than twelve,) and nearly nine feet thick, attended by a fosse fifteen feet deep. Its length from Cosins house, three miles east of Newcastle, where the depth of the river Tyne formed a sufficient defence against the enemies' incursions, to the station at Bowness, beyond which the breadth of the Solway Frith answered the same purpose, is about seventy-four miles. It was constructed according to the common mode used in Roman buildings, with a facing of free stone on both sides, having the internal part filled with loose rubble stones, with hot mortar poured plentifully over them, which forms a mass not to be separated even at present without much difficulty. Indeed this firmness of construction furnishes a strong argument against the idea, that so magnificent a work, the principal materials of which must often have been brought from a distance, with its turrets small and large, its military roads, its ditches and its stations, was hastily raised by a single legion under Gallio, in the moment of terror and despair at abandoning the island; or of the British provincials, harrassed as they had been for centuries by the inroads of the Barbarians, divided by the quarrels and wars of their chiefs, and uninterested as the greatest part of them were, in a work which could only protect this northern district. "The wall itself was attended," as Horsley observes, "by a small military way, which went directly from turret to turret close by its side, and by a larger paved road attending the Castella, often falling in with Hadrian's north Agger, which it uses as a road whenever it is convenient for the purpose. This Agger, which some suppose to have been itself an old military road, has been the best passage between the stations; and when the line of the stations fetched a compass, another distinct military way was laid, joining two of the stations that were more remote, as in Northumberland, from Walwick to Carvorran: and I have reason to apprehend the like was done in Cumberland from Carvorran, or at least from Cambeck fort to Stanwix." The principal military road, which goes by the name of the larger road of Severus, and is very plain in the neighbouring county of Northumberland, disappears at Foultown, just before it reaches the borders; Severus perhaps using the north Agger of Hadrian, which is tolerably distinct in this part of its course. But soon after entering Cumberland, the military way is seen at Willowford, to the south of both Severus and Hadrian's works. It appears also on crossing the Irthing, where the bank being steep it slopes down on one side to the river and up on the other. And probably passed a little to the south of Burdoswald, which lies on the wall itself.

"The road is very conspicuous between High-House and Walbours, and there is a visible castellum here, to which it ascends. Soon after this, the ground being ploughed, the walls themselves become obscure, and the road is completely lost for some miles, not being at all found near Cambeck fort, which is the next station, but on approaching Watchcross, between that fort and the wall, it is quite plain in a direction from Cambeck fort towards High-Crosby, as if bearing for Stanwix, from hence to the west nothing more has been discovered of it, though Horsley thinks that at Warmanby he saw something like it, and that near Burgh the peasants strike the plough on a pavement, which he supposes must be in its line.

"A second Roman road, and one of the most considerable in the north, traverses the whole county from Westmorland to the wall, in the line as I observed of a great British track-way. It is mentioned in the second and fifth of Antonine's iters, and the eighth and tenth of Richard's, and seems to have crossed the Eamont, where the present turnpike road does, and proceeded with it directly north, to the stations at Plumpton-wall and Carlisle. Near the former, which it approaches within 200 yards, it was at least 21 feet broad; it passed the wall at Stanwix, and ran by the village of Blackford to Longtown, on the Eske, here it throws off another large road to the north-east, which goes evidently to the station at Netherby, and from thence to a Roman post at the junction of the Eske and Liddel, (afterwards a border fort of considerable note under the name of Liddel'sStrength,) and after passing these rivers is traced to Castle-over, evidently a British, and afterwards a Roman city. The principal road, however, after sending off this branch, crosses the Eske at Longtown, and as some writers contend, leaves Solway Moss on its left, and goes directly through Gretna Green, and so into Annandale, but Horsley supposes with more appearance of reason, that it runs through the centre of the Moss, passes the Sark at Barrowslacks, and through the Procestrium of the Roman camp at Burrens, in its way to the northern Vallum; and this opinion is confirmed by a modern writer, who seems to have examined the traces of the ancient ways in Scotland with much sagacity and success. (fn. 14)

"Among the moors on the east borders of the county, a third road is evidently to be traced under the name of the Maiden Way, a term familiar to all persons conversant in these matters of antiquity, and supposed by Warton to be corrupted from the British word, Madan, "Fair." It leaves the Roman road at Kirby-Thore, goes between Cross-Fell on its right, and Kirkland on its left, and is seen in the east parts of Ousby, Melmerby, and Addingham parishes, but leaving the villages themselves far to the west, it is still in some places above 18 feet broad, but almost impassable from large stones, the fragments perhaps of its original pavement, crosses Black Burn, and running within two miles west of Aldstone, enters Northumberland, bearing plainly for Whitley-Castle, a well known station in that county, and from thence to Carvorran; it passes the wall at Dead Water, and re-entering Cumberland, proceeds to the station at Bewcastle, which it leaves a little to the left, then under the name of the Wheel-Causeway, passes the Kirksop into Scotland, at Lamyford, crosses the Catrail, and is supposed to fall into the eastern Watling-Street, perhaps near the station of Ad Fines.

"From the celebrated station above Maryport, no less than three Roman Roads have been discovered in different directions. One of these seems to have proceeded along the sea coast to the west end of the wall at Bowness, it is perfectly plain two or three miles beyond Allonby, and again near Old-Mawburgh, (which was certainly a small station on it,) and where last seen it evidently points for Bowness, going probably along the low grounds, where all remains of it would soon be lost; nor is it at all visible between Allonby and Maryport, but the necessity of such a road to enable the garrisons on the west coast to march to the assistance of those on the wall, makes it probable that its line was extended in a southwest direction to Moresby, and all the stations in that part of the county. A second military way from the same station has been more successfully examined. It leaves the village of Ellenborough on its right, and Dovenby on its left, and has been traced very plainly for six miles in that direction, to the Roman town at Papcastle, near Cockermouth, from whence there is reason to conclude it must have communicated with the station at Ambleside. The third of these roads passes through Mr. Senhouse's estate, crosses the road from Crosby to Cross-Canonby, goes through Allerby, over Outerside Common, through Baggerhay, over Bolton pasture and Shaking-bridge, and by Red Deal, to the station at Old-Carlisle, which it leaves close on its left, coincides with the present turnpike-road over the Common, till it approaches near to the bridge over Wimpool, and joins it again at the village beyond Thursby, from which it proceeds in a straight line pointing to the cathedral at Carlisle.

"A Roman road which must have connected the stations of Ambleside and Plumpton-Wall, and which is visible in its way at Kirkstone Hill, is seen again at Gowbarrow Park Head, near Ulswater, runs thence between two hills called Mill-Fells, to a camp of the name of Whitbarrow, near the eightmile stone on the turnpike-road from Keswick to Penrith, which was an intermediate station between the two Roman towns. It crosses this road in a direction from south-west to north-east, was entire a few years ago upon Greystock low Moor, till it was made a modern road leading to Greystock; then inclines to the left, and continues in a straight line towards Blencow, is still visible in a ploughed field 200 yards north of LittleBlencow, pointing at Couch-Gate, passes on the north side of Kulbarrow, runs through Cow-Close, where it was discovered in making the new road from Penrith to Cockermouth, which it crosses near the present toll-gate; from hence it proceeds over Whitrigg, is visible again at the edge of the road on Fair-bank, and in Low-Street, so through the inclosures to the south gate of the station at Plumpton Wall. Another road, which is certainly Roman, came from the station at Brougham, through Stainton to Whitbarrow, which was therefore a post of some consequence.

"Mr. Horsley (Brit. Rom. p. 482.) mentions his having had certain information of a Roman road going from Ambleside towards Ellenborough; and Stukeley asserts, that he saw one bearing from Moresby towards Papcastle. Both are probable; as it is also that some communication must have existed between the inland stations and the coast to the west of Moresby; as also between Moresby and Ambleside, and between Plumpton Wall and Whitley Castle: but the Roman wall, and such roads as are immediately connected with it, seem to have attracted the exclusive attention of the Cumberland antiquaries, and it is only from intelligent gentlemen resident in the county that authentic information on these subjects can be given to the public. (fn. 15)

"I shall proceed to follow the Roman stations in Cumberland in the same manner as I have done their roads, first examining such as are on the wall itself, then such as are connected with it, and finally such as may be in other parts of the county. In following the course of the wall from Northumberland, about two miles from the eastern limits of the county, we meet the station of Burdoswald, one of the most decided on the whole line. It touches the wall, which here forms its northern rampart, so that the garrison could command the country beyond, by marching out at its northern gate. And as this is also the case with several other stations, it will account both for the very few other passages or gates in the wall, and for this position of the fortresses so close to the wall itself. The ditch, gates, and rampart, still existing, point out a square containing five or six acres (fn. 16) , within which appear many ruins of buildings. The turrets on each side the south gate are still visible, and nearly opposite that entrance, the remains of what seems to have been the prætorium: the ruins of a temple have also been discovered in another part of the area. In Horsley's time, the foundations of the houses were so plain, that the breadth of the streets could be measured, which, according to the Roman fashion, were extremely narrow. The situation is well chosen, a rising ground with a descent to the river Irthing, and just between the two walls, that of Hadrian seeming to have fallen in with its southern rampart, as the larger work of Severus did with its northern one. Altars and inscriptions abound, from whence the name of the place is known; for no less than fifteen inscriptions, found at Burdoswald, mention the Cohors Prima Ælia Dacorum, and the Notitia expressly mentions this cohort as having composed the garrison of Amboglanna, one of the fortresses on the wall.

"At the distance of about six miles and a quarter further is Castlesteads, or Cambeck fort, so called from its situation on the Cambeck. (fn. 17) It is about 400 yards south of the wall; and this, with the smallness of its size, has led some antiquaries to conjecture that it was originally one of Hadrian's or perhaps of Agricola's line of forts, and applied by Severus to his own purposes. The situation, however, is convenient from its nearness to the river, a point to which the Romans were always attentive. An inscription mentioning the sixth legion has been found here. The estate upon which the station stood having been purchased a few years since by Mr. Johnson, he levelled the whole area, and erected a handsome house near the site: in doing this, many altars and other antiquities were found. It is supposed to be the ancient Petriana, which is mentioned in the Notitia, as the next fort to Amboglanna, and the garrison having been a body of cavalry, was well suited to its greater distance from the wall.

"About three miles west of this station, and nearly one from the wall, is Watchcross, conjectured to be the Roman Aballaba; and here too a body of Moors (probably cavalry, as their country was famous for it,) composed a garrison proper for the distance. It is remarkable that there are two stations, somewhat detached, or to the south of the wall, in Northumberland; viz. Little Chesters, and Carvorran; and two under the same circumstances in Cumberland; viz. Castlesteads, and Watchcross; and traces of a military road are yet to be seen, which connected these independent stations, as we may term them, with each other: this certainly lends some countenance to the idea I have just mentioned, that these four fortresses formed part of Hadrian's or Agricola's Prætenturæ. The station, if it be one, is certainly the smallest on the line, nor have any antiquities been found in it; the form, however, is certainly Roman.

"Of the next station no doubt has ever been entertained. It is at Stanwix, just opposite Carlisle, the name supposed to have been Congavata. Its northern rampart, as at Amboglanna, is formed by the wall itself, and from its north gate the great military way proceeded to the west part of the vallum of Antonine. The site is a good one, on a south bank sloping to the Eden. The church stands within the area of the station, and the descent to the river is covered with ancient ruins of houses that extend into the streets of Carlisle itself, which I have before contended was a British town occupied by the Romans, and used as a vicus or suburb for the garrison. The body of troops stationed here, as we know from the Notitia, was the second cohort of the Sergians.

"Burgh on the Sands, about four miles and a half from Stanwix, was Axelodunum. Whitaker supposes it British also, and derives the name from Axel o dun, "the dry town," which well enough expresses its situation. What appears, however, is only Roman: urns, altars, and inscriptions of that people have been found (fn. 18) , and the western agger of the fort itself exists in a low meadow about 200 yards east of the present church. Hadrian's rampart seems to have ended here. (fn. 19) Many stones of the wall of Severus have been dug up at Easton near this place.

"Somewhat more than four miles farther west, at Drumburgh, on a hill above the marsh, are the evident remains of another station, probably Gabrocentum; the site is now a garden or orchard, the ramparts perfectly plain, and the fosse still deep. The castle formerly belonging to the Dacre family, and now to the Earl of Lonsdale, a large farm-house, was raised from its ruins.

"At the end of the lane, one mile from Boulness, the wall of Severus is visible for the last time, in a close on the left of the road, six feet high and three thick, pointing to a spot supposed to be the site of the only remaining station, Tunnocelum. It is on a rock hanging over the Frith of Solway, which then from its depth became a sufficient defence to the Roman province. Even after the lapse of so many centuries, the passage over the water is sometimes dangerous (fn. 20) , and the slightest inspection of it will convince a spectator how much the sea must have lost since the year 210, in both depth and width. The bearing of the Roman road from Maryport to the spot points out this rock as the Roman station. Coins too, and other remains, (particularly an altar dug up 1783,) have been found in a field a little to the south of it: and the Notitia, placing a marine cohort at Tunnocelum, suits the situation of Boulness so well as to put the matter out of all reasonable doubt.

"In examining these stations on the wall, which we have now finished, every traveller has remarked how much closer together the Roman garrisons were placed on the west than on the east side of it; for which, the circumstance of the great communication between the north and east parts of the island being by this western road, and the neighbourhood of Ireland, filled at that time by tribes of free and gallant barbarians, afford a very sufficient reason.

"But besides the fortresses on the wall itself, there appear to have been several others, constructed with much military judgment at different points to the south of it, for the purpose of bringing forwards additional troops to the support of any part which might be attacked; and we learn from the Notitia, that the garrisons of these latter stations consisted in most instances of cavalry, which were best suited to such a purpose. As all these posts were maintained by the Romans to the last moment of their keeping any force in the island, they are very decidedly marked by altars, coins, and other traces of this nation, and in general by the more perfect state of their ramparts. We know indeed from the Notitia, that they were actually held by them so late as the beginning of the fifth century, being garrisoned nearly to that period by auxiliaries of the sixth legion; and from Claudian, that the sixth legion continued in Britain till it was recalled by Stiticho in his last struggles to defend Italy against the barbarians,
"Venit et extremis Legio Prœtenta Britannis."

Among these supporting stations we may reckon, 1. Ellenborough; 2. Papcastle; 3. Old Carlisle; 4. Old Penrith; 5. Moresby; and another, (Bremetenracum) whose exact site is not known. They are classed under a general but not very intelligible name in that curious record the Notitia, being called "Stationes per lineam valle."

"The station at Ellenborough is on the north side of the mouth of the little river Ellen, on a hill above Maryport. It is a square of 400 feet, surrounded by a fosse and double rampart, commanding a view of the coast on each side the Solway Frith, and of the sea to a considerable extent, for which purpose this site seems to have been chosen: the prospect is assisted by a large exploratory mount, or rather barrow, though when opened nothing was discovered in it but the bones of an ox; the workmen most probably, from their ignorance, having missed the real spot of interment, as has sometimes happened even to the more experienced labourers of Sir Richard C. Hoare, in his accurate researches on the Wiltshire downs. Few places have furnished more antiquities than this station, from which it appears that the garrison was composed, at different times, of the first cohort of the Spaniards, the first of the Dalmatians, of the Mauritanians, and of the Batavians.

"The Senhouse family, to whom the estate belongs, laid open the whole area in 1766, with the laudable spirit of antiquarian curiosity so long inherent in their name. They found the arch of the gate beat violently down and broken; and on entering the great street, discovered evident marks of the houses having been more than once burned to the ground and rebuilt, an event not unlikely to have happened on so exposed a frontier. The streets had been paved with broad flag-stones, much worn by use, particularly the steps into a vaulted room, supposed to have been a temple. The houses had been roofed by Scotch slates, which, with the pegs that fastened them, lay confusedly in the streets. Glass vessels, and even mirrors, were found; and coals had evidently been used in the fire-places. Foundations of buildings were round the fort on all sides, and coins and urns in great numbers. These, with the three roads known to have pointed towards the station, prove it to have been a large and populous town. Of its precise name there has been much doubt. It has been conjectured to be Olenacum, from the resemblance to the modern one; Glannavanta, for the same reason, and as not unsuitable to the position of that town in the tenth iter of Antonine; Virosidum, because that is the most western station mentioned in the Notitia; and Volantium, from the well-known altar found here, with the inscription "Volanti vivas;" but on this it has been truly observed by Mr. Gough, that wishes of this sort for the health of an individual are not uncommon, and that Cureta vivas, and Fausta vivas, and Petrei bibas (for vivas), are found in Roman inscriptions. The real name, therefore, must remain still in uncertainty.

"The next station deserving our notice is Papcastle, on the Derwent, six miles south-east of the last, and connected with it by an evident Roman road. It lies in two closes called Boroughs, on a hill above the present village, and part of the ancient wall is still visible in the lane on the riverside going towards Wigton. Coins and other antiquities have been frequently discovered on the bank sloping from the fort to the south-west, the usual situation of the vicus. There is great reason to think its Roman name was Derventio, where the Notitia tells us a body of troops called the Numerus Derventionensis was quartered, and that it took its present name of Papcastle from Pipard, its Saxon owner. The town of Cockermouth, which is only one mile south of it, is supposed to have risen from the ruins of the ancient station.

"Another of these supporting stations, more considerable and better preserved, is at Old Carlisle, one mile south of Wigton. The Roman road leading from this station to Ellenborough one way, and to the wall the other, is very broad and visible. The fort was of an oblong figure, 500 feet by 400; and buildings of a large vicus are round it, especially on each side of the road: the foundations were so plain in the time of Stukeley, that a plan might have been formed of all the streets. (fn. 21) It appears, by inscriptions, that the Ala Augusta, a body of cavalry, were in garrison here for more than sixty years; the Romans, as we well know, never changed the quarters of their troops without the most urgent necessity, and thus, by long residence, giving these Dalmatians, and Moors, and other strangers, a new city of their own, in the defence of which, their affection for their families, and the preservation of their acquired property, would give additional incitement to the spirit of military honour. Not only the Ala Augusta, but the Ala Gordiana, and the Ala Herculea, are mentioned in other inscriptions found here; from whence it has been conjectured, that this body of troops might have changed its name more than once, out of compliment to the reigning emperor. According to the Notitia, indeed, the Ala Herculea was stationed at Olenacum, which has led Horsley to suppose, in some parts of his work, that Olenacum was the name of this station, though in others, from the river Wiza, which runs near it, and the modern name of Wigton, only a mile from it, he feels inclined to call it Virosidum.

"The name of our next station, at Old Penrith, or, as it is oftener called, Plumpton-Wall, is much more decided, for here the itineraries come to our assistance, and the slightest inspection shews it to be the Voreda of Antonine and Richard, the distance from the neighbouring towns on both sides perfectly corresponding. The fort, containing an area of about three acres, lies on the Peterel, about 200 yards to the west of the present turnpike road, which we know to be the ancient Roman one: the ramparts are still high, and the fosse visible, as also the site of the Prætorium (fn. 22) . The foundations of the houses which formed the vicus, are discovered in abundance on the south-west descent to the river, and altars and coins as usual. The Roman road from Ambleside falls into the great northern one at this station; it was garrisoned also, like most of these supporting stations, by cavalry, the second cohort of Gallic horse; Camden conjectured its name to be Petriana, misled by an inscription found here to the memory of Ulpius Trajanus, an Emeritus Alæ Petrianæ, but we know from other authority that Petriana was upon the wall, and the Emeritus may have died during an accidental residence at the station of Voreda, as the Decurio of the colony of Glevum, who is mentioned in an inscription found at Bath, probably died in the station of Aquæ Solis, or Sulis.

"There is great reason to think Arbeia, another of these stations, mentioned in the Notitia, was at Moresby, two miles north-east of Whitehaven, though Camden was inclined to fix it at Irby. That there was a station at Moresby is evident by its remains, and it is one of the few instances in which the accuracy of Horsley has failed him; for though he allowed the inscriptions found here to be Roman, he has too hastily observed that there are hardly any marks of the station itself; other antiquaries have been more fortunate in discovering it; the site is in a field, on the side of the village, towards Barton, called the Crofts, and the church stands (as is often the case,) within its area. (fn. 23) It is a square of 400 feet, on an elevation, overlooking several creeks still frequented by small craft, and shews that one reason of its being placed here was to protect the coast against the invasions of the northern and western pirates. The west Agger is perfectly plain, and the stones of the south wall still appear through the turf that covers them. A body of Africans formed its garrison; Stukeley saw a Roman road pointing over the moors towards Papcastle; but as if the spot was to be fatal to the characters of all our antiquaries, he has read Horsley's 75th Cumberland inscription, which was found here, in a manner almost as erroneous, as his very ludicrous interpretation of the Greek line on the altar at Corbridge. (fn. 24)

"There was yet another of the supporting stations in Cumberland, though there is no certainty in what part of the county it lies, for among the stations per lineam valli, (whatever may be the meaning of that obscure and disputed phrase,) the Notitia reckons Bremetenracum, between Alione, which is supposed to be Whitley castle, and Olenacum, which is either Ellenborough, or Old Carlisle. Camden, led by that fallacious guide to which he too often trusted, the resemblance of names, supposes it to be at Brampton, on the Irthing, nor is this situation in any respect ill suited to it. But few marks of Roman occupancy appear at Brampton, and the mount is certainly the work of a very different people. We are not even certain of a single Roman road bearing to or from it, which is not the case with any other of these stations (fn. 25) . On the whole, therefore, though there is a possibility of Brampton being the site of this Roman station, it cannot be produced as such with any degree of confidence. Castlesteads, in Stocklegarth parish, and Whitbarrow, between Plumpton-wall and Ambleside, have equal if not better pretensions to it.

"Besides the five stations we have thus examined, which appear to have been placed some miles to the south of the wall, with a view of supporting any part that might be attacked, there are at least two others, supposed to have been connected with the wall on the north side, and to have been left as advanced posts in the enemies country, when the rest of the province was given up to the natives. Whether this was the case, or whether they were merely fortresses, built in the usual progress of Roman civilization, in that part of Britain, which by the useful labours of Roy and Chalmers, we now know to have abounded in flourishing cities and military roads, as much as any other district in the island, it is no part of our plan to examine; it is sufficient for us to discover plain marks that they have been fortified and inhabited by the Romans.

"The first of these stations, and one the most likely to have been connected with the wall, from which a Roman road (as has before been observed,) passes near its gates, is Bewcastle. It is about eight miles from the Vallum, its ramparts distinct, and the ditch still deep. The site too is marked by coins, pavements, and inscriptions, by one of which we learn that it had been a Roman garrison so early as 121, the altar being dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian by two of his legions, (the second and twentieth,) which were employed at that time in building his Prætentura, and whose head-quarters might be fixed here in advance, for the purpose of protecting the workmen. There is reason to think its Roman name was Apiatorium; its modern one is derived from Bueth, one of its Saxon masters, whose castle, built as usual from the ruins of the station, still exists in the north-west corner of its area.

"Another station of this kind, advanced several miles north of the wall, but communicating with it like the last, by a plain Roman road, is at Netherby on the Esk: here too coins, altars, baths, and the foundations of streets running down to the river, point out a considerable town. Horsley was much inclined to place here the Castra Exploratorum of the itinerary, an idea which may receive some countenance from a discovery made since his time, of a riding school for the Roman cavalry, "Basilica Equestris Exercitatoria;" and from the circumstance of Riechester, in Northumberland, which is advanced several miles from the east side of the wall, as this is on the west, being garrisoned by the same species of troops, Exploratores, as if for the same purpose. The site too on elevated ground, especially as connected with the very commanding Roman post on the Liddel, about two miles off, would be well suited for a body of scouts, and the itinerary distance from Luguballium suits well, as Roy has observed, to Netherby. Be the name, however, what it may, there is no doubt that Netherby was a Roman station of consequence, advanced north of the wall, but within the limits of the county.

"Among the Roman towns in Cumberland, and in some degree connected with the wall, which it in a manner touches, it is impossible to omit Carlisle itself, though originally, as I have before observed, it may have been a city of the Britons. That it was inhabited, however, by the Romans, and known to them under the name of Luguballium, there is no difficulty to prove. The Itineraries, our surest guides, represent Luguballium, as thirteen miles north of Voreda; we know Voreda to be Plumpton-wall, and as Carlisle is at the same distance, in the same direction from that station, it answers directly to Luguballium. In the same Itineraries the distances from Brocavum (Brougham,) to Luguballium, and from Brocovonacæ (Kirby-Thore,) to the same place, answer also to Carlisle, and to Carlisle only; and to make the point clearer if possible, the town is called in Antonines fifth iter Luguballium ad Vallum, or "upon the wall," a description which is peculiarly that of Carlisle. That Carlisle was occupied by the Romans the altars, coins, and other remains of that people, which are found in abundance even at this day, most fully demonstrate; and among others we have the authority of William of Malmsbury for asserting, that in the time of William the Second, a Roman building, which the historian calls a Triclinium still existed in this city (fn. 26) , with an inscription supposed by our early antiquaries to be "Marii Victoriæ," but which it has been since ingeniously conjectured, ought to have been read, Marti Victori, and that it was in reality a Roman temple. It may be worth while also, to mention that a late traveller, Mr. Hutton, (who, though not much conversant in antiquity, is a faithful and honest narrator of every thing he saw, and who at the age of 78 walked carefully along the whole course of the Roman wall, writing down his observations on the spot,) expressly tells us (fn. 27) , that the Vallum, after crossing the Eden opposite Carlisle, makes an evident bend to the north, as if to enclose the city within its line, a circumstance which must lead us to think it was a place of importance at the time this Prætentura was formed. On the whole, therefore, we may conclude, that Carlisle was probably a British town, connected with the wall by its accidental neighbourhood, and in consequence of that neighbourhood occupied by the Romans under the name of Luguballium.

"Besides the stations and towns already mentioned, the following places seem to bear marks of having been at some period fortified or possessed by the same people.

"Such is the camp near Mawburgh or Malbray, on the north-west coast, which I mentioned as being probably a small military station on the road from Ellenborough to Bowness. It is now a ploughed field, but old men still speak of its having been walled round, and a stone has been dug up within the area, with an inscription making mention of the second cohort of the Pannonians; this puts the circumstance of its being a Roman post out of all reasonable doubt.

"Upon Ponsonby-Fell, on the Calder, four miles south of Egremont, is a camp, believed to be Roman, but the ground not having been opened, nothing has been found to prove it.

"Egremont castle itself, from the herring-bone masonry in it, has an appearance of much antiquity, but its claim to be a Roman work, is equally uncertain with the last. (fn. 28)

"The two camps on Broadfield common, called Castlesteads and Whitestones, which are mentioned by Major Rooke in Archæologia, vol. ix. seem to be Roman by their shape, but the first has never been examined, and no antiquities were discovered when the latter was ploughed; the situation, however, is well adapted for a station between Old-Penrith and Old-Carlisle, and the inhabitants contend there was a high raised way in that direction. It would suit too the position assigned to Bremetenracum remarkably well.

"Irby, which Camden supposed from the likeness of name only, to be Arbeia, has a square camp, but no antiquities have been found near it.

"On a common called Eskmeals, in the parish of Bootle, in the south-west corner of the county, is an entrenchment certainly Roman, as coins and broken altars have been found in it, and it was doubtless one of the smaller stations constructed for the defence of the coast in that remote corner.

"On Cunningarth, near the Shawkbeck quarries, not far from Rose castle, is a small camp, only forty yards square, which seems to have been made to protect a working party of the second legion, who we know were employed here in digging stones for the wall. The quarries are still worked, and reckoned among the best in the county.

"In the parish of Kirkland is a camp of the same kind, for the protection of the soldiers of the twentieth legion, who were employed in the same work in that part of the country.

"There is a fort at Hardknot hill, in the parish of Muncaster, about 200 yards on the left of the present road from Whitehaven to Kendal. It is as nearly square as the ground will permit (fn. 29) , and from its situation and form appears evidently to have been made with a view of guarding one of the principal passes from the west coast into the inland country. The walls are of the stone of the neighbourhood, with four gates, which appear to have been arched with freestone brought from a distance, and beyond the east gate an esplanade, at the distance of 150 yards, has been formed with much trouble for the exercise or review of troops (fn. 30) . There seems to be good reason for conjecturing that this spot may have been the site of one of the military posts between Moresby and the certain station at Ambleside, to which an old road from hence, over the mountain, is still said to lead."

Roman Altars and Inscriptions. — No county in England, except Northumberland, has produced so great a number of Roman altars and inscribed stones, as that of Cumberland, in consequence of the numerous military stations it contained; the greater part of which were occupied by the Roman troops for more than three hundred years. The first notice taken of them was by Camden, who published five of the inscriptions in 1586, in the first edition of his Britannia: having visited Cumberland in the year 1599, with his friend Sir Robert Cotton, he increased the collection to the number of twenty-nine, in the enlarged edition of his work, published in 1600. In the edition of 1607, the last which was published by the author himself, they are increased to forty: a few more were added in Bishop Gibson's edition of the Britannia, in 1720.

A good many of the Cumberland inscriptions are engraved in Gordon's Itinerarium Septentrionale, published in 1726, but though those engravings appear to have been intended for fac-similes, they do not express with any degree of accuracy, the exact form of the letters; as far as we have had an opportunity of comparing those figures with such of the originals as are at present preserved: nor are the inscriptions themselves by any means accurately copied. The same may be said of the Cumberland inscriptions, published in the second volume of Dr. Stukeley's Itinerary.

In the year 1732 Mr. Horsley, in his excellent work on the Roman antiquities of Britain, published engravings of all the Roman altars, and inscribed and sculptured stones, which had been discovered at that time in Cumberland; the number of which then amounted to seventy-five: and illustrated them with explanations. As far as we have been able to compare the figures in Horsley's work with the originals now existing, he appears to have copied the substance of the inscriptions with great accuracy, though the exact form of the letters is seldom preserved in his copies, and the figures of bas-reliefs are mere scrawls.

Since Horsley's time many Roman altars and inscribed stones have been discovered in this county, and communicated to the public in several volumes of the Archaeologia, and of the Gentleman's Magazine; and several have been found of late years, which hitherto remain unpublished. The whole of the collection now amounting to 141, without including several of the sculptures in Horsley's work, will be found in the following Tables, in which fac-similes will be given of some of the most remarkable of those at present existing. The place where each was found will be expressed, where it is known; and the authority on which it is given, where we have not had an opportunity of examining the original: these tables will be followed by some brief observations, with references to the different inscriptions.


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.1-11

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.1-11


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.12-23

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.12-23


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.24-35

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.24-35


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.36-51

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.36-51


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.52-64

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.52-64


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.65-71

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.65-71


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.72-81

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.72-81


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.82-90

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.82-90


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.91-106

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.91-106


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.107-128

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.107-128


Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.129-142

Roman Altars and Inscriptions: nos.129-142

The first thirty-two of the inscriptions in the foregoing tables are on altars dedicated to Jupiter. Nos. 1, 2, and 3, found at old Carlisle, were first published by Camden, in the year 1600, in the third edition of his Britannia; they were communicated to him by the Rev. Oswald Dykes, in the possession of whose brother they then were, at his seat at Warthole, and were afterwards taken to Drumburgh Castle, now the property of the Earl of Lonsdale, whence they have been since removed to his lordship's seat at Lowther Castle, where they now are. No. 2 appears to have been a good deal injured since Camden's time, probably by exposure in the open air. The inscription on No. 1 may be read "Jovi Optimo Maximo ala Augusta ob virtutem appellata cui præest Tiberius Claudius Tiberii filius Lingonensis M. Justinius præfectus. Fusciano et Silano iterum Consulibus." That on No. 2, J. O. M. ala Augusta ob virtutem appellata cui præest Publius Ælius Publii filius Sergia [tribu] Magnus de Mursa ex Pannonia inferiore præfectus. Aproniano et Bradua [consulibus]" These two were erected by a body of auxiliary cavalry, called the Ala Augusta and afterwards, in the time of the Emperor Gordian III., Ala Augusta Gordiana, on account of their valour. Some doubt was entertained by Horsley, as to the word beginning the fifth line of No. 1, and following the name of the præfect, in Camden's copy, published in 1600. The L does not now appear, nor did it in Horsley's time, but it may have been since obliterated; or the single stroke which now remains at the end of the preceding line may have been a part of this letter, though in the copy communicated to Camden, it is a P, but it is evident that several of the inscriptions in his Britannia have been very inaccurately copied; and the last line of this, is there made to begin with "ii" instead of "et." Fuscianus and Silanus mentioned in the first inscription, were Consuls in the year of our Lord 188, in the reign of the emperor Commodus. On the inscription No. 2, Mr. Horsley observes that it was erected "by the same ala as No. 1, but at a different time, when Apronianus and Bradua were consuls, A.D. 191, under the reign of Commodus; at which time they had changed their commander, who was now Publius Ælius Magnus, the son of Publius of the tribe Sergia mentioned in Virgil (fn. 32) , and town of Mursa, in the Lower Pannonia." (fn. 33)

No. 3 may be read I. O. M. Pro salute Imperatoris Marci Antonii Gordianii pii felicis invicti Augusti et Sabinæ Furicæ Tranquillinæ conjugis ejus totiusque (fn. 34) domus divinæ eorum ala Augusta Gordiana ob virtutem appellata posuit cui præest Æmilius Crispinus præfectus equitum natus in provincia Africa de Tusdro sub cura Bonnii Philippi legati Augustalis proprætore Attico et Pretextato consulibus." This altar, which had been removed to Sir Robert Cotton's seat at Conington, in Cambridgeshire, was so much defaced in Horsley's time, that he was obliged to follow Camden's copy, compared with that in Gruter's Corpus Inscriptionum (p. mvi. 8.) We learn from it that Nonnius Philippus was legate and proprætor in Britain, when Atticus and Pretextatus were consuls, which was A.D. 242.

The thirteen altars from No. 4 to 16 were probably all found at Burdoswald, though there is no certain evidence respecting the discovery of some of them; they are all dedicated to Jupiter, by the first cohort of the Dacians, a people who inhabited a part of the present Turkey in Europe, and which being said in the Notitia to have occupied the station of Amboglanna on the Roman wall, leaves no room for doubt, that Burdoswald was that station. In all these inscriptions the epithet Ælia, is added to the name of this cohort, which it is supposed to have taken, in honour of the Emperor Hadrian, whose prænomen was Ælius; in No. 6 and 7 it has the additional epithet of Postumiana from the Emperor Postumus, in No. 8 of Tetriciana from Tetricus, and in No. 9 Gordiana from Gordian.

The two altars 6 and 7 were found "about one hundred yards without the station eastward in the ruin of a building, within about seventy yards of the precipice where the wall crossed the river Irthing; and some drawings of them were sent to the Gentleman's Magazine, in August 1746, by Mr. George Smith, a short time after they were discovered: from the figures of them published in that work, the letters appear to have been rude.

The inscription No. 8 is thus read by Horsley, "I. O. M. Cohors prima Ælia Dacorum Tetriciana Romana [vel Tetricianorum] cui præest Publius Olulictius designatus tribunus," Mr. Ward read the name Polulius Romanus. Of No. 10 Mr. Horsley gives the following reading, "I. O. M. Cohors prima Ælia Dacorum cui præest Aurelius Fabius Tribunus Perpetuo Consule," and observes "that if petuo be a part of Perpetuo, this brings us to the year 237, though the cut of the letters seems rather too good for that age." In these inscriptions we find the names of eight different commanders of this cohort preserved.

Nos. 12 and 16 are preserved at Netherby, in the collection of Sir James Graham, Bart., who has fitted up a convenient room, for the reception of the large collection of Roman Antiquities discovered in Cumberland; which was chiefly made by his father, the late Rev. Dr. Graham. It is not certainly known where this was found, or No. 12; but probably both of them are from Burdoswald: the latter was communicated to the Gentleman's Magazine, in 1744, by Mr. G. Smith, who says, that it was "the head-stone of the upper passage, betwixt the pillars and outwall" of Lanercost Priory church.


Inscribed stones in Cumberland

Figure 4: Inscribed stones in Cumberland

No. 17 was found near Old Carlisle, and an engraving of it published in the Gentleman's Magazine, for the year 1756. It was erected by the Equites of the Ala Augusta mentioned in the Altars No. 1, 2, and 3, under the care of the præfect Egnatius Verecundus, and dedicated to Jupiter for the health of the Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus. The original is now in the Netherby collection, from which the fac-simile in the annexed plate was taken.

No. 18 was drawn by Sir William Dugdale in his Visitation of Cumberland made in the year 1665, having been discovered a short time before at the Roman station within the manor of Ellenborough, where Nos. 19 and 20 were also found, which are preserved in the valuable collection of Humphry Senhouse, Esq. at Netherhall, the lineal descendant of J. Senhouse, Esq., mentioned by Camden, who visited this station in the year 1599; and who speaking of the antiquities found there, in the edition of his Britannia, published in the following year, says "multæ hic aræ, inscripta saxa, et statuæ eruuntur. Quæ vir optimus J. Senhous in cujus agris effodiuntur, diligenter custodit, et per aædes disposuit." (fn. 35)

The altar No. 20 is copied by Horsley from the Appendix to Gordon's Itinerarium Septentrionale, as he had not an opportunity of examining the original, which was in the Isle of Man, in the Bishop's library: he reads the inscription thus, "Jovi Augusti. Marcus Censorius Marci filius Voltinia [tribu] Cornelianus Centurio legionis [decimæ] Fretensis Præfectus Cohortis primæ Hispanorum ex provincia Narbonensi domo Nemausensis Votum solvit libeus mento."

No. 21 is one of the inscriptions communicated by Mr. Dykes to Camden, and published by him in the two first editions of his Britannia, but omitted in the third.

Nos. 22, 23, and 24, were found at Castlesteads (fn. 36) , or Cambeck-fort, the Roman station of Petriana, near the Roman wall. The altar on which was the inscription No. 22, dedicated "Jovi Optimo maximo et Genio loci, has a patera on one side and a præfericulum on the other rudely sculptured in bas-relief. (fn. 37)

No. 23 was first communicated to the publick by Mr. G. Smith, in the Gentleman's Magazine for the year 1741; a figure of the altar was afterwards given by Mr. Brand in the Appendix to the first volume of his History of Newcastle; and in the year 1792 a more correct one was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries by the late Professor Carlyle, in whose possession the altar then was. The following appears to have been the inscription. "[I. O. M.] et numini Augusti nostri Cohors secunda Tungrorum Gordiana milliaria (fn. 38) equitata . . . . cui præest . . . . . . Claudius . . . . . . præfectus, Instante Ælio Martino Principe. X. calendarum Januarii Imperatore Domino nostro [Gordiano] Augusto III. Pompeiano consulibus."

On one side of this altar is the figure of a thunderbolt, and of a wheel on the other. The second cohort of the Tungri is not mentioned in the Notitia, or in any other inscription found in Britain; but it appears from a passage in Tacitus, that two cohorts of that people were in this island in the time of Agricola. In the last line but one there is a mistake of III. for II. as the Emperor Gordian was not three times consul: he was the colleague of Pompeianus, in his second consulate, A. D. 241.

The inscription No. 24, was published by Camden, in 1607, in the enlarged edition of his Britannia. From the figure of it there given, it appears to have resembled the one last mentioned; on one side was the thunderbolt, the other side was mutilated. The material parts of the inscription are sufficiently intelligible, though some words are obscure, probably from having been inaccurately copied. As the second cohort is clearly expressed in the preceding inscription found at the same place, it is most probable that there had been another I in the second line of this, and that it was obliterated by a large crack, which occupies the space where it must have stood; the four letters at the beginning of the third line are, no doubt, part of "mil. eq." (milliaria equitata.) The V in the sixth line is evidently erroneous. The inscription may be read thus: I. O. M. Cohors secunda Tungrorum milliaria equitata cui præest . . . Aurelius Optatus (fn. 39) præfectus instante M. Esopo Sp . . . principe."

No. 26, found at Plumpton-wall, is inscribed to Jupiter, and the Genius of the Emperor Philip and his son, by a cohort of the Galli, probably the second, as it is mentioned in another inscription, No. 26, found at the same place; on which Horsley observes, that he should have supposed it to have been the fourth, which is known to have been quartered in this part of the island, if Coh. II. had not been so plain in the original; he also suggests that this cohort might be afterwards the cuneus armatarum, who, according to the Notitia, kept garrison at Bremetenracum. He reads this inscription thus: "I. O. M. Cohortis secundæ Gallorum equitum Titus Domitius Heron de Nicomedia præfectus."

No. 27 was erected by the first cohort of the Spaniards, which was commanded by Marcus Maenius Agrippa. No. 28, by L. Camnicus Maximus, the prefect of the first cohort of Spanish horse. On the subject of these two inscriptions Horsley says, that he will not pretend to determine whether we are to understand the same cohort in both, as in one they are said to be horse, and under a prefect, in the other the word equitum is not expressed, and the officer is called a tribune.

No. 29 is the fac-simile of a small altar, taken from the original, now built up in the front of a barn at Bowness, a figure of which was published in 1789, in the appendix to the first volume of Brand's History of Newcastle, where it is said to have been found in a field a little to the southeast of the Roman station at that place. The inscription runs thus: I. O. M. Pro salute Dominorum nostrorum Galli et Volusiani Augustorum Sulpicius Secundianus Tribunus cohortis posuit." Another instance of "Tribunus cohortis," without the name of the cohort occurs in the large altar found at Ellenborough, No. 63, and in No. 32.

No. 30, was inscribed on a fragment of the upper part of an altar found in the year 1755 with No. 94, about 200 yards east of the Roman station at Old-Carlisle, and was communicated to the Gentleman's Magazine in that year by Mr. G. Smith; a better figure was published in the same Repository for the year 1757. The inscription alludes to the Emperor Severus and his son Caracalla. "I. O. M. pro salute L. Septi. . . . . . everi et M. Aur. Anto. . . . . . ."

No. 31 was at Scaleby-castle, whither it had been brought from Castlesteads, as Mr. Gilpin, then the proprietor of that castle, informed Mr. Horsley; the name of the prefect mentioned in this inscription appears to have been Volcatius Hospes; Mr. Horsley observes that the I in the latter name seems to be redundant.

No. 32. This inscription does not mention to what cohort the tribune Caius Caballus Priscus belonged, of this omission other instances occur in Nos. 29 and 63.

No. 33, was published by Horsley, who observes that the letters were rude and ill cut, and were become very obscure, but that the ill-spelling or corrupt way of writing adds most to the difficulty in reading it. He supposes it to have been an altar erected to Mars by an Emeritus (fn. 40) of the cohors prima Ælia Dacorum.

No. 34 is dedicated to Mars with the epithet of sanctus, "Deo sang. Marti Venustinus Lupus Votum solvit lubens merito." The word sanctus being contracted, and a G introduced instead of a C, Mr. Ward contended that it should be read sanguineus, on which Mr. Horsley justly observes, that the latter epithet is only applied to Mars in the works of the Roman poets, whilst sanctus occurs in several inscriptions on altars dedicated to that Deity, and G is frequently used for C in ancient inscriptions. (fn. 41)

No. 35 is dedicated to Mars, with the epithet of Militaris, which perhaps occurs only in this inscription: it runs thus, "Marti militari Cohors prima Baetasiorum (fn. 42) cui præest Julius Tutor præfectus. Votum solvit libentissime merito."

No. 36, inscribed on an altar in the possession of William Johnson, Esq. at Walton-house, was found at the station of Castlesteads near that place. It is dedicated to Mars and some other deity, whose name, which is rendered more obscure from the letters being slightly cut, we have not been able to decypher. The prænomen of the person by whom it was erected, appears to have been Pacorus, of which there are several examples in Gruter.

The eight altars, from No. 37 to 44, are dedicated to Mars by the local name of Belatucader, which appears to have prevailed at the Roman stations in the northern parts of this island; in the later times as it should seem, from the form of the letters in most of the inscriptions. Formerly, when only one or two altars had been found with the name of Belatucader, some doubt was entertained as to the deity it was intended to designate, but this has of late years been satisfactorily ascertained, since several have occurred, two of them in this county, (No. 37 and 41.) inscribed "Deo Marti Belatucadro."

The inscription No. 37, is on an altar found about the year 1783, within the area of the Roman station, at Plumpton-wall, and is now preserved in Mr. Hutton's museum at Keswick. A copy of this inscription was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries by Hayman Rooke, Esq. in the year 1789; and in the following year some observations on it by Mr. Gough (fn. 43) , who reads it thus, "Deo Marti Belatucadro et Numinibus Augustorum Julius Augustalis actor Julii Lupi prefecti," and inclines to the opinion that Augustalis was the Agnomen of Julius, by whom the altar is dedicated, and that he was the actor or steward of Julius Lupus the præfect. The letters are all very plain, except the two L's in the last line but one, which are imperfect, but could not well have been any other letters. Mr. Gough supposes the Augg. to have referred to Severus and Caracalla, but some of the letters do not seem to be sufficiently well formed for the reign of Severus, and could hardly be older than that of Philip, or of Gallus, to either of which Emperors and their colleagues the term numina Augustorum would be applicable.

Nos. 38 and 39 are only to be found in Camden's Britannia, having been lost before the publication of the works of Gordon and Horsley. The first appears to have been erected by "Julius Civilis Optatus;" the other inscription may be read thus, "Deo Sancto Belatucadro Aurelius Diatova aram ex voto posuit lubentissime merito."

No. 40. This inscription may be read thus, Deo Sancto Belatucadro Aulus Domitius Dullinus (fn. 44) votum solvit." From the fac-simile published by Bishop Gibson in his addition to Camden's Britannia, this altar appears to be of a very late date, as well as No. 42, communicated to the Society of Antiquaries in 1766, shortly after it was found, by Bishop Lyttleton, a fac-simile of which is published in the first volume of Archæologia.

No. 41, was inscribed on an altar found at Netherby, and soon afterwards published by Bishop Gibson in his additions to Camden's Britannia, the latter part of it, which is very obscure, has probably been inaccurately copied. The name of Orusius occurs in Gruter. (fn. 45)

The altar, of which No. 43 exhibits a fac-simile, is of very small dimensions, being only 10½ inches in height, and 4½ wide in the widest part. The letters of the inscription are very rudely formed. A copy of it was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries in 1792, by Professor Carlyle, who suggests the following reading, "Deo Belatucadro aram merito erexit Rufus." This altar is in the possession of W. Johnson, Esq. of Walton-house, near which it was found.

No. 44 exhibits a fac-simile of a small portable altar, about 5½ inches by 2½, the whole of the inscription is very intelligible, except the name of the person by whom it was dedicated, which being much contracted and without stops, may be read many different ways. The other parts of the inscription run thus, "Deo Belatucadro posuit aram pro se et suis." When we saw this altar in the year 1808, it was in the possession of Mr. Wilson at West-end, in Burgh on the Sands, who told us that it was found between Burgh-castle and Wormelby.

In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1749 (fn. 46) is an inscription on a small portable altar found at Burgh on the Sands, which appears to have been dedicated to Belatucader; but it is evidently so ill copied that we have not ventured to insert it.

The seven following inscriptions, from No. 45 to 51, relate to Mars, under the local name of Cocidius, which also appears to have been much used at the station in the neighbourhood of the Roman wall. No. 45 was inscribed on the first altar which was discovered dedicated to this deity, and was published by Bishop Gibson in his additions to Camden's Britannia in the year 1722; Cocidius was not known to have been a name of Mars till the year 1797, when an altar was found at Lancaster, and communicated to the Society of Antiquaries, inscribed, "Deo Sancto Marti Cocidio." Another (No. 51.) has been since found in Cumberland, inscribed, "Deo Marti Cocidio." And two, Nos. 46 and 47, "Sancto Cocidio."

No. 46. is inscribed on an altar 2 feet 10 inches in height, in the collection at Netherby; the form of the letters, especially of the A's and M's, shews it to be of a late period of the Roman empire in Britain; the inscription runs thus "Deo sancto Cocidio Paternus Maternus Tribunus Cohortis primœ Nervanœ ex evocato palatino votum solvit lubens merito." We have not found this cohort mentioned in any other inscription. No doubt it took its name from the Emperor Nerva, as those entitled Hadriana and Antoniana did from Hadrian and Antoninus. The evocati mentioned in this and the following inscriptions, are defined by Pitiscus, as veterans skilful in military affairs, who having completed their military services, voluntarily returned to the army, to oblige the consuls or generals. He observes that certain youths of the equestrian order, who performed the office of guards of the Emperor's bed-chamber, were also denominated evocati, and supposes these were the same as are sometimes mentioned by the name of evocati Augusti. It is most probable, that the epithet palatinus in this inscription, refers to the office above-mentioned.

No. 47. is inscribed on an altar found in the bed of a rivulet at Bewcastle, and communicated to the Society of Antiquaries by the late Professor Carlyle, in whose possession it then was: the inscription runs thus, "Sancto Cocideo Titus Auruncus felicissimus Tribunus ex evocato votum solvit lubens merito." Mr. Carlyle says, that he should "consider ex evocato, as synonymous with qui fuerat Evocatus, a mode of phraseology, though perhaps not very common in the best Latin writers, yet by no means unfrequent in the later ones (fn. 47) ." Two inscriptions occur in Reynesius (fn. 48) which leave no room to doubt that this opinion was correct.

No. 48. is inscribed on a large altar three feet six inches high, which we saw in the year 1808 in the garden of a cottage at Howgill near the Roman wall, not far from Walton; it has been since removed to Gilsland Spa, and is in the possession of Mr. William Bell of that place. On one side of the altar is the figure of a patera, and on the other, of a sacrificing-knife in basrelief. The inscription may be read thus, "Deo Cocidio vexilatio (fn. 49) legionis sextœ victricis votum solvit lubens merito."

Nos. 49 and 50, are the inscriptions on two altars found in the foundation of one of the watch-towers of the Roman wall, at Banks-head, near Lanercost priory, in the year 1808. The first may be read "Deo Cocidio Milites Legionis Secundœ Augustœ votum." &c. The other "Deo Cocidio Milites Legionis Vicessimœ valentis victricis votum solverunt lubentes merito, Aper erexit et consecravit." The two last X's in the fourth line of this inscription are distinct, though slightly cut, and must have been introduced by mistake for two V's; there having been no such legion in Britain as the fortieth; and the twentieth which was honored with the epithets valens and victrix, having been long stationed on the Roman wall. On the base of the altar is the figure of a dog hunting a boar, in allusion to the name of Aper.

No. 51 is inscribed on an altar found in the year 1813, at a place called Old-Wall, about six miles east of Carlisle, upon a farm belonging to Mr. Law, in the foundation of the wall of Severus. It is dedicated to Mars Cocidius by Martius, some officer, probably a centurion of the first cohort of the Dacians, whose head-quarters were at Amboglanna, now Burdoswald, as already noticed. The inscription runs thus, "Deo Marti Cocidio Martius . . . Cohortis primœ Dacorum, . . . Genio valli lubens merito." The words Genio valli, which were probably preceded by "et," appear to have been omitted in their proper place, and come in awkwardly after the name of the person by whom the altar is dedicated. No altar has been hitherto found inscribed to this deity, but a great variety of Genii both of persons and places occur in ancient inscriptions.

No. 52. Mr. Horsley observes upon this inscription that the only difficulty is in the letters vitires, which make the name of a local deity, to whom an altar found in Northumberland was dedicated; and adopts the reading suggested by Mr. Ward, "Vitœ restitutori." From an altar since discovered at Netherby, (No. 56.) inscribed "Deo Vetiri sancto," it is more probable that Vitires in this inscription was intended to express the name of this deity joined with Mogon, and that an et has been omitted; unless they were different names of the same deity, and introduced in the same manner as Marti Belatucadro and Marti Cocidio. Mr. Horsley reads the name of the person by whom this altar was erected, "Flavius Ælius Secundus." The local deity Mogon, to whom this altar was inscribed, appears to have been worshipped by the Gadeni, an altar having been found in Northumberland, inscribed "Mogonti Gadenorum."

No. 53. "Deo Mogti," inscribed on a small altar found at Plumptonwall, supposed by Mr. Horsley to have been erected to the same local deity Mogon. And it is probable that the altar, a fac-simile of which is introduced (No. 54.) with a rude inscription which may be read "Deo Mounti [C]osalus [Ma]rtius" was also intended to be dedicated to Mogon.

No. 55 is inscribed on an altar discovered at Castlesteads or Cambeckfort, in the possession of Mr. Johnson of Walton-house, it was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries in 1792, by the late professor Carlyle, who observes that "the whole of the word Augusti was evidently intended to be engraved in one line, but on account of some mistake having been made, the latter part of it is erased, and continued in the line below (fn. 50) ." On a close inspection of this altar, we perceived that it had originally been inscribed "Discipulinæ Auggg," the letters of the inscription being sharply cut, and remarkably well formed; the two last G's had afterwards been effaced, and the "usti," in the last line added, to render it applicable to a single Emperor: the letters of this last line are by no means so well executed as those of the original inscription. No doubt the three Augusti originally alluded to, were Septimius Severus, and his two sons Caracalla and Geta. Mr. Carlyle further observes, "that we have many altars dedicated to the virtues of the Roman emperors, but to deify their mere institutions (for the word Discipulinæ, can only be a mis-spelling for Disciplinæ) seems a curious stretch of flattery." (fn. 51)

No. 56. A small altar in the Netherby collection, inscribed "Deo Vetiri sancto Andiatis v. s. l. m. f." Three altars dedicated Deo Vitiri, one of them found in Northumberland, and the other two in Durham, occur in Horsley's Britannia Romana: from the epithet "sancto" here added to "Vetiri," it seems probable that it was another local name of Mars.

No. 57. This inscription may be read "Soli invicto Sextus Severus Salvator præfectus votum solvit lubens merito." Soli invicto frequently occurs on the reverses of Roman coins of the lower Empire.

No. 58 is an imperfect inscription on an altar which Mr. Horsley found at Scaleby-Castle, but which was said to have been brought from Castlesteads: it is inscribed Deo Soli, with the addition of Mithras, the Persian appellation of this deity; of which many examples occur on altars found on the Continent, though this we believe is the only one, which has been discovered in Britain.

The altar No. 59 was found in the year 1787, in making a drain in Scotch-Street at Carlisle; it has no inscription; but on one side is a figure in bas-relief, which Mr. Rooke, by whom it was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries in 1789, supposes might be intended for a rural deity, probably Silvanus (fn. 52) . He has horns on his head, and holds a goat in his right hand with its head downward (fn. 53) over an altar, and in his left hand what seems to have been intended for a patera. This altar was in the collection of Professor Carlyle, and is now in the possession of his daughter. Another altar was found with that last described, having figures in basrelief, much mutilated on two of its sides, but without any inscription. One of the figures was in the habit of a Roman soldier.

No. 60. This inscription was found at Moresby, and published by Camden in the year 1600, in the third edition of his Britannia: it may be read thus, "Deo Silvano Cohors secunda Lingonum cui præst Gaius Pompeius m. . . . Saturninus." Another small altar (No. 61.) dedicated to the same deity has been found at Netherby, and is in the collection of Sir James Graham, Bart. It is inscribed "Deo Silv." without any intimation of the party by whom it was dedicated.

The inscription (No. 62.) is on a very perfect altar discovered about the year 1740, in the remains of a hypocaust, at the same station as No. 61. and is now in the same collection. It was first published in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1740, by Mr. G. Smith, and in the year 1763, it was communicated to the Royal Society by Dr. Taylor, Chancellor of Lincoln (fn. 54) . The inscription runs thus, "Deæ sanctæ Fortunæ conservatrici Marcus Aurelius Salvius Tribunus Cohortis primæ Æliæ Hispanorum miliaria æquitata votum solvit lubens merito. The name of M. Aurelius Salvius appears in another inscription (No. 85.) found at this place: the Monogram which occurs after Hispanorum, is that which is well known as expressive of miliaria.


Roman altar at Elenbrough

Figure 5: Roman altar at Elenbrough

The altar on which are the inscriptions (No. 63.) is the largest which has been discovered in Britain, being no less than five feet in height, it is formed of a dark reddish grit stone, and was found before the year 1559, at Ellenborough. It is now in the possession of the Earl of Lonsdale, at the castle at Whitehaven. An engraving of it was published by Camden in the year 1600, in the third edition of his Britannia, from a drawing made by his friend Sir Robert Cotton. The present state of this altar will be seen by the annexed plate, in which three of its sides are exhibited. The parts now defaced, being supplied from the figure in Camden's work, the inscription on the front of the altar may be read thus, "Genio loci Fortunæ reduci Romæ æternæ et Fato bono Gaius Cornelius Peregrinus Tribunus Cohortis ex provincia Mauritaniæ Cæsariensis Domos et Ædem Decurionum [restituit]." On the back of the altar near the top is inscribed "Volanti Vivas," in two lines; in the figure published by Camden, both words are inaccurately represented as in one line, and a double I is expressed at the end of Volanti."

Camden suggests the insertion of ordinem after Decurionum in the restoration of the last line of this inscription; this Horsley objects to (fn. 55) , as rendering the passage unintelligible, which is complete without it. The inscription on the back of the altar "Volanti vivas," is supposed by Camden to contain a wish from the inhabitants of the station, that their benefactor might live at Volantium, which he thence conjectured to be its name. Gruter to whom Camden sent this inscription, considered Volanti to be the name of a person; and Horsley produces two examples of vivas used in the same manner in ancient inscriptions; Mr. Gough produces a third from Gales' MSS., "Cureti vivas." At the four corners of this altar are pillars, two wreathed and two fluted; and the upper part of the front is ornamented with sculptures in bas-relief of fruit, foliage, and two heads, which have been represented in the works of Camden and Horsley as suns (fn. 56) , but which appear rather to have been designed for lions' heads. On the other three sides are sacrificing instruments sculptured in bas-relief.

No. 64 is inscribed on a stone 3 feet 4 inches high, and 10½ inches wide; in very well formed letters, sharply cut, which was found a few years since at Ellenborough. This inscription contains nothing more than the names of two of the divinities, "Roma Æterna and Fortuna redux" which occur in the large altar, (No. 63.) found at the same place.

No. 65 exhibits the figure of a tablet of stone 16½ inches by 9 inches, containing a Greek dedicatory inscription to Æsculapius, which may be read thus, "[...]" (Æsculapio A. Egnatius Pastor posuit.)

No. 66, which was published by Camden in the first edition of his Britannia, seems to have been inaccurately copied. Mr. Horsley observes upon it that "Ceaiius," if that be the true reading, must be the name of some local deity; and adds that Mr. Ward proposed the following reading of it, "Deo Oceano Aurelius Martius et Martia [or Marsia] Euracio pro se et suis votum," &c.

No. 67 contains the fac-simile of an altar, which has been preserved for more than fifty years at Nunnery. The inscription was first communicated to the public in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1755, and in a subsequent magazine of the same year, it was explained by the late Mr. Pegge, who reads it thus, "Deo Mapono et numini Augusti, Durio et Ramio et Trupo et Lurio germani votum solverunt lubentes merito." He supposes the four names to have been British, and that these persons were four brothers, ("germani.") It is uncertain where this altar was found, but probably at the neighbouring station of Plumpton-wall. From the form of the L.'s and M.'s it appears to be of a late date. The name of the local deity "Maponus," does not occur in any other inscription found in this country.

No. 68. This inscription to the local goddess Setlocenia is on an altar 2 feet 4¼ inches in height, found at Ellenborough, first published by Gordon in his Itinerary, and afterwards more accurately by Mr. Horsley, who reads it thus, "Deæ Setloceniæ Lucius Abareus Centurio votum, &c."

No. 69 is inscribed on a large altar more than three feet high, found at Ellenborough, and in the collection of Humphrey Senhouse, Esq. There is nothing in this inscription to indicate what Empress was intended by "Augustæ," to whose virtue it is dedicated. The æ in the last line but one, was no doubt intended for e, of which numerous examples occur in ancient inscriptions; and the name of Hermione was not uncommon among the Romans.

No. 70. This inscription is on a tablet of stone found at Ellenborough. The two first lines of "Victoriæ Augustorum" appear above a Corona, within which the two others "Dominorum Nostrorum," are included; this is supported by two victories sculptured in bas-relief. It was first published in 1600 by Camden, who adds a fifth line A.A. (Augustorum,) and conjectures that the Emperors might have been Arcadius and Honorius. Horsley who afterwards published a figure of this tablet in his Britannia Romana, thinks it more probable that they were Diocletian and Maximian, to whom the title of Domini nostri is more frequently given than to any others (fn. 57) .

No. 71 shews the present appearance of a remarkable piece of antiquity discovered in the Roman station at Netherby, and preserved in the collection of Sir James Graham, Bart. very inaccurate figures of which have been published in the works of Gordon (fn. 58) and Horsley, from which they have been copied by others. The figure is within a niche, in the upper part of a stone seven feet three inches high, and two feet two inches wide; it is executed in pretty high relief, and is of better workmanship than most of the Roman sculptures, found in this island: it represents a Genius as frequently seen on the reverses of Roman coins, with the addition of a mural crown, which circumstance makes it probable that it was intended for the Genius of the Wall of Severus, the name of which occurs in the inscription No. 51. In the lower part of the stone is a long perpendicular groove with hollows and cramp-holes across it, from which it seems that some iron-work had been attached to the stone.

No. 72. A stone on which is the figure of a female sitting in a chair, sculptured in very low-relief, with fruit in her lap; a good deal resembling some of those on the altars dedicated to the local goddess Nehalennia discovered in Zealand in 1647, figures of which were soon afterwards published, with observations on them, by Vredius in an Appendix to his History of the Earls of Flanders, and a copious dissertation on the same subject is given by Keysler in his Antiquitates Septemtrionales, but the conjectures of these authors are by no means satisfactory (fn. 59) . In eight of the altars this goddess is represented with a dog by her side, in five without it; in all of them with a basket of fruit by her side or in her lap, or both. In one she holds the fruit in her lap without a basket, exactly as in the Netherby bas-relief; in three she is represented standing, in all the others in a sitting posture. On the sides of two of these altars were figures of Hercules, and of Neptune on four of them. Another altar with the same figure as No. 72, but without any inscription, was found at Castlesteads, and is now in the possession of Miss Carlyle, having been in the collection of her father, the late Professor Carlyle; on the opposite side is a female figure, holding a patera in her right hand, and a Cornucopia in her left. A third fragment with this figure was found at Carlisle, in 1787, and communicated to the Society of Antiquaries in 1790, by Hayman Rooke, Esq. (fn. 60)

The inscription No. 73 was on a tablet of stone found not long before it was published by Horsley in 1732, near the station of Old Penrith at Plumpton-wall, and was then at Great Salkeld, in the Rector's garden; he reads it thus "Deabus Matribus Tramarinis (for Transmarinis,) et Numini Imperatoris Alexandri Augusti et Juliæ Mammeæ Matris Augusti Nostri et Castrorum Totique domui divinæ Æternæque vexillatio. . . . . . . ."

The Deæ Matres appear to have been local deities, presiding over different provinces and towns, and to have been particularly objects of devotion to the Gauls and Germans. Chorier in his "Recherches sur les Antiquites de Vienne," supposes the worship of them to have commenced about the time of Pertinax and Severus. (fn. 61)

No. 74. This inscription on an altar which Mr. Horsley saw at ScalebyCastle, and supposed to have been found at Stanwix, on one side of which was the figure of a patera, and on the other of a præfericulum. It was dedicated to the Matres domesticæ by . . . . . . vis Messorius a signifer.

No. 75 is inscribed on a stone found at Castlesteads, now in the Collection at Netherby. The inscription commemorates the restoration of a Temple dedicated to the Deæ Matres of all nations; it runs thus, "Matribus omnium Gentium Templum olim vetustate conlabsum Gaius Julius Cupitianus ∋ propria pecunia restituit (fn. 62) ." Horsley who published this inscription, reads the third name Pitianus, and represents what appeared to us to be Cu at the end of the last line but one, as a flourish to fill it up. We do not find the name either of Cupitianus or Pitianus in the works of Gruter, Muratori, or Reynesius, but we have Cupita. Horsley also considers the monogram, (resembling the Lombardic capital E reversed) which follows the name, as intended only to fill up the space; but this seems very improbable, and we should rather suppose that it was designed to indicate Centurio, being so used in several inscriptions: having omitted this, he reads, p.p. Provinciæ præses, because otherwise there would be nothing more than the bare name, which was not usual in such an inscription, and rejects the obvious reading of propriâ pecuniâ, which he admits had been suggested by some excellent antiquaries.

No. 76. This inscription, "Dis Deabusque P. Posthumius Acilianus Præfectus Cohortis primæ Delmatarum," is on an altar which was found at Ellenborough, having sculptured bas-reliefs on both sides, which appear to have been very rudely executed. Horsley says that "the figure on the right side is Hercules with his club in his right hand, but what he carries in his left, seems not to be a cup or patera, as it is represented by Mr. Gordon, but three Hesperian apples;" he adds that "he once imagined the figure on the left side might have been Hercules too, leaning upon his club or pillar; for it seems too clumsy for a spear." Mr. Gordon calls it a Roman centinel (fn. 63) , leaning on a shield: no doubt it was intended for Mars. (fn. 64)

The imperfect inscription No. 77, is only to be found in Camden's Britannia, the original having been lost before Horsley's time. Various conjectures have been formed respecting the first line "Gaduno." Burton makes Gadunus a local deity. Horsley considers the inscription as sepulchral, and Gadunus to be the name of a person deceased, for whom Ulpius Trajanus Martius, an emeritus of the Ala Petriana took care to have this funeral monument executed (fn. 65) . Mr. Ward supposes Emeritus to have been the name of the deceased person, and reads the inscription "Gaduno Ulpio Trajano Emerito alæ Petrianæ Martius frater ponendum curavit." So many errors are to be discovered in the inscriptions printed in Camden, where the originals can still be resorted to, that it is by no means improbable but the first line might contain part of the name, or some epithet of a deity very different from "Gadunus," which does not sound like a Roman name, according to Horsley's reading; or a Prænomen according to Mr. Ward's.

From the imperfect inscription, No. 78, found at Netherby, we learn that a ruinous temple ("Templum nimia vetestate conlabsum" for conlapsum), was restored to its former state in the time of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. The name of the person by whose orders, or at whose expence it was done, is too imperfect to be ascertained.

The fragment of an inscription, No. 79, on a stone found at Netherby, and preserved with No. 78 in the collection there, records the erection of some building from the ground, under the care of the Proprætor Caius Julius . . . . Aug. at the instance of P. Maximus the tribune. The cognomen of this Proprætor has probably been Augustalis, which was not an uncommon Roman name. He seems to have had a fourth name, as part of a letter apparently a G. appears at the broken edge of the stone, immediately preceding the Aug.

The imperfect inscription No. 80. was found at the bottom of a grave in Bewcastle church-yard, within the Roman station there. It was published by Horsley, who suggests the following reading; the latter part of which seems hardly warranted by what remains; "Imperatori Cæsari Trajano Hadriano Augusto Legiones Secunda Augusta et vicessima valens victrix sub. Licinio Prisco Legato Augustali proprætore."

No. 81. This inscription to the Emperor Hadrian by the second legion, was published by Camden in 1607, who says that it was then in a wall of the house at Netherby.

No. 82. This inscription appears on the side of a rock over the river Irthing, between Lanercost and Burdoswald, whence no doubt stone was dug by the Romans, for the wall and other buildings in that neighbourhood. The name of Severus may have been intended for that of the Emperor Septimius Severus, the builder of the Roman wall, or of Alexander Severus, in whose reign considerable buildings and repairs appear to have been carried on at the northern stations.

No. 83. It has been doubted whether this inscription relates to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, or to one of the other Antonines, who first joined felix to pius in their titles. Mr. Horsley thinks the remains of two letters after pii, looked more like p. p. for patris patriæ, which would apply to Antoninus Pius; however he gives the reading of pii felicis, and reads the inscription thus, "Pro salute . . . . . . . Antonini Augusti pii felicis Paulus Pauli filius Palatina [tribu] Postumius Acilianus præfectus cohortis primæ Delmatarum."

No. 84. Inscribed on a stone two feet eleven inches, by two feet eight inches, found at Netherby, in the year 1762, and preserved in Sir James Graham's collection there, commemorates the completion of a Basilica equestris exercitatoria, or riding house for the cavalry, by the first cohort of the Hispani in the reign of the Emperor Alexander Severus, under the care of Marius Valerianus, the Emperor's legate and proprætor, at the instance of Marcus Aurelius Salvius, tribune of the cohort, in the consulate of the same Emperor. The name of this tribune occurs in a former inscription, No. 62, found at the same place. The first consulate of Alexander Severus after he became Emperor, which fixes the date of this inscription, was in the year of our Lord 226.

No. 85 is inscribed on a tablet of stone three feet five inches, by two feet four inches, found at the same place as the last, and preserved in the same collection: part of the first line has been purposely obliterated, and nearly the whole of the last line is imperfect, but the most important part remains, and may be read thus: "Imp. . . . . . Antoninus Augustus bis Consul. Vexilationes (fn. 66) Legionis secundæ et vicissimæ valentis victricis item Cohortis primæ Æliæ Hispanorum milliariæ equitatæ sub curam Decimi Junii Legati Augustalis proprætoris instante. . . . ." The names obliterated in the first line have most probably been Cæs. M. Aur., it is uncertain to which of the Antonines this inscription refers; but the letters are so ill-formed, that it could not well be of an earlier date than Elagabalus, the last of them.

The inscription No. 86. "Imperatori Cæsari Marco Julio Philippo pio felici Augusto & Marco Julio Philippo nobilissimo Cæsari tribunitia potestatate consule," was first published in the year 1600 by Camden, who says that it was found on the military way not far from Old-Carlisle. Mr. Horsley describes the pillar of rude stone, on which it was inscribed, as being in the garden of Naworth Castle; and observes that the letters are rude and unevenly cut (fn. 67) , and that he takes it "to have been one of the military stones, that were erected at every mile's end upon the military ways; and to have been set up in the year 247 when Philip the father was Consul the second time, and his son the first."

No. 87. Another inscription in honour of the Emperor Philip and his son, found at Old-Carlisle, and published by Camden in the first edition of his Britannia.

No. 88 is inscribed on the upper part of a rough stone four feet four inches in height, and about one foot four inches wide near the top. This inscription may be read thus, "Imperator Diocletianus pius felix Augustus semper senior." The epithet senior appears on some of the later coins of this emperor, and is applied both to him and Maximinian his partner in the empire, in several inscriptions which appear in Gruter's Corpus Inscriptionum. (fn. 68)

No. 89. The altar which contains this inscription is now in the possession of Henry Howard, Esquire, at Corby Castle, and is supposed to have been found at Burdoswald. On one side is the securis or sacrificing axe, and on the other the patera and præfericulum, sculptured in bas-relief. The inscription is now a good deal decayed. It appears to have been more perfect when it was seen by Horsley, who reads it thus, "Pro Salute Domini Nostri Maximi ac fortissimi Imperatoris Cæsaris Marci Aurelii [Maximiani] . . . . . . ædificavit." And suggests that the words which filled the hiatus, may have been "templum exustum a solo."

No. 90. Horsley who first published this inscription says, that it was in Sir Robert Cotton's Collection at Connington, but he did not know where it was found: he reads it thus, "Domino Nostro Flavio Julio Crispo nobilissimo Cæsari Valerii Constantini Maximi filio Divi Constantii Nepoti."

The curious inscription No. 91. is cut upon the face of a rock over-hanging the river Gelt, on the side of the river, about half a mile above Geltbridge. An imperfect copy of it was first published by Camden in the year 1607 in the enlarged edition of his Britannia; it was afterwards more correctly given in the Appendix to Gordon's Itinerary; and by Horsley, who appears to have taken great pains in the investigation of it. He reads it thus, "Vexillatio legionis secundæ ob [virtutem] appellatæ sub Agricola optioneApro et Maximo ConsulibusMercatius [filius] Fermii."

The vexillation mentioned in this inscription had no doubt been employed in procuring stone from these rocks for the wall of Severus; Aper and Maximus were consuls, A. D. 207, in the reign of that Emperor, in which year the wall was begun; Mr. Horsley supposes that the numerals IX. and X. cut higher on the rock were intended to express the ninth and tenth cohorts of the Legio Secunda Augusta, who were employed in this quarry, and about the wall in these parts; and might have been employed by themselves, before or after the whole vexillation was engaged in the work. The words officium Romanorum in a more modern hand, which appear near this inscription in Camden's copy, were not to be traced in Horsley's time: and much of what seems to have been distinct when he copied it, is now either defaced or obscured. He says that he enquired after the inscriptions said to have been upon Leuge Cragge, near Naworth, but was told that they were entirely defaced: probably this was the same spot, where we saw the remains of an inscription, (No. 84.) on a rock, which we were told was called Comb-Crag.

No. 92. This fragment of the lower part of an inscription found at Plumpton-Wall is preserved in Mr. Hutton's Museum at Keswick.

No. 93 is the fragment of an inscription found near the Roman station of Old-Carlisle in the year 1755, and first published in the Gentleman's Magazine for that year (fn. 69) . The upper part of this fragment has been since broken off; what now remains is in the possession of the Reverend Richard Mathews of Wigton: a fac simile of it is shewn in the plate of Roman inscribed stones at p. clxiii.

No. 94 is inscribed on a stone nearly three feet high, two feet wide, and fourteen inches thick, discovered about the year 1800 at Kirksteads near Kirk-Andrews moor, about a mile south of the village of Kirk-Andrews upon Eden; a figure of it is given in the plate of inscribed stones at p. clxiii. with a fac-simile of the inscription, which runs thus, "Lucius Junius Victorinus (fn. 70) et Lucius . . . . . Cælianus Legatus Augustalis Legionis sextæ victricis proprætor, Ob res trans vallum prospere gestas." From the excellent form of the letters it is most probable that the vallum of Hadrian is here alluded to, though the same term is sometimes applied by Roman writers to the wall of Severus. The successes beyond the wall in commemoration of which this memorial was erected, might have been those which took place in the reign of Antoninus Pius, previously to the raising of the vallum in Scotland between the Forth and Clyde.

No. 96. This inscription on a stone found in the remains of a hypocaust at Castlesteads or Cambeck fort, was sent by Lord William Howard to Camden, and published by him in 1607 in the enlarged edition of his Britannia. As the name of the proprætor is obliterated, this inscription merely shews that the first cohort of the Tungrians was at some time quartered here.

No. 97 was found in the Roman station at Burdoswald about the year 1802; we saw it at that place in the year 1808, and afterwards in 1813 in the possession of the Bishop of Chester, in the garden of his prebendal house at Carlisle. The inscription is rather slightly cut, and appears to have been somewhat injured by exposure in the open air. We have been favoured by Mr. John Norman of Kirk-Andrews on Eden, with a copy he took of it soon after it was discovered. It appears to have been intended to commemorate some operations of the first Ælian cohort of the Dacians so long quartered at this station; but we have not been so fortunate as to ascertain the true reading of the first part, which most probably alludes to certain portions of the wall, or of the station.

The fragment of an inscription found at Moresby, (No. 98.) and preserved by Camden, is quite unintelligible for want of the beginning.

No. 99. is an imperfect inscription on a fragment of stone found in the area of Cockermouth Castle about the year 1803 (fn. 71) , and now in the possession of the Earl of Egremont. It appears to have been executed in the same year as No. 23, (A.D. 241.) when the Emperor Gordian III. and Pompeianus were consuls.

The inscription No. 100 is on a stone, in the wall of a house at Howgill near Walton. Several copies of it have been published, but very incorrectly, except that given by Horsley in his Britannia Romana, who reads it "[E] Civitate Catuvellaunorum Titus Oisedio [posuit]," and agrees with Dr. Jurin (fn. 72) , that the Catuvellani here mentioned were the [Katvellanoi] of Dion Cassius and the [Katveuchlanoi] of Ptolemy. The latter part of the inscription is now in a much worse condition, than it appears to have been when Horsley copied it: the letter in the last line but one, which he reads I, seemed to us more like an S.

No. 101 is a very imperfect inscription, probably copied inaccurately, which we believe is only to be found in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1749, where it is said to have been on a small portable altar at Burgh on the sands.

No. 102. This inscription which mentions a signifer, having been found at Burdoswald, the "Æl. I." in the last line is supposed to relate to the Cohors Dacorum above mentioned. (fn. 73)

No. 103, 104, 105, 106, 107. and 109. all relate to the Legio secunda Augusta, 108. 112, 113, and 114. to the Legio sexta victrix. In No. 108. 110. 115. and 117. cohorts only are mentioned, and in 116. 119, 120, 121, and 122. nothing more than the name of the centurion, preceded by the character which in this kind of inscription stands for centuria, being two straight strokes nearly at right angles, or a C reversed. (fn. 74)

Most of these inscriptions, bearing the name of the legion, the cohort, or the centuria, or all three of them, have been found near the wall of Severus; and though they do not particularly express as much, were unquestionably fixed up in the face of the wall, to shew what parts of that great work had been executed by each particular body of men. (fn. 75)

Horsley reads the inscription No. 111, "Legio sexta victrix pia fidelis Genio Populi Romani fecit," and 117, "Cohortis quartæ Pretorianæ posuit centuria Julii Vitalis," No. 118. "[Centurio] Dada."

The remaining twenty inscriptions are all sepulchral, for the most part consecrated to the Dii Manes. No. 124, 125. and 127. are only to be found in Camden's Britannia. The first was erected to the memory of Ingenuus by his father Julius Simplex; No. 125. to that of Morus Rex by his sons and heirs. 126. The memorial of Tancorix Mulier was lately found near the station of Old-Carlisle, and is in the possession of the Reverend Richard Matthews of Wigton. In the two last lines it has the singular spelling of vigsit and segsaginta for vixit and sexaginta. No. 128 was first published by Camden in 1600, and afterwards by Gordon and Horsley. The letters are very rude; over the inscription is a female bust very rudely sculptured in bas-relief; on the head is a cap, like those of Castor and Pollux, with rays issuing from it.

Nos. 129, 130, and 131, are only to be found in Camden's Britannia, where they were first published in the edition of 1600. No. 132. we saw at Burdoswald, where it was found a few years since. No. 133. to the memory of Rianorix was found at a ford where the Roman road between Maryfort and Papcastle crosses the river Ellen; the rough stone on which it is inscribed is in the collection of H. Senhouse, Esquire, at Netherhall: its dimensions are two feet five and a half inches by two feet three inches. No. 135 is given by Gordon in his Itinerary, and was not seen by Horsley: much of its obscurity probably arises from its having been inaccurately copied.

No. 136 was found at Netherby in the year 1788 and is preserved in the collection of Sir James Graham; the stone on which it is inscribed is four feet high and two feet two inches wide: at the top of it is a pediment within which is a crescent rudely sculptured. Hayman Rooke, Esquire, by whom this inscription was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries in the year 1789, supposes that as Pussitta does not sound like a Roman name it may have been intended for posita: it seems much more probable that the workman may have committed an error in cutting the name; and that it may have been intended for Pusilla, a name which occurs in Gruter. The fifth line "vixsit," shews that the orthography was not much attended to in this inscription.

No. 137 is inscribed on a stone which, at the time it was first published by Camden in 1600, was in the possession of Thomas Aglionby, Esquire, at Carlisle, from whence it was removed to the seat of the Aglionby family at Drawdikes, and built up in the back wall of the house at the time it was copied by Horsley, who reads it thus, "Dis Manibus Marci Trojani Augustinii tumulum faciendum curavit Ælia Ammilla Lusima conjux Karissima." Within the pediment at the top of the stone is a man's head sculptured in bas-relief, and on each side of the pediment is the figure of a lion holding a man's head between his fore legs.

No. 138, a memorial for "Mablinius Secundus eques alæ Augustæ," was first published by Camden in the year 1600; a less accurate copy of it was published in the Gentleman's Magazine for the year 1748, when the stone on which it was inscribed was built up in a wall near Old-Carlisle, where it was discovered. Horsley supposes that the name of the person mentioned in No. 139 was "Smerius Tomacius."

The inscription No. 140 is on a tablet of stone, 16 inches by one foot, preserved in Mr. Crossthwaite's Museum at Keswick; we were informed that it had been found in this county, but could not learn at what place.

No. 141 is inscribed on a tablet on the upper part of a sepulchral monument found at Castlesteads, and now in the possession of William Johnson, Esq. on which the effigy of the deceased appears to have been sculptured in pretty high relief: the stone has been broken off just below the head. This inscription was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries by Browne Willis in 1747. It was read thus by Mr. Ward, "D. M. Gemelli Caius Aurelius Flavius Hilario sepulchrum hoc fieri curavit." It may be observed, that Gemellus and Hilario were common Roman names.

The inscription No. 142 is only to be found in Camden's Britannia.

The following inscription was published in the year 1637, in the second edition of Dr. Holland's translation of Camden's Britannia, where it is said to have been inscribed on an altar found a short time before in the neighbourhood of Lanercost:


Roman altar inscription

Roman altar inscription

Horsley has reprinted this inscription, but says that he did not know where it was found, nor where it then was, nor would he vouch for its being genuine, and that he believed the title Dominus noster was not used on inscriptions so soon as the time of Caracalla (fn. 76) for the health of whose wife Plautilla the altar was dedicated to the Nymph of the Brigantes.

From the vague account of the discovery of this altar, we cannot be sure that it belongs to Cumberland, but we see no reason to doubt its being genuine, for the title Dominus noster occurs on an altar found at Lyons, dedicated "Matronis et Matribus Pannoniorum et Delmatarum, for the health of the Emperor Septimius Severus (fn. 77) ; another altar has been found in England, dedicated "Deæ Nymphæ Brigantum (fn. 78) :" and there is nothing in the inscription itself, to occasion any suspicion of its having been a forgery, which is very improbable. Lætus, whose name occurs in the last line, was a second time consul A.D. 215.

The late Bishop Lyttelton communicated to the Society of Antiquaries, in 1767, a Roman inscription on a rock at Shawk quarries, from which much of the stone for the wall of Severus appears to have been procured; his Lordship reads the inscription thus, "Legionis secundæ Augustæ milites posueruntCohors tertiaCohors quarta (fn. 79) ." There were besides two lines of perpendicular strokes, probably denoting the quantity of work which had been done.

Mr. Horsley has preserved the imperfect fragments of a few other inscriptions (fn. 80) , and the figures of some altars which do not appear ever to have been inscribed. One of these, (No. xli.) found at Carlisle, has sculptures in bas-relief of the patera and præfericulum. A small portable altar, found at Netherby, only three inches high and two inches and a half wide, without inscription or sculpture, was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries in the year 1790 (fn. 81) . Professor Carlyle communicated to the same Society in 1792 an altar without any inscription, found at Castlesteads, on one side of which was the figure of a bird, not unlike an Ibis, on the other, the axe and sacrificing knife: and another, having a rude bas-relief of Hercules on one side, and of some animal on the other. (fn. 82)

Miscellaneous Roman Antiquities. — A great number of stones rudely sculptured, mostly in bas-relief, have been discovered on the sites of the Roman stations in this county, besides those already noticed. An account of several discovered at Old-Carlisle in the year 1748, were communicated to the Gentleman's Magazine by Mr. G. Smith: the most remarkable of them were, a stone two feet six inches long, and sixteen inches wide, with the figure of a triton in bas-relief; and another in the form of a pine-cone, twenty inches high, on a square base. The Reverend Richard Matthews of Wigton, who is the present proprietor of the site of this station, has a collection of the Roman antiquities lately found there, in which we saw a small patera of the red Samian ware, not quite three inches in diameter; and what seems to have been a whetstone, about four inches and a half long, with a hole at one end, for hanging it by: a smaller one of the same kind, found on the Eskmeals near Ravenglass, is in the possession of E. L. Irton, Esq. A small rude female image of pipeclay, and the sole of a sandal of leather, have lately been found at the bottom of a well about six feet deep near this station.

The Roman station of Ellenborough has produced a great abundance of Roman antiquities, (besides the altars already noticed) most of which are preserved in Mr. Senhouse's collection at Netherhall. In Horsley's Britannia Romana are figures of three rude sculptures in bas-relief found at this station; one of them is of a female standing in a niche, holding an urn (fn. 83) ; another, of a building with arches, under one of which is a naked figure, which, he observes, is not much unlike Venus pudica (fn. 84) ; the third has the figure of a man on horseback. (fn. 85)

In the year 1790, H. Rooke, Esq. communicated to the Society of Antiquaries an account of the discovery of Roman antiquities at this station, figures of several of which are engraved in the tenth volume of the Archæologia: the most curious of them is a stone one foot four inches square, on one side of which is represented the figure of a woman in bas-relief on horseback without a bridle; on the top of the stone is a projection seven inches high with a square hole in it (fn. 86) . The remains of the gateway of the station, and of a bath, were also discovered about the same time (fn. 87) . In the collection at Netherhall are a very great number and variety of fragments of rude sculptures and pottery, glass vessels, fibulæ, and other Roman remains. One of the most remarkable of them is a copper vessel, 11¼ inches high, standing on three legs, with a handle and spout, a good deal resembling a coffee-pot; another, found at Netherby, is preserved in Sir James Graham's collection.

The city of Carlisle has produced several curious Roman antiquities, one of these, a præfericulum of bronze 10¼ inches in height, was found a few years since in digging a well, and is now preserved in the British Museum. The handle is ornamented with bas-reliefs of various figures sacrificing (fn. 88) . A bas-relief in stone of two small figures, wrapped in hoods and mantles, resembling the little god Telesphorus, the attendant on Æsculapius, was found in the castle-yard, and is now in the collection at Netherhall; in which is also preserved a rude sculpture in bas-relief found in the wall of Stanwix church, representing a man on horseback with shield and spear, trampling upon a fallen enemy, with the imperfect remains of an inscription at the bottom. (fn. 89)


Roman antiquities discovered in Cumberland

Figure 6: Roman antiquities discovered in Cumberland

Of the numerous sculptured stones which have been found at the station of Castlesteads or Cambeck-fort, and preserved at Walton House, the most worthy of notice are, the fragment of a bas-relief, representing a figure sitting with a cornucopia in the left hand, which Professor Carlyle supposes might have been meant for some local Genius; but as the symbols on the right side seem to have been designed for a rudder and a wheel, it is more probable that it was intended to represent Fortune: and a bas-relief of a Roman soldier, with an arcula in his hand (fn. 90) . In the same collection are two fragments of a glass vessel on one of which a dog's head is figured; the other is inscribed "[akhtaion]." Several intaglios cut in cornelians have been found at Castlesteads; one of these, in the possession of William Johnson, Esq. has the figure of a chimera, composed of a human head, the head of an eagle and a cock, shewn in the annexed Plate, fig. 3, and on an enlarged scale in fig. 4, with the form of the gold setting at fig. 2. We have seen the impression from another intaglio, said to have been found at the same place, with the heads of a man, a cock, and an eagle joined together. Figures of impressions from two other intaglios were communicated by Mr. Carlyle to the Society of Antiquaries, with a collection of antiquities found at Castlesteads: one of them had a figure of Mercury, with the petasus and purse, but without the caduceus or the talaria; the other had profiles of Jupiter and Castor and Pollux (fn. 91) ; the latter is engraved in Gordon's Itinerary, where it is said to have been found at Stanwix. (fn. 92)

The collection of antiquities at Netherby presents a great variety of sculptured stones, coins, iron and brass weapons, pottery, and other remains (fn. 93) , discovered on the site of the Roman station there, of which Leland, speaking in the reign of Henry VIII. says, "Ther hath bene mervelus buyldinges, as appere by ruinus walls (fn. 94) ." Several of the rude sculptures found here are engraved in the first and second volumes of Pennant's Tour in Scotland; one of these, representing a figure in a dress with close sleeves, having a wheel and altar on one side, and a boar and club on the other, seems to be the same which is described by Horsley as "Hercules in an Armenian habit, with a cornucopia in his left hand and a patera in his right, over an altar:" another figure, the drapery of which is somewhat different, has the wheel and altar on the right side and a cornucopia in the left hand (fn. 95) . A fragment of another bas-relief exhibits three figures habited in the loose sagum, the middle one holding a vessel of fruit or corn (fn. 96) . Mr. Pennant conjectures that these are the Deæ matres of some barbarous nation, but from the dress they seem rather to have been designed for males. A stone containing a group of three very singular figures, each with a pointed hood, a sort of breast-plate hanging loosely, and their feet and legs cloathed, each holding a stone in his hand (fn. 97) . A plan of several hypocausts and other rooms, probably part of the baths for the use of the station, discovered at Netherby in the years 1732 and 1745, was published in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1750, and afterwards in the Philosophical Transactions. (fn. 98)

A fibula of gold was found at the station called Old-Penrith, near Plumpton-Wall, which we saw in the year 1801 in the possession of Mr. Sanderson of that place; it weighs 14 pennyweights and 18 grains; on one side are figures of gryphons, on the other of bears, which are indented, and appear to have been filled up with enamel: both sides of this fibula are shewn in the annexed Plate, fig. 5 and 6, and on an enlarged scale in fig. 7 and 8.


Roman sculptures found at Plumpton Wall

Figure 7: Roman sculptures found at Plumpton Wall

In the autumn of 1813, five altars were found in the same place, each of which was two feet in height and seventeen inches in width, without any inscriptions, each of them containing the image of a deity within a niche in rather high relief, several parts of which were evidently unfinished. The figures are those of Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, Mercury, and Venus, all clearly to be ascertained by their respective symbols. They appear to have been left in an unfinished state, whence it might be supposed that they were executed near the time of the Romans quitting this island, though the execution of them is superior to what we see in most of the Roman works which have been discovered in the northern counties. The feet of some of the figures are not at all shaped, nor the spear of Mars, which has the appearance of a club. A singular capital of a column, ornamented with human busts and acanthus leaves, was found several years ago, at the distance of about 100 yards from the eastern wall of the station.

Many coins and other Roman Antiquities have been lately found near the station at Papcastle, in digging the foundations of a house for Thomas Knight, Esquire.

Footnotes

1 Mr. Gray describes it as being 108 feet in diameter, and consisting of fifty stones.
2 Hist. of Westmorland and Cumberland, vol. ii. p. 495.
3 Gough's Camden, iii. 179.
4 Hutchinson's Cumb. i. 529.554.
5 A particular account of this discovery is printed in the Archæologia, vol. x. p. 106—110. PI. II. and III.
6 Several of these are preserved in Mr. Crossthwaite's museum at Keswick.
7 One of these was in the possession of the late Admiral Lutwidge: another found near Irton-hall is in the possession of E. L. Irton, Esq.
8 P. 118.
9 Communicated by the Lord Bishop of Cloyne.
10 See Plates VIII. XVI. XXVI.
11 See History of Manchester, vol. i. p. 223.
12 A comparison of the several passages respecting the walls of Hadrian and Severus in the works of Spartian, Eutropius, Aurelius Victor, and Orosius, will clearly shew that the agger of earth with its ditches, &c. was the work of Hadrian, and that the stone-wall was erected by Severus, though the terms murus and vallum are indifferently applied to both. It is perfectly clear that two lines of fortification were formed by the two emperors from sea to sea, and it would be absurd to suppose that the bank of earth should have been formed forty years after the wall of stone. L.
13 Very little at present remains of that part of the wall of Severus, which was within the county of Cumberland, where it commences on the west side of a small stream, called PoltrossBurn, at the distance of about two miles from the station of Carvorran, in Northumberland. The wall is only seen occasionally as a green bank till it reaches the station of Burdoswald, a mile and a quarter further westward, at a small distance from the west side of which, the face of the wall appears in some places to the height of above three feet six inches, consisting of five courses of hewn stone, one of which is nine inches thick, and the others eight. The stone in this part of the wall appears to have been brought from the rocks on the river Gelt, where the Roman inscription still remains, and those on the river Irthing above Naworth castle, where the name of Severus remains inscribed.
Much of the wall, which had been covered with earth and overgrown with hedges, was laid open in the years 1807 and 1808, in consequence of the inclosure of Banks-Fell, and the lower parts of several of the watch towers were discovered at Banks-Head, but the whole was destroyed for the materials, except in a few places, where some of the lower courses of stone, serving as the foundation of the modern fences, have been preserved, and are likely to remain. In this neighbourhood the course of the wall may be distinguished at a distance by the line of cottages and other buildings, which have been erected from its remains.
At Harehill, about half a mile north of Lanercost priory, a piece of the wall remains, ten feet high and fifteen feet long; Mr. Hutton, who walked along the wall in the year 1801, and noted every fragment of it that then remained, says, that he saw no part higher than this, which was within two feet of the battlements, but all the facing stones had been taken away. Except near this place, no further traces of the wall are to be seen above ground, till within about a mile of its termination, on the Solway Frith, where at a place called Kirkland, a piece several hundred yards in length, is to be seen about three feet high, with a hedge growing on it; the facing stones have been taken away; the progress of cultivation having in most parts entirely obliterated all traces of this great work.
In the year 1791, the remains of the wall were dug up for nearly half a mile, near Castlesteeds, which gave Mr. Johnson, the proprietor of that station, an opportunity of examining its construction, who found that the breadth of the foundation was eight feet; the wall where entire, being faced on both sides with hewn stone, "and the space between filled with rubbish stones to the depth of a foot; then a strong cement of lime and sand, about four inches thick; over that a foot of rubbish, and then a cover of cement as before; these layers were succeeded by others, of rubbish and cement alternately, till the interstice between the facing stones was filled up to the top, and thus the whole became one solid connected mass." (Archæol. Vol. xi. p. 63.) In some other parts of the wall. where the facing stones have been taken away, the whole of the internal part seems to have been formed like the thick walls in our ancient castles, with stones of all sizes grouted with liquid mortar. L.
14 See Chalmers's Caledonia, vol. I. book i. c. iv.
15 We have been favoured, by the Rev. Jos. Fullerton, with the following particulars of a Roman road leading from Egremont Castle to Cockermouth:—"This road passed in a direct line through the Town-head and the Wood-end estates, in the parish of Egremont; through the Cleator-hall estate, and close by the village of Cleator; through the estate of Todholes, in which it is now (1815) digging up, and part of the Warth estate, in the parish of Cleator; through the parish of Arlochden and township of Frisington; through the parish of Lamplugh, and close by Lamplugh Cross and Street-gate, and approaches Cockermouth in a straight line. The road is eighteen feet wide, and formed of cobbles and freestone, all seemingly gathered from the adjacent grounds."
This appears to be the same road of which the following mention is made in Hutchinson's History of Cumberland: "Near Eaglesfield (in the parish of Brigham) was lately discovered in various places, a little below the surface, an old paved way, seven yards in width, bearing north and south, formed of large flat stones, chiefly of freestone." Vol. ii. p. 106. note. L.
16 Gordon, speaking of Burdoswald, says, "this whole castellum has been surrounded with a stately wall of freestone, about five feet thick, as may be fairly measured at this day." Itin. Septentrionale, p. 80. L.
17 Castlesteads (or steeds) is a name given to several of the castella on the Roman walls, the latter part of the name (from the Saxon sted) serving to express the foundations or traces of buildings, as House-steads, Kirksteads, &c. Many discoveries of Roman antiquities within the site of this station have been recorded, besides the numerous inscribed stones noticed by Gordon and Horsley. About the year 1740, a hypocaust was discovered here, 15 feet by 27, the floor of which was supported by stone pillars, about two feet six inches high, fixed in a bed of clay; and funnels of burnt clay, placed in the quincunx form between every other row of the pedestals; there were above 100 of the stone pedestals, on which were laid stones an inch thick. Two other rooms were found adjoining this hypocaust, with floors of terras supported in the same manner; and a cold bath, with a sort of cistern, fifteen feet by four feet six inches, composed of large thick slates set edgeways and cemented together. A particular account of this discovery is given in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1742, p. 76.
In 1791, the remains of this station were dug up, and a particular account of the Roman antiquities then discovered was communicated to the Society of Antiquaries by the late Professor Carlisle, which is printed in the eleventh volume of the Archaeologia. The dimensions of the station were then ascertained to have been 130 yards by 100. L.
18 Many inscribed stones and other antiquities have formerly been found at Stanwix; and in the year 1813, in digging for one of the piles of the new bridge over the river Eden, the upper part of a Doric column of freestone was discovered, five feet six inches in height, now in the possession of the Earl of Lonsdale at Lowther Castle. Another column of the same kind has been since discovered in the same place. L.
19 Mr. Hutton says (in 1781) he saw running through a corn-field at Kirk-Andrews the faint remains of the works of Agricola and Hadrian. He adds, that some little may also be seen near Wormanby and at Beaumont, and that it is probable that they terminated about three miles beyond Drumburgh. Hist. of the Roman Wall, p. 293, 306. L.
20 See the very interesting account of a traveller drowned in crossing here, by the late Dr. Currie of Liverpool.
21 The site of this station was purchased a few years since by the Rev. Richard Mathews, of Wigton, who has discovered there several inscriptions and other Roman antiquities. L.
22 In the year 1811 a considerable portion of the wall on the east side of this station, was laid open for the purpose of obtaining ready hewn stone for some buildings on the adjoining farm. The remains of the gateway on this side were considerable, it was twenty-six feet six inches in width; that on the south side was twelve feet three inches in width, and near it the walls remained to the height of four feet eight inches; at two feet from the ground there was a set-off of nine inches. In consequence of these, and subsequent excavations, many Roman altars, coins, and other antiquities were dicovered, which will be noticed under the head of Miscellaneous Roman Antiquities. L.
23 See the view of it in the annexed plate.
24 He mistakes "Miles Cohortis Primæ Thracum," which is very plain on the stone, (See Horsley, page 192.) for "Militum Phractariorum Equestori."
25 Major Rooke, speaks of Roman antiquities as being frequently found there, but those of an inferior sort, the furniture it may be of a villa, or the plunder of a camp. See Archæologia, ix. Plate 17.
26 Venerable Bede too in his life of St. Cuthbert mentions another Roman work as existing at Carlisle in the year 685. "Postera autem die deducentibus cum civibus ut videret mænia civitatis, fontemque in ea miro quondam Romanorum opere extructum." Cap. xxvii.
27 Page 291.
28 See the account of a Roman road leading to it, lately discovered in p. cxxxvii. note. L.
29 This work, which is called by the country people Hardknot castle, was carefully surveyed in the year 1791, by E. L. Irton, Esq. and Mr. H. Serjeant, who communicated a particular account of it to Mr. Hutchinson, by whom it was printed in the first volume of his History of Cumberland, p. 569, were a plan of it is introduced. The gates appear to have been flanked with turrets 13 feet square (fn. 98) ; and there were also turrets of the same dimensions at the four corners: within the area were the remains of buildings in which several rooms could be distinctly traced: the length of the different sides of the fort were, 362, 348, 347, and 323 feet. When we visited this work in the year 1813, we observed, that no part of the walls was to be seen standing, the stones having been thrown down on both sides formed a high ridge, which in a spot more favourable to vegetation, would have long since been covered with turf; there did not appear to have been any mortar used in the walls. L.
30 A broad pavement of flat stones, intended probably for the same purpose, was found a little out of the gate at Cambeck fort, on the wall, when that station was destroyed in 1791.
31 Æn. v. 121.
32 Britan. Rom. p. 277.
33 The word "tota" in this inscription, as given in Camden and Horsley, may have been an error of the workman, or erroneously transcribed.
34 P. 694.
35 The sites of several of the Roman forts are called Castlesteads, which has led Mr. Gough into an error, when speaking of Plumpton wall, as being sometimes called by that name, he supposes the station of Petriana to have been there, which was unquestionably at Cambeck-fort.
36 Archaeol. vol. xi. pl. V. f. 15.
37 The Professor observes, that "the cohors equitata milliaria is thus described by Hyginus, "Habet cohors equitata milliaria pedites septingentos sexaginta, centurias decem, equites ducentos quadraginta, turmas decem." And although the name of milliary cohort was originally confined to the first cohort of the legion, as consisting of a thousand men, yet in the latter times of the empire, according to Vegetius, "non tantum unam cohortem sed etiam alias milliarias legio fuit jussa suscipere." Archaelogia, vol. xi. p. 68. Dr. Taylor, chancellor of Lincoln, in a paper communicated to the Royal Society, observes, that "the auxiliary or provincial cohorts, were either entirely foot, like the legionary and ordinary cohorts; or else they had a a mixture of horse and foot together. This latter sort, as they could not properly be ranked under either denomination of horse or foot, (for they were made up of both) seem to have appropriated to themselves the distinguishing title of cohortes equitatæ, corps of infantry with a mixture of horse." Phil. Trans. vol. xliv. part 1. 0. 354.
38 This name is frequently found in Roman inscriptions; Aurelius Optatus, a priest of Vesta, occurs in one which seems to have been of the time of Hadrian, in Gruter's Corp. Inscrip. 309.8. In Muratori's Inscriptions, p. 795. 7. is a sepulchral one to the memory of M. Aurelius Optatus, a Thracian veteran, inscribed by his sons, one of whom was named Aurelius Optatus.
39 Mr. Horsley observes, "that the emeriti were old experienced soldiers, who having served their legal time, were on any particular occasion invited into the army, and treated with marks of esteem."
40 It also occurs on several in this collection dedicated to Mars by the local names of Belatucader and Cocidius.
41 The Baetasii were a people of Gallia Belgica.
42 Printed in the 10th vol. of the Archæologia, p. 118.
43 This name occurs in Gruter's Corp. Inscrip. p. 289.
44 Corp. Inscrip. p. mxvi. 7.
45 P. 367.
46 Archæol, vol. xi. p. 70.
47 Syntagma Inscrip. xx. 18, 19.
48 Suetonius mentions the Vexillatio Germanorum, Mr. Horsley observes that these were supposed to be the same, which Tacitus calls Germanica Vexilla; and therefore seem most probably to denote a body of Vexillarii from the auxiliaries of more than one Legion: he adds that in the age of Vegetius, Vexillatio was used to signify an ala of horse, but in our inscriptions we often find this word applied to a single Legion; and by two inscriptions, it seems as if it was sometimes applied to the cohorts. Brit. Rom. p. 97.
49 Archæologia, Vol. xi. p. 66.
50 Ib.
51 Archæologia, Vol. ix. p. 221.
52 Mr. Rooke describes it as a ram, but the horns are evidently those of a goat.
53 Phil. Trans. Vol. liii. p. 134.
54 Brit. Rom. 282.
55 Ibid. Cumb. No. 63.
56 P. 283.
57 Itin. Sept. pl. 37. where the figure which is that of a youth, is represented as bearded.
58 Vredius supposes the Goddess Nehalennia to be no other than Nova Luna and the name to have been a corruption of those words, or of the synonimous Greek ones [nea elini] (for [selini]). Keysler conjectures that she was one of the Nymphs presiding over rivers and fountains. Antiq. Sept. p. 259.
59 Mr. Rooke says, "The figure in a chair appears to be a woman holding something in her lap; and as there is a greater space on the right hand of the chair than the left, I should suppose when the stone was perfect, there must have been more figures, probably three." Archæol. Vol. x. p. 138. It is probable that the space here mentioned was occupied by the dog which commonly appears on the altars dedicated to Nehalennia.
60 The substance of what has been written on the subject of the Deæ Matres, is collected by Mr. Gough in a paper communicated by him to the Society of Antiquaries, and printed in the third volume of the Archæologia, p. 105.
61 Mr. Ward read the first line of this inscription, Victoribus omnium gentium, and conjectured that it was erected after the many and great victories obtained by Diocletian and Maximian. What remains of the letters in the first line will not warrant this reading.
62 Itin. Sept. p. 99.
63 See the figure in Horsley's Brit. Rom. Cumb. lxv.
64 Brit. Rom. p. 273.
65 In this word O occurs for E.
66 Brit. Rom. p. 277.
67 P. 178. No. 7. 179. No. 1. &c.
68 A better figure of it was published in the same Magazine for the year 1757. p. 360.
69 From a passage in Buchanan's History of the Kings of Scotland, lib. v. it appears that a legate of this name obtained great successes over the Picts in the reign of the Emperor Gratian, but the form of the letters in this inscription is too good to admit of the conjecture that he was one of the persons there mentioned.
70 A fac-simile of it is shewn in the plate of inscribed stones, p. clxiii.
71 Phil. Trans. Vol. xxx. p. 814.
72 Gordon's Itin. Sept. p. 80. Horsley's Brit. Rom. p. 127.
73 In sepulchral and other inscriptions it is used for centurio.
74 Most of the inscriptions of this kind found upon the vallum of Antoninus in Scotland express the quantity of work performed by each cohort or centuria.
75 Brit. Rom. p. 269, 270.
76 Spon. Antiq. de la Ville de Lyon. p. 17. Gruter, xc. 11.
77 Gale's Antonini Itin. p. 53.
78 Archæologia, vol. i. p. 228.
79 Brit. Rom. Cumb. No. xii. of which he could only discover ". . . votum soluit lubens merito," No. xiv. ". . . . Ammianus Victor Tribunus," and No. xv. "Soli invicto."
80 It is figured in the Archæologia, vol. x. p. 138. pl. xiv.
81 Archæologia, vol. xi. p. 66. pl. iv. fig. 6 and 10.
82 Horsley Cumb. No. 72.
83 No. 73.
84 No. 74.
85 At the same time was found a stone with three disproportioned figures in rude sculpture, probably intended for the Deæ matres. Archæol, vol. x. pl. xv. p. 140.
86 Perspective views of these are given in the Archæologia, ibid.
87 See Reliq. Brit. Roman. vol. i. part iv. pl. 6. where it is figured.
88 They are figured in Archæologia, vol. x. pl. xiv. p. 138.
89 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 64. 69.
90 Archæol. vol. xi. pl. vi. fig. 24, 25.
91 Leland says that "in the feldes abowt Cairluel yn plowghing hath be fownd diverse [Cornelines] and other stonys wel entaylid for seales." Itin. vol. vii. part i. f. 70.
92 A fibula of silver in this collection is shewn in the annexed Plate, fig. 1.
93 Itin. vol. vii. pl. 1. fig. 69.
94 Pennant's Tour in Scotland, vol. i. pl. xxxv. fig. 1, 2.
95 Ibid. fig. 4.
96 Ibid.
97 Vol. 53. for 1763.
98 From the information of E. L. Irton, Esq.