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BREMENIUM (High Rochester) Northumberland, England.

Roman fort of ca. 2 ha 65 km NW of Newcastle (NY 834986), on Dere Street 38 km N of Corstopitum. An occupation with turf ramparts dates to the Flavian period, with modifications under Trajan. After an interval of abandonment when Hadrian's Wall was built, the site was reoccupied under Lollius Urbicus and garrisoned by Cohors I Lingonum (RIB 1276). The defenses were now of stone, but little else is known of the 2d c. occupation.

The fort was reoccupied and probably largely rebuilt in the early 3d c. as an outpost of Hadrian's Wall. A fragmentary building inscription (RIB 1277) may date to the reign of Severus, but more extensive rebuilding is attested under Caracalla (RIB 1279, A.D. 216), Elagabalus (RIB 1280, A.D. 220) and Severus Alexander (RIB 1281, ca. A.D. 225-235). The two latter record the construction of catapult platforms (ballistaria), which have been found in the NW corner of the fort. Excavations in the 1850s (the first to reveal the basic anatomy of a Roman fort in Britain) showed that the fort faced N. Under the shrine in the headquarters building was a strongroom, at the entrance to which was a stone door which ran back, on small iron wheels, into a recess. The fort had a double allocation of granaries, two on either side of the headquarters building. To the S lay structures very like the rows of chalet-like houses which took the place of unitary barracks in the late Roman period at Housesteads and Great Chesters. An internal bath house occupied the SE corner of the fort. Little is now visible except for the fine single-portal W gate, a monumental construction probably of the 4th c.

The fort was garrisoned in the 3d c. not only by a milliary cohors equitata, Cohors I fida Vardullorum, but also by a unit of scouts, numerus exploratorum Bremeniensium (RIB 1262, 1270). Built after destruction about the end of the 3d c., the fort was destroyed again about the middle of the 4th (perhaps in A.D. 343 or 360) and not reoccupied.


I. A. Richmond, “Excavations at High Rochester . . . ,” Arch. Ael. 13 (1936) 171-84PI; id;, “The Romans in Redesdale,” Northumberland County History XV (1940) passim; E. Birley, Research on Hadrian's Wall (1961) 242-44.


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