Ardoch Roman Fort, Braco, Scotland

Today was characterised by clear skies and sharp winter sunshine, ideal for photographing historic Roman sites, with conditions augmented by absence of vegetation and leaves.

For most of the Roman occupation of Britain, Hadrian’s Wall ( now in England), built ¬†AD 122-138, was the northern frontier of the Empire. However, for a short while ( AD 139-AD 158 ) Hadrian’s Wall was superseded by the Antonine Wall, approximately one hundred miles north of Hadrian’s Wall, which followed a line roughly between modern-day Glasgow and Edinburgh, in Scotland. Prior to the construction of both of the aforementioned walls, there was an earlier frontier in Perthshire, central Scotland, even further north than the Antonine Wall, which was known as the Gask Frontier and it is sites on this frontier which I visited today.The Gask Frontier was in operation for about eight years between AD 79 and AD 88, possibly longer, before the Romans retreated to a defensive line in what is now northern England.

First, I visited Ardoch Fort near the village of Braco.This is probably the best preserved Roman fort in Scotland. The original first century Gask site is overlain by two forts from the second century, Antonine period. The Gask period fort was the largest of the three,extending to about eight and a half acres. The impressive defensive ditches shown in the video and images have survived the past 1800 plus years in remarkably good condition.

Video clip 1 of Ardoch Roman Fort

Video clip 2 of Ardoch Roman Fort

Ardoch Roman Fort, Braco, Scotland

Ardoch Roman Fort, Braco, Scotland

Ardoch Roman Fort, Braco, Scotland

About one mile north of the Ardoch complex are the remains of temporary Roman marching camps extending in size up to 130 acres. The remains of the S.W. tip of one of the camps can be seen in the image below.

Defences of Roman Marching Camp near Ardoch, Scotland

Next, I moved on a few miles north to visit another well-preserved site known as Kaims Castle, which is actually a Roman fortlet which stands on a small hill with its entire rampart circuit visible, surrounded by a ditch.

Video clip of Kaims Castle, Perthshire, Scotland

Kaims Castle, Perthshire, Scotland

Kaims Castle, Gask Frontier, Perthshire, Scotland

Finally, I drove east for about ten miles to visit the foundations of the Muir O’ Fauld Watchtower. This site has been reclaimed from dense forest notwithstanding which the core features comprising ditch, entrance and internal rampart are visible.

Artist’s impression of Muir O’ Fauld Watchtower, Scotland

Video clip of Muir O’ Fauld Watchtower

Muir O’ Fauld Roman Watchtower, Gask Ridge, Scotland

There are numerous other Roman sites in the area which I plan to visit another day.

Be Sociable, Share!