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Roman Fort at Slack

Roman Fort at Slack

The Roman Fort at Slack measures 256 feet square (78 m) within the defences giving an occupation area of just 1 acres (0.6 ha). It was defended by a 20 foot wide turf rampart, the outer wall of which was laid upon foundations of stone. There are two outer ditches, separated from the rampart by a berm, 5 feet wide. The ditches are not continuous; the outer ditch is not present on the southern defensive circuit, and there appear to be no ditches outside the southern half of the north-east rampart at all; the area possibly being used as a parade ground.

The fort was built during the Flavian period, probably c.AD80, the first buildings, including the gates, were of timber construction. The buildings were later part-replaced by stone, but the fort appears to have been abandoned before the work was complete, possibly because the auxilliary garrison had been moved to the northern frontier.

The fort was partially reconstructed during the first quarter of the second century, when its internal buildings were replaced in stone. No stone revetment was ever added to the front of the rampart, and the reconstruction was incomplete when the fort was abandoned in c.AD125.

The original Flavian fort was occupied until the late-second or early-third centuries, as attested by pottery from Trajanic/Hadrianic times and Antonine wares by the 'Small S Potter', recovered from within the fort's defences. There is no indication that this fort was ever rebuilt in stone.

This important Roman Fort has never been fully explored. It now lies beneath Outlane Golf Course, with the club house sitting on the northern rampart of the fort. The nearby M62 motorway follows the exact line of the Roman road and passes through the civilian annexe.

Huddersfield and District Archaeology Society has previously excavated part of the annexe, and was involved in an emergency dig as the M62 was being built, leading to the rescue of a number of important artefacts.

With much still to be discovered, it has been decided to attempt a further exploration of this major scheduled site.


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