Piercebridge Roman Fort
Building Darlington County Durham

Piercebridge Roman Fort

Building In Darlington, County Durham

Remains of a roman fort built around 260AD

Piercebridge was not really somewhere on my radar until recently, when we were visiting North Yorkshire and spotted some Roman remains on the map. When we visited there was no one else about and we had the fort to ourselves.

Piercebridge or Morbium is another fort along with Binchester, Lanchester, Ebchester and Corbridge which was built along the road known as 'Dere Street'. Dere Street ran from York up to the Firth of Forth and was the main military supply route during Roman times. The location of Piercebridge fort was chosen to protect Dere Street at a vulnerable point where it crossed the River Tees.

The civilian settlement (vicus) at Piercebridge was in development around 100AD. It was chosen for it's position on Dere Street and expanded around 220AD, when the original timber bridge which crossed the river was replaced with a sturdier stone Roman Bridge.

The fort was built in 260AD, possibly replacing an earlier fort, and was in use until around 400AD. Only a small fraction of the fort is visible above ground and much of it still lies beneath the nearby houses and fields of Piercebridge. It would have originally comprised of a hospital, granaries, barracks, workshops, bath-houses, a commandent's house, headquarters and stables.

The fort was well protected and there were a number of ways to keep intruder's out. There was a ditch in front of the fort with an 'ankle-breaker' gully at the bottom (yikes) followed by a berm which contained wooden stakes ready to impale anyone daft enough to attack the fort. The ditches can still be seen on site here covered up by grass and there are some stone remains inside the fort including the foundations of a bath house, a culvert and some latrines.

Worth a visit if you're in the area, and you can also head over to the roman bridge too, to extend your visit.

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How To Find Piercebridge Roman Fort

Where Is Piercebridge Roman Fort?

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54.535993, -1.675934

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Where To Park For Piercebridge Roman Fort?

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54.534134, 54.534134

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There is a parking area in the village, around a 5 minute walk away.

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

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Sandra Clemens

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Piercebridge Roman Fort was listed in Building // County Durham // Darlington