Castra are plots of land or buildings which were used as fortified military camps throughout Ancient Rome. They could be permanent or temporary structures. Castra were designed to make it easy for soldiers to have access to surrounding walls quickly if the need arose. A large ditch was built around the outside which would serve as a moat, the dirt removed from the ditch would create a rampart, and a wall was built on top of the rampart. These fortifications are often called Roman Forts, however in the academic world are more commonly known as camps or fortresses.
Roman Forts were strategically placed, not only for the benefit of the military, but also for positions of wealth and power. Over 400 camp remains have been discovered throughout the UK (which includes both permanent and temporary camps).
Some Roman Forts in the UK
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