Roman architecture and buildings left their mark on the Empire. The Romans were great fort builders - the purpose of these constructions was to act as fortified bases for the soldiers of the army. These fortified bases were built as both defences and as power bases. Wooden stockades were erected which were surrounded by ditches, wherever they camped and whenever forts were built. Manpower, tools, organisation and pre-fabricated elements enabled the Romans to build their forts quickly and efficiently.
Facts, Description, Design of Roman Forts
Roman building and their architecture was often rigid - the design of their forts and stockades were tried and tested and always followed the same architectural design. The fort built by the Romans featured and was built and included the following elements. Facts about Roman Forts:
- Fact 1: A strategic site was always chosen to build the fort
- Fact 2: A fort could hold up to 800 soldiers
- Fact 3: The fort was rectangular in shape
- Fact 4: It was surrounded by a wide ditch
- Fact 5: A stockade was erected on top of the ditch which formed a defensive barrier made of timber posts
- Fact 6: A rampart was built using the earth from the ditch, together with heavy stones
- Fact 7: Each fort had four stone gateways affording an entrance on each side
- Fact 8: Watchtowers were also featured reaching a height of 30 feet (9 metres)
- Fact 9: Design dictated that two main streets always crossed the fort
- Fact 10: Wooden structures were built serving consisting of:
- Commanders headquarters
- barracks (sometimes tents)
- a prison
- Fact 11: There was even a Fire Brigade within the fort
Prefabricated Roman Forts
Some Roman forts were even pre-fabricated. The continuous construction of forts and stockade, led to the development of pre-fabricated materials and standard parts. Timbers were cut to specific sizes. Grooves were pre-cut ready for fast construction and the blacksmiths produced iron nails in all different shapes and sizes. The prefabricated Roman forts allowed the Romans to erect their bases with unbelievable speed.
Stone Roman Forts
Some of the wooden forts built by the Romans were later replaced with stone buildings. Stone Roman forts and buildings featured one of their great inventions - concrete. Concrete was made by mixing a strong volcanic material (called pazzolana) with rubble and a mixture of lime.
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