Antonine Wall at Falkirk, Scotland

This morning, I met my tour group at Falkirk High railway station and then drove to nearby Callendar House. Here we had coffee and discussed the outline of today’s tour along the Antonine Wall. This Wall was constructed around AD 139-142 and ran for about 37 miles/59Km from the River Forth in the east of Scotland to the River Clyde on the west. The Wall formed the northern frontier of the Roman Empire for about 20 years after which the Romans retreated back to the line of Hadrian’s Wall which remained the permanents frontier until witdrawal from Britain in AD 410. Unlike Hadrian’s Wall, the Antonine Wall was built of turf on a stone base. Height was about 10 feet/3.0 m high and base about 14ft/4.2m wide. Parts of the Wall and its fortifactions remain in reasonable condition today notwithstanding the lapse of about 1800 years.

Reason for the stop at Callendar House is that the building is located just a hundred yards or so from an intact section of the Antonine Wall, as shown in imge at top of this post. Inside Callendar House is a section dedicated to the Antonine Wall and Roman era.

Callendar House, Falkirk

Callendar House, Falkirk, Scotland

Next we undertook a short drive round to Boneybridge and then a short walk alog the line of the Wall to Rough Castle, this being one of perhaps 26 forts along the Wall.

Here is an image of the fort remains at Rough Castle

Rough Castle, Antonine Wall

Rough Castle, Antonine Wall, Scotland

Here is the Antonine Wall looking west from Rough Castle.

Section of Antonine Wall at Rough Castle

Section of Antonine Wall at Rough Castle, Scotland

Here is a Roman ‘minefield’ or lilia. These were camaflauged defensive pits within which were upturned sharpened stakes to act as a deterrent to attackers.

Lilia, Roman Minefield

Lilia, Roman Minefield at Rough Castle

Next, we continued west to Twechar where we navigated an uphill path to reach Barr Hill Roman Fort which was built on a superb, high elevation vantage point looking north. Here we saw the remains of the bath-house and offices.

Roman Bath-House at Barr Hill

Roman Bath-House at Barr Hill Roan Fort

Remains of Roman Fort at Barr Hill

Remains of Roman Fort at Barr Hill, Scotland

Next, we continued west. After a short refreshment stop we arrived at Bearsden. First we drove into the cemetery wheren can be found a short section of the base of the Wall.

Foundations of Antonine Wall at Bearsden Cemetery

Foundations of Antonine Wall at Bearsden Cemetery, Glasgow

Our final stop of the day was Bearsden Roman Baths  which were discovered as recently as the 1970s.  There are sufficent remains to get a good understanding of the baths  and associated latrine area. These facilities were connected to an adjacent fort on the Antonine Wall.

Section of Roman Baths at Bearsden

Section of Roman Baths at Bearsden, Scotland

With daylight fading we drove into Glasgow where tour finished with fond farewells at Queen Street Station.

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