Bewcastle, from the South. Lithographed by J. S. Kell for Kell Bros., Castle Street, Holborn (no artist indicated). 5 1/8 x 7 1/2 inches. Source: Bruce, facing p. 354. Scanned image and text by George P. Landow from a copy in Rockefeller Library, Brown University. [This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

BEWCASTLE. — The position occupied by the station of Bewcastle is one that is peculiarly Roman in its character. Though placed in the bottom of a basin formed by a circular range of bleak and lofty hills, it yet occupies a platform of its own, which is slightly elevated above the rivulet that washes its southern ramparts and traverses the valley. The lithographic view . . . is taken from a point on road south of the camp. Unlike other stations which we have examined, this appears to be six-sided. Its Roman name is not known. Horsley, on assumptions which we now know to be erroneous, conceived it to be APIATORIUM; Hodgson conjectured it to be BANNA. Within the station arc the remains of a cheerless border castle, composed of Roman stones; and in the churchyard, which also is embraced by the ramparts of the fort, is the famous runic cross, the inscription on which, after having long baffled the inquiries of critics, has at length yielded to the scholarship of the Rev. Dr. Haigh.

Two important inscriptions have been described as belonging to this station. One of them, which Camden saw used as a gravestone. bore the name of the second legion the august; the other, which Horsley describes as fumlling the same office, consisted of a dedication to Hadrian by the second and twentieth legions, acting under Licinius Priscus, imperial legate and proprætor. These stones are not now in existence. — John Collingwood Bruce, p. 354

Sources

Bruce, John Collingwood. The Roman Wall: A Description of the Mural Barrier of the North of England. 3rd ed. London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1867.


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Last modified 8 August 2006