|roman fort, Keswick
|Keswick (formerly Cumberland)
|descriptive text:- West 1778 (11th edn 1821)
|Guide book, A Guide to the Lakes, by Thomas West, published by
William Pennington, Kendal, Cumbria once Westmorland, and in
London, 1778 to 1821.
Page 147:- "... [Keswick], where an intermediate station must have been, between Ambleside and Moresby, having Caer-mot between it and old Carlisle, and Papcastle between it and Moresby. The summer station would be on Castle-hill, and the winter station on the area of the present town of Keswick, or on some convenient place betwixt the conflux of the rivers Greeta and Derwent. And it is more probable that the Derventione of the Chorographia was here than at Papcastle, which comes better in for the Pampo-"
Page 148:- "[Pampo]calio of the same Chorographia. A station here would be an efficacious check on any body of the enemy that might cross the estuaries, above or below Boulness, and pass the watch there, and the garrisons at old Carlisle, Ellenborough, Papcastle, and Moresby; for it was impossible for any body of men to proceed to the south, but by Borrowdale or Dunmail-raise, a garrison at Keswick commanded both these passes. The watch at Caer-mot would give the alarm to that on Castle-crag, in the pass of Borrowdale, and the centinel on Castle-head, that overlooks Keswick, would communicate the same to the garrison there; so that it is apparently impossible that any body of men could pass that way unnoticed or unmolested. But if they attempted a route on the northern side of Skiddaw, and over Hutton-moor, to Patterdale, the watch at Caer-mot was in sight, both of old Carlisle and Keswick, and the garrison of the latter might either pursue, or give notice to Whitbarrow and Ambleside, to meet them in the pass at the head of Patterdale, called Kirkston, which is so steep, narrow, and crowded with rocks, that a few veteran troops would easily stop the career of a tumultuous crowd. If they made good the pass, and turned to the east before the Romans arrived, they would, in that case, be harrassed (sic) in the rear, till they arrived at Kendal, where the watchmen from Watercrook would be ready to receive them, ..."
Page 149:- "..."
"These are the only passes amongst the mountains, that a body of Caledonians could attempt in their way to the south, and these could not be secured without a station at Keswick, and that could not be more advantageously placed, than where the town now stands, on the meeting of the roads from the surrounding stations, all being about an equal distance from it, and at such a distance as rendered a station there necessary, and the several castellums on Castle-crag, and Castle-hill, and Castlet, useful in giving notice, in order to guard these important posts. That no vestige is now visible of a station ever being there, nor any notice taken of it by Camden and Horsley, nor even atraditional (sic) record of its existence, are seeming difficulties, which put the negative on what has been advanced. But this may only prove, that no care was taken to preserve the memory of such remains, and that the town occupies the whole area of the station and that the station had been placed within the site of the town, probably in the lower part, facing the"
Page 150:- "pass of the Greeta. In the wheel of the Greeta, in a meadow peninsulated by the river, just below the town, and called Goats-field, there are vestiges of a foss, but too imperfect to draw a conclusion from in favour of the station. The ground round the town is very fertile, and has been long enough cultivated to destroy any remains of it, and what have been accidentally discovered, may be gone into oblivion; and no change happening in the town itself to occasion new discoveries, farther proofs may still be wanting. ..."
"... a regular survey of the said road [roman road, Brougham to Moresby], and finding the military roads from Papcastle, Ellenborough, Moresby, Ambleside, and Plumpton, all to coincide at Keswick: for this and the other reasons already assigned, it appeared evident that a station must be somewhere near. The Castle-hill, above Keswick, is a faithful record of the existence of a station in this country."