Artist’s impression of Bar Hill Roman Fort.

This evening, I am focusing on the fort  at Barr Hill which sits approximately in the middle of the Antonine Wall which served as the northern frontier of the Roman Empire from around AD 142 to AD 164.  The Wall  ran across the ‘waist’ of Scotland from Carriden in the east to Old Kilpatrick in the west along which were interspersed some 18 forts, one of which being that at Bar Hill (or Barr Hill). The fort included standard features: a H.Q.building, granaries, bathhouse, latrine, barrack blocks and praetorium ( residence) for the garrison commander.
Inscriptions indicate that Barr Hill was garrisoned by cohors 1 Hamiorum, a Syrian archer unit and later by cohors 1 Baetasiorum from the Rhine.

Centre of fort at Bar Hill

Artist’s impression of Bath-House

Remains of Bath-House at Bar Hill

View west from Bar Hill

Inscriptions indicate that Barr Hill was garrisoned by cohors 1 Hamiorum, a Syrian archer unit and later by cohors 1 Baetasiorum from the Rhine.

Image below shows the well at Bar Hill. When excavated in 1902 it was found to be 43 feet deep and contained coins, arrow-heads, broken pottery, iron objects, an altar, bucket hoops, fragments of inscriptions and parts of columns. The foregoing items were probably jettisoned by the army when the Wall was abandoned around AD 160.

Other features of Bar Hill:

  • Located at highest point (150m) on the line of the Wall.
  • Covered an area of 3.2 acres.
  • Construction comprised a rampart of turf on stone base protected by ditches.
  • Not directly attached to the Wall as summit location offered strategically important views northwards towards the Campsie Fells.
  • A Roman Camp has been identified just to the south of the fort which may suggest it served as a construction camp during construction of the fort.
  • The Military Way (road) passed between the fort and the Wall.

Bar Hill Fort is located near the village of Twechar, about twelve miles N.E. of Glasgow. Access entails an uphill climb, along a farm track.