Maryport’s history starts with the Romans. The initial development of the settlement is attributable to its strategic location at the mouth of the River Ellen on the Solway Firth. The combination of a sheltered port, the proximity to Hadrian’s Wall and the almost uninterrupted views of the Scottish coast and beyond, and the surrounding countryside, created an ideal defensive site on the Roman Empire’s northern boundary.
Roman Maryport 122AD- 410AD
Hadrian visited Britain in 122AD and ordered the construction of frontier defences, which in addition to Hadrian’s Wall, included a chain of fortlets and watch towers along the Solway Coast. The headquarters for the coastal defences was Alavna (Maryport). The fort was built in approx 122AD on the Sea Brows as a command and supply base for the coastal defences of Hadrian’s Wall. It was linked by road to Carlisle.
“In the time of Hadrain M.M. Agrippa ‘ the admiral of the Roman Fleet’ was in command of the station. Hence we may look upon ancient Maryport as the great station of the fleet north of deva (Chester), whilst its importance during the building of the Roman Wall cannot be overlooked.”