Saturday, May 18, 2013

Scarborough Castle, Roman Signal Station

Scarborough Castle Roman signal station
Scarborough Castle
North Yorkshire

Situated to the East of Scarborough Castle, high above Marine Drive and looking out over the North Sea, the Roman signal station makes for an interesting addition to the Norman and Medieval remains of the castle. 

Above. View of the outer earthwork banks and ditches.

Up until the 1920s, the signal station was hidden from view, buried beneath the turf of the huge Eastern part of Scarborough Castle's environs. It sits on the cliff edge, missing a few feet of it's Eastern edge due to sea erosion, but on the whole is remarkably well preserved and presented.

Above. View of the signal station with the castle in the background.

The remains, dating from between 360 and 380 BC, consist of an outer bank and ditch, an enclosure wall and a central tower, now obviously long gone, which would most likely have housed a beacon of some sort. The centre of the remains are littered with masonry footings of medieval buildings, built on top of the Roman remains. One of these features, is the Chapel of Our Lady, probably built sometime around 1000AD.

Above. Looking back towards the cliff edge and the signal station.

The signal station here at Scarborough is known to have been one in a long line of Roman stations stretching along the East coast. This building would have represented a much later addition to the militarisation of Roman Britain, with its corner towers, large earth banks and deep ditches, and would have a been a very defensible structure.

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