A heavily defended later Roman military installation. Its most distinctive features are its defences, which are built on a massive scale, and incorporate certain structural elements such as tile and/or stone bonding courses in the walls, which are common to the defences of all monuments in this class. A total of nine surviving examples are known in England, along with the location of another which no longer exists and a few more possible examples. All are situated next to, or very close to, river estuaries or the open sea, between the Wash and the Isle of Wight in southeast England. Their purpose was to provide protection against seaborne Saxon raiders who began to threaten these coasts towards the end of the 2nd century AD.
Aerial photograph of Burgh Castle Roman Saxon Shore fort. (© NCC)