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LAVATRAE (Bowes) Yorkshire, England.

A fort on the river Greta (from the gorge of which the name perhaps derives). It guards the E end of the Stainmore pass across the Pennines which carried the Roman trunk road from York to Carlisle, and was garrisoned in the 2d c. by Cohors IV (?) Breucorum and in the 3d c. by Cohors I Thracum. The first fort, with timber-faced rampart revetted with turf at the rear, was built by Julius Agricola ca. A.D. 78, or possibly a few years earlier by Julius Frontinus, as part of the system for controlling the newly conquered Brigantes. A polygonal annex was provided on the N side, presumably to protect transport encamped for the night, but this was leveled early in the 2d c.

There has been little excavation within the fort, though complicated sequences of structures have been found in the vicinity of the principia and show that it was held without significant interruption for some 320 years. Inscriptions (RIB 739-40) indicate reconstruction under Hadrian and Severus. The defenses were renewed on at least five occasions, the latest at the end of the 4th c. In the pass above the fort there are traces of a system of signal towers which is thought to have been used for communication between York and Hadrian's Wall, and 3.2 km S in a remote glen were found two shrines containing altars to Silvanus Vinotonus erected by a 3d c. prefect and centurion respectively.


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