Bremenium Roman Fort | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Bremenium Roman Fort

Rochester, England, United Kingdom

About Bremenium Roman Fort

Bremenium Roman Fort was an important Roman outpost and garrison which was located beyond the major fortifications of Hadrian’s Wall, near modern-day Rochester in Northumberland.

This heavily fortified garrison site stood for more than 200 years as the most northerly base in the entire Roman Empire. The fortress operated as an outpost fort beyond Hadrian's Wall – a sort of early warning station.

Unlike many forts of its type, Bremenium had thicker walls and included significant artillery emplacements – highlighting the fact this fort existed at the very fringes of Empire, essentially in enemy territory. Consequently, no civilian settlements grew up outside the walls and there seems to have been little or nothing of this nature at Bremenium.

The first incarnation of Bremenium Roman Fort dates to around 80AD and was built by Julius Agricola, Governor of Britain in the late 1st Century. Recent research suggests it was built on top of a previous Iron Age settlement. A larger fort was built during the mid-to-late second century and this in turn was replaced in the third century AD. Its final phase was completed during the reign of Emperor Constantine, sometime in the mid fourth century.

Today the fort is part of the small village of High Rochester and within the ancient walls are a number of small structures including two 16th Century fortified farmhouses.

Though much of the original stonework has been plundered over the years, the remains of the Roman fort of Bremenium can still be seen. The west wall is the best preserved and consists of a 9ft high bank with stone facing, while one of the original gates can also still be seen. However much of the stonework has been plundered over the years for local buildings.