Goldsborough Roman Signal Station looking south towards Whitby © David Gill
Goldsborough lies to the north of Whitby in Yorkshire. It was one of a series of Roman signal stations constructed along this piece of coastline.
Goldsborough Roman Signal Station looking north © David Gill
Goldsborough Roman Signal Station © David Gill
Other known signal stations lie at (from north to south): Huntcliff near Saltburn; Goldsborough; Ravenscar; Castle Hill at Scarborough; and Carr Naze at Filey.
There is an inscription from Ravenscar (RIB 721) that shows that the fort (turrem et castrum) was constructed by Vindicianus who is described as magister, a later rank. The overall commander was Justinianus. Anthony Birley dates the inscription to the 4th century.
Coins from Huntcliff suggest a date from c. 370 to c. 390.
John A. A. Goodall in his discussion of the signal station at Scarborough suggests two theories: a series of signal stations constructed in the wake of the ‘Barbarian Conspiracy’ of 367 (supported by William Hornsby through his excavations); or to the period of Magnus Maximus (383-388).
Bell, T.W. A Roman Signal Station at Whitby. Archaeological Journal 155 , 1 (1998), 303-22.
Hornsby, W., et al. The Roman Fort at Huntcliff, Near Saltburn. The Journal of Roman Studies 2 (1912), 215–32, www.jstor.org/stable/295958.
Hornsby, William, and John D. Laverick. The Roman Signal Station at Goldsborough, Near Whitby. Antiquaries Journal 89, 1 (1932), 203-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00665983.1932.10853589
Ottaway, Patrick, Richard Brickstock, John Carrott, H. E. M. Cool, Keith Dobney, Renée Gajowski, Sandra Garside-Neville, G. D. Gaunt, Allan Hall, Michael Issitt, Deborah Jaques, Frances Large & Jason Monaghan. Excavations on the Site of the Roman Signal Station At Carr Naze, Filey, 1993–94. Archaeological Journal 157, 1 (2000), 79-199.
Southern, P. Signals versus Illumination on Roman Frontiers. Britannia 21 (1990), 233–42, www.jstor.org/stable/526297.