Castleshaw Roman Fort

Sited on the exposed eastern slopes of the Castleshaw Valley, Castleshaw Roman Fort stands as testimony to the force and governance of the Imperial army. However, Castleshaw is proving to be so much more than another dot on a military campaign map. Through years of detailed archaeological excavation and research we are now beginning to understand how the first century fort, and later fortlet, formed part of an integrated landscape of conquest. On a more domestic level, discoveries are also being made about the day-to-day organisation and administration of the site, giving us a rare glimpse of what life might have been like for an ordinary auxiliary soldier posted to this bleak outpost on the edge of the empire.

Today, the Castleshaw forts are protected as a Scheduled Monument but there are still issues which could potentially limit the public’s enjoyment of this nationally important site, or at worst could threaten its preservation for future generations. Like many of the country’s upland heritage assets, its exposed location makes it prone to natural erosion and vulnerable to potential anti-social problems like vandalism and litter. However there are also other problems unique to Castleshaw including the hazards posed by the old trenches and spoil heaps from previous excavations. 

The Castleshaw Working Party (CWP) has been set up to take a closer look at these issues and ultimately produce a long-term plan to ensure the good management of the site. It comprises individuals from a wide range of different fields and institutions who are committed to securing the future of the forts. As the first part of this work, Northern Archaeological Associates (NAA) were commissioned to prepare a Conservation Management Plan to help us understand just what it is that makes the Castleshaw forts and the surrounding valley so special. The Conservation Management Plan has been developed with the input from several public consultation events. The public consultation phase certainly showed just how much affection and interest there is in the site. The final plan is now available on the Northern Archaeological Associates website: Castleshaw Roman Fort

If you would like to find out more or get involved, why not join the Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts by emailing email: or write to: Friend of Castlshaw Roman Forts, c/o The Curator, Saddleworth Museum, Uppermill, Oldham, OL3 6HS.