Maryport and Ruffenhofen - two forts on the Roman frontier
The Senhouse Roman Museum is twinned with the LIMESEUM and Römerpark Ruffenhofen in Bavaria, a fort of similar age on the German frontier of the Roman Empire.
The soldiers and labourers who built the defences along the Roman frontier must surely - if they thought about the matter at all - have found it hard to grasp the geographical extent of the enterprise in which they were engaged. The fort at Alauna (Maryport) was in a particularly isolated position, in what was virtually the north westernmost corner of the European section of the frontier. It would have taken many days to travel there by land and sea from the nearest section of the Limes which formed the borders of the provinces of Germania Superior and Raetia.
Modern visitors to the Senhouse Museum, and the various other museums along the European frontier, may find it equally difficult to imagine the vastness and complexity of the system of fortifications of which these sites were once part.
The essential object of the museum twinning initiative is to demonstrate to non-specialist visitors to the two museums concerned (Maryport and Ruffenhofen) how these sites fit into this larger picture. Both have a comparable archaeological basis, with large parts of each site explored by geophysical surveys.
This section of the website will give an overview of the importance of Hadrian’s Wall and the German Limes, then provide more detailed descriptions of each fort.