Camp Farm at Maryport is at the western point of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site – one of the largest in the world. It stretches for over 3,000 miles from Maryport across Europe to the Middle East, through Syria, and along the north coast of Africa. Under the turf of the farm is the Roman fort of Alauna and its civilian settlement or ‘vicus’. Over the years surveys and excavations have established the extent and international significance of the archaeology but so far this has not been fully presented to the public.
NECT acquired the farm in April 2015 following the winding up of the Hadrian's Wall Trust, and we are taking the opportunity to review the significance of the farm itself, built as a model farm in the mid 1860s by the Senhouse family, as well as look at ways of bringing the buildings back into use and telling the story of the whole site, including the relationship between fort, port and town.
In December 2015 we were delighted to be recipients of a grant through the Coastal Revival Fund and have used the money to start consultations with our neighbours in Maryport, including schools, archaeology groups, youth groups and other interested people. We have also been able to create a bothy space within one of the barns which will allow us to host visits to site for working groups, discussions and activities. Alongside this, we have been able to make a start on securing the stability of some of the most vulnerable barns, repairing and replacing roof trusses, slipped slates and surveying the buildings to assess their conditions prior to thinking about how the buildings can be used in the future.
Architectural Heritage Fund offers Feasibility Funding to help develop plans at Camp Farm
The 140 acre farm within the frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site has been granted funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund towards a study which could bring it into use as a place of heritage learning. The North of England Civic Trust have received £5,000 from the AHF which represents 50% of the total required for a commercial viability study for Maryport farm in Cumbria.
The farm ceased operation in 2008 when it was sold to Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd, later Hadrian’s Wall Trust, from which the NECT acquired the freehold in March 2015. The site contains a largely intact but dilapidated planned 19th century model farmstead.
The report would look at how the farm could be relevant to local people, investigate ideas like Care Farms, working holidays, European Heritage Campuses, services for veterans and a satellite training site linked to agricultural, horticultural or animal husbandry colleges.
Graham Bell from the North of England Civic Trust said, ‘ Camp Farm has two thousand years of European history underfoot and buildings that witnessed Britain’s agricultural revolution. Now’s the time for us to begin to write the next chapter, which will be about building the relationship of people to the land.’
Ian Morrison, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund said: ‘Thanks to support from Historic England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and through a team of regional support officers we are able to help the North of England Civic Trust to test the feasibility of the exciting vision for this historic farm.’
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