The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the north-western of a pair of Roman camps on Huntington South Moor that were identified from aerial photographs taken in March 2002. The second camp which is orientated in the same way is centrer approximately 250m to the south east. (Note: this latter camp has been fully excavated see MYO2024)
Roman camps are rectangular or sub-rectangular enclosures which were constructed and used by Roman soldiers either when out on campaign or as practice camps; most campaign camps were only temporary overnight bases and few were used for longer periods. They were bounded by a single earthen rampart and outer ditch and in plan are always straight-sided with rounded corners. Normally they have between one and four entrances, although as many as eleven have been recorded. Such entrances were usually centrally placed in the sides of the camp and were often protected by additional defensive outworks. Roman camps are found throughout much of England, although most known examples lie in the midlands and north. Around 140 examples have been identified and, as one of the various types of defensive enclosure built by the Roman Army, particularly in hostile upland and frontier areas, they provide an important insight into Roman military strategy and organisation. All well-preserved examples are identified as being of national importance.
The Roman camp on Huntington South Moor, 300m east of Huntington Grange, is one of only four identified camps closely associated to the Roman legionary fortress at York. Part of the camp's ramparts survive as a low earthwork and additional features will survive as buried remains such as refuse pits and groupings of post holes left by timber structures. Given the survival of upstanding earthworks, the buried remains are expected to be better preserved than those of the second camp 250m to the south east that has been damaged by modern ploughing. Few camps have been identified in lowland areas nationally because it is thought that many have been obliterated by centuries of agricultural activity. Those with upstanding earthworks, as opposed to most which only survive as crop marks, are especially rare nationally. The close proximity of this second camp, along with the archaeological information gained from its excavation, further enhances the monument's importance.
The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the north western of a pair of Roman camps on Huntington South Moor that were identified from aerial photographs taken in March 2002. The second camp, which is orientated in the same way, is centred approximately 250m to the south east.
The 18th century antiquarians W Stukeley and F Drake noted the earthworks of seven or eight Roman camps to the north of York. Two of these partly survive as very low earthworks on Bootham Stray and Clifton Moor, just over 2km to the west. These are both protected as scheduled monuments. The location of the other five or six sites mentioned by the antiquarians is uncertain, but could include the two camps identified in 2002 on Huntington South Moor. All of these camps lie close to the Roman legionary fortress of Eboracum, the remains of which lie beneath York city centre. They have been interpreted as either practice camps constructed by the Roman army for training purposes, or temporary camps occupied during the construction of the fortress in the early 70s AD.
Although the camp was not identified until March 2002, RAF photographs taken in the early 1950s show the full extent of the camp before the construction of the Ryedale Stadium (which is marked on the 1:10,000 map as `Rugby League Football Ground'). These photographs show the camp as a playing card shape, the low bank and outer ditch describing a round cornered rectangle that is typical of many Roman camps. From these photographs the camp's long axis can be seen to run north east to south west, measuring nearly 140m between banks or 150m between the outer ditches, with its shorter axis measuring just over 95m between banks. The Ryedale Stadium now overlies the eastern part of the camp. Although there may still be archaeological remains surviving in the area of the stadium, their extent is not known and so this area is not included within the monument. However, the western part of the camp still survives as upstanding earthworks and is included in the monument. The bank typically survives up to 0.2m to 0.3m high and 6m to 7m wide with the outer ditch 0.1m to 0.2m deep and typically 6m wide, but up to 10m wide in places. The area of the monument lies within three former fields orientated east-west, although the southern two have been amalgamated so that the boundary is not shown on the 1:10,000 map. All three fields have regularly spaced ditches just over 4m apart, running parallel with the east-west field boundaries. These have been interpreted as 19th century drainage works although they may alternatively relate to post-medieval ploughing. Most of the earthworks of the camp lie within the middle field, including the camp's western corner, and it is in this area where they are best preserved. However, the earthworks are still traceable as upstanding earthworks in the other two fields.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.
Book Reference - Author: Peter Horne - Title: Huntington South Moor Roman Camps - Date: 2002 - Journal Title: Aerial Survey Report Series - Volume: AER/6/22 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Typescript report
Book Reference - Author: RAF - Title: RAF 540/613/5009 - Date: 1953 - Type: AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH - Description: Oblique AP