Ravenglass in Roman times

Why Ravenglass?

The Roman army arrived at Ravenglass around AD 120 during the conquest of northern England. Over time a civilian settlement, called a vicus, developed. The Romans inhabited Ravenglass for around 300 years. Over time Ravenglass became less important and was eventually forgotten.

The fort protected and policed the natural harbour, which allowed ships and cargo to come and go safely. The fort probably helped to supply forts in the hills at Hardknott and Ambleside.

Underground, overground

The impressive remains of the bath-house survive above ground to about 4m high. The fort which overlooked the coast and the vicus which nestled around it are now buried remains. Buildings in the vicus straddled cobbled roads over an area the size of six football pitches.

Roman Ravenglass was made up of soldiers, women and children, traders, sailors, and craftsmen. As well as the soldiers and cavalrymen who were posted in the fort there was a whole community living in the vicus settlement.

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