The Doric Columns
Hillforts in Aberdeenshire
The camp was inhabited by approximately 15,000 to 30,000 soldiers, and was situated a day's march away from two other ancient major military camps: Stracathro Roman Camp and Normandykes Roman Camp.
The camp high elevation point, Garrison Hill, commands an expansive view of the North Sea, allowing military communication with the Roman fleet.
Moderately well preserved ramparts and defensive ditches are present for extensive runs along portions of the perimeter.
by the Romans, the Mounth, or easternmost range of the Grampian
Mountains, posed a formidable terrestrial barrier isolating the Northeast
of Scotland from the Scottish Lowlands. This mountainous barrier,
combined with the local bogs, was a factor in determining the Romans' coastal
march northward from the Raedykes Roman Camp. The Romans chose a more
inland route to avoid the boggy undulating terrain of the Mounth. Several
scholars suggest that Mons Graupius, the earliest recorded battle in
Scottish history in 83 AD, occurred on Megray or Kempstone Hill,
essentially along the Causey Mounth. A review of the Tacitus account of
Mons Graupius supports the location of the battle in this vicinity, since
Tacitus references the signalling communication with the Roman Fleet
and the Battle site lying between a Roman camp (Raedykes) and a coastal
hill. Furthermore, one of the four greatest Roman coin hoards of silver denarii
was found at Megray Hill near the
Arriving from the south Roman Legions marched from Raedykes to Normandykes Roman Camp through the Durris Forest as they sought higher ground evading the bogs of Red Moss and other low-lying mosses associated with the Burn of Muchalls. That march used the Elsick Mounth, one of the ancient trackways crossing the Mounth of the Grampian Mountains lying west of Netherley.
Claudius Ptolemy Cosmographia Britain and Ireland
The Caledonians, like many Celtic tribes in Britain, were Hillfort builders and Farmers who defeated and were defeated by the Romans on several occasions. The Romans never fully occupied Caledonia, though several attempts were made. Nearly all of the information that we have about the Caledonians comes from their Roman enemy, and therefore unbiased information may be difficult to obtain. Peter Salway considers the Caledonians to have consisted of indigenous Pictish tribes augmented by fugitive Brythonic resistance fighters fleeing from Britannia. The Caledonii tribe, after which the historical Caledonian Confederacy is named, may have been joined in conflict with Rome by tribes in northern central Scotland by this time, such as the Vacomagi, Taexali and Venicones recorded by Ptolemy. The Romans reached an accommodation with Brythonic tribes such as the Votadini as effective Buffer states.
A Roman defensive fortification between the Forth and Clyde in Central Scotland, Antonine's Wall was built in honour of Emperor Antoninus Pius by Lollius Urbicus, the Governor of Britain, around 143 AD. It established a frontier to the north of Hadrian's Wall in England, with the intention of restraining the Pictish tribes to the north and as such represents the North-Western boundary of the Roman Empire. However, residual hostile tribes in the Southern Uplands of Scotland forced more than one retreat to the safety of Hadrian's Wall, and the Antonine Wall was probably completely abandoned by 180 AD. The wall is 37 miles (60 km) in length, running from Bo'ness to Old Kirkpatrick, but is best observed to the southwest of Falkirk.
Unlike Hadrian's Wall, which is built of stone, the Antonine Wall was constructed of turf on a loose boulder foundation and most-likely topped with a wooden rampart. In front of the wall, on its north side, was a 3.6m (12-foot) deep ditch. To the south of the wall was a cobbled roadway, known as the 'Military Way', that connected the network of forts which lay approximately every 2 miles (3 km) along the wall to provide accommodation for its garrison. It is thought the wall may have required a complement of around 30,000 men to maintain the defences.
80 AD Agricola invades Scotland and erects a line of Forts between Clyde and Forth.
142 AD Antonine's Wall (or the Wall of Lollius Urbicus) connected the Forts built between the Clyde and the Forth. It is thought that number 24 was at Inveravon, 25 at Kinneil and 26 at Carriden. About 60 kilometres in length it was garrisoned by approximately 30,000 men. Hadrian's Wall had 83 soldiers per kilometres and it had 12,000 men man the wall with a further 8,000 in forward Forts and in reserve. It is thought that Antonine Wall had 300 men every Kilometre thus there would have been about 20,000 manning the Wall at any given time. To man forward garrisons and also have soldiers in reserve a figure of 30,000 is reasonable, but some estimate that it may have been 50,000. The known forts along Antonine Wall are: 1 Bishopton, 2 Old Kilpatrick, 3 Dutocher, 4 Cleddans (fortlet), 5 Castilehill, 6 Bearsden, 7 Summerston, 8 Balmuidy, 9 Wilderness Plantation (fortlet), 10 Cadder, 11 Glasgow Bridge (fortlet), 12 Bar Hill, 15 Croy Hill, 16 Westerwood, 17 Castecary, 18 Seabags (fortlet), 19 Rough Castle, 20 Watling Lodge, 21 Camlon, 22 Falkirk, 23 Mumrills, 24 Inveravon, 25 Kinneil (fortlet), 26 Carriden.
Because the style of Antonine Wall was not as structured as that of Hadrian's Wall, it was not made of stone and was only in existence for a relatively short period of time there is very little known about it by comparison. As a result there could have been more forts north and south of it that have not been detected. It is also now thought that it may have extended to at least Blackness and possibly Cramond where there is evidence of a Roman Fort.
161 Antonine Wall abandoned. It had been temporarily abandoned and the forts destroyed in 154-5 AD, but was quickly rebuilt and occupied until it was finally deserted.
with questions or comments about the design
of this web site.