Ambleside Roman Fort - History and Facts | History Hit

Ambleside Roman Fort

South Lakeland, England, United Kingdom

The remains of Ambleside Roman Fort date from the 2nd century and are located on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Lily Johnson

10 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Ambleside Roman Fort

The remains of Ambleside Roman Fort date from the 2nd century and are located on the shores of Lake Windermere. Though much of the fort’s history remains unknown, its ruins provide an atmospheric walk amongst the breathtaking surroundings of the Lake District.

Ambleside Roman Fort history

When the Romans first arrived in Britain and conquered the north of England, an initial fortification was built on the site of Ambleside however it was abandoned soon after.

The site was later reoccupied by the Roman military and a more permanent fort was established early in the 2nd century during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. The new Ambleside fort is what survives today, and served as a supply base to the larger fortifications at Hadrian’s Wall as well as an administrative base for the local area.

At its peak the Roman Fort at Ambleside could hold up to 500 men and it remained in use until at least the 4th century. Due to its strategic location, it may be that after the Romans departed Britain, Ambleside was occupied by a local warlord and his army as the Roman fort of Birdoswald had been.

Ambleside Roman Fort today

Today Ambleside Roman Fort is open to the public and run by the National Trust, with information boards explaining the site’s history dotted amongst the ruins.

Visitors can view the outline of the fort and its structures, while parts of the gates and sections of the fort walls are also exposed. The most significant surviving structures are the headquarters and granaries however, with parts of the sunken treasury also visible.

The headquarters belonged to the fort’s commander and consisted of a number of rooms grouped around a courtyard, while the large size of the granaries hints to the fort’s usage as a storage and distribution centre for other sites.

Ambleside provides a peaceful exploration of some of Britain’s oldest history, with the nearby Lake Windermere also a must-see site in the area.

Getting to Ambleside Roman Fort

Ambleside Roman Fort is located in Cumbria in the Peak District just off the A5075. There is road parking at the site, while the nearest bus stop is Pier Stop, a 10-minute walk away. The nearest train station is 4 miles away at Windermere.

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