Bishopton Roman Fort, S.W. Scotland

Today, I visited the site of a Roman Fort in S.W. Scotland which is unusual in that the location is known but no traces exist at ground level.

The Fort is located about 1km west of Bishopton close to the Old Greenock Road. Bishopton is about 16 miles from Glasgow.

The Antonine Wall was incepted in AD 142 and for a brief period replaced Hadrian’s Wall as the Northern Frontier of the Roman Empire. The Antonine Wall covered a distance of approximately 63 km in southern Scotland between Firth of Forth¬† in the east and Firth of Clyde in the west.

The Bishopton Fort benefits from a high elevation overlooking the Firth of Clyde (estuary) and as such serves to defend the Western flank of the Wall.

There are other Antonine era fortifications nearby: a fort at Old Kilpatrick across the River Clyde and a fortlet high above Greenock ( to the west).

The Bishopton site was first identified ( from aerial photographs) in 1949 and was excavated in each of the years 1950 to 1954. In essence, the site is definitely of the Antonine period with more than one fort of more than period. In fact the H.Q building appears to have experienced four successive re-buildings with the third phase ending with destruction by fire.

Locating the site presents a challenge because there is no signage and, as mentioned above, there are no physical remains on the surface. The site is identified on Ordnance Survey maps, roughly equidistant between the Convent and Whitemoss Dam, at the Western end of Bishopton.

The site offers a good vista of the Firth of Clyde and Dumbarton.

Bishopton Roman Fort, S.W. Scotland

Bishopton Roman Fort, S.W.Scotland

Bishopton Roman Fort, S.W.Scotland

Bishopton Roman Fort, S.W. Scotland

Bishopton Roman Fort, S.W. Scotland

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