windermere panoramic
Walls Castle Ravenglass
English Heritage
Ravenglass
Cumbria CA18
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Roman remains usually consist of low stone walls delineating the shape of rooms and courtyards but this is not the case at Ravenglass.
 
Large Roman Bath House Complex
Here are the substantial walls of a large Roman Bath House, complete with doorways and windows. It is part of the great fort of Glannoventa.
 
Very little of the rest of the fort is visible except for humps and bumps in the field but the bath house walls are almost  13 feet (4 metres) high and cover an area of about 40 x 90 feet (12.2 x 27.4 metres).  Apart from the windows and doors, an elegant niche for a bust, can still be made out in the walls.
 
The bath house served a large contingent of soldiers stationed in the fort and contained everything from hot saunas to cold baths.
 
The Esk estuary provided a natural harbour for Hadrian’s fleet and Ravenglass was an important naval base for the Romans in the 2nd century.  It was a regional supply point for much of the north-west, with a Roman road through the Hardknott Pass to Galava Roman Fort near Ambleside Town on Windermere.
 
Fort founded during period AD 117-138
Glannoventa fort was probably founded during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian (AD 117–38) on the site of an earlier 1st century wooden fort. It occupied the most southerly point of the Cumbrian coastal defence system, and was an extension of Hadrian’s Wall, connected by a continuous chain of milefortlets and watchtowers.
 
The fort remained occupied by a garrison of 500 soldiers for over 300 years.  It has been estimated from the size of the Bath House that there could have been up to 1000 persons living there at any one time.
 
The bath house was located in the north-east corner of the fort and it is believed that it was used by a regional warlord long after the Romans left Britain.  Perhaps this accounts for its remarkable state of preservation making it one of the tallest Roman structures surviving in northern Britain.
 
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Opening Hours & Admission
Open at any reasonable time and free.  There are No Facilities.
 
Contact & Further Information
 
Getting There
Walls Castle is situated just off the A595 Whitehaven to Barrow in Furness road.  The lane to the site is tarmac and suitable for traffic.
 
There is a 'Getting There' map at  Web:    EH/ Ravenglass Roman Bath House/ Directions
 
Google Map - Walls Castle