|Cawthorn Practice Camps taken from North York Moors; Landscape Heritage;|
Our walk yesterday took us round the Roman Practice Camps, covered in heather and bilberry bushes. Thick woods with a tangle of undergrowth surround these Roman camps, did some Roman architect in York pull out a drawing or two, and command his soldiers to go build and see what you come up with. One of them is is the 'playing card' proper camp, this is 'D' as you can see from the above photo. Double banked, entrances aligned. another camp sits alongside trapezoidal shaped 'C'; 'A' and 'B' much further away. A mystery, even more so from the ground view. There are words here on Pastscape of early excavations, but the puzzle is not really solved. They stand on a scarp, overlooking the surrounding countryside, and the Brigantes tribe is the main Northern tribe that the Romans had to overcome, though overall the Brigantes were friendly towards the Romans. One of the problems about the site is that there is little water, it has to be collected from below the ridge in a small beck. There are tumuli in the woods, but heavy undergrowth would obliterate most signs of these barrows. Cawthorn relationship as a defensive Roman barrier of forts that ran between Leas Rigg and Malton forts is probably the more rational explanation, its defenses would stem from the York main fort.
I tried the small black berries, not knowing what they were, but surmised (correctly) that they must be bilberries, later on we met met people armed with plastic boxes for collection of these tiny berries.
|heather and bilberries|