Temporary Camp (roman)

Site Name Raedykes

Classification Temporary Camp (roman)

Alternative Name(s) Garrison Hill

Canmore ID 37153

Site Number NO89SW 2

NGR NO 841 902

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Fetteresso
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Kincardine And Deeside
  • Former County Kincardineshire

Archaeology Notes

NO89SW 2 841 902

See also NO88NW 23.

(Centred NO 841 902) Camp of Raedykes (R)

OS 6" map, (1927)

The plan of Raedykes marching camp is most irregular, to suit the terrain, but conforms to the orthodox rules in having opposed gates protected by traverses, though nothing convincingly Roman has been found. Much of most interesting feature is the strengthening of the defences in the direction of expected attack, namely, the two northern corners and most of the east side. Here the ditch, excavated by MacDonald, was V-shaped, about 15 feet wide and 7 feet deep; and the rampart was higher and broader than elsewhere. On the south and west Garrison Hill slopes rather steeply, and the defences were accordingly not so strongly made. This weakness may have been compensated by a formidable earth rampart running for 580 feet parallel to the south side at a distance of 800 feet south of it. It has a deep ditch on the southeast side now used as a drainage-channel. Crawford (1949) has no doubt that it is Roman although there is no evidence of its age. Crawford suggests that Raedykes camp was Agricolan in date and the most convincing of the many alleged sites for the Battle of Mons Graupius in AD 84. But Dr St Joseph suggests that it could be Antonine or Severan and places it in his 120-acre category, despite MacDonald's statement that its area is only 93 1/2 acres. Roman coin hoards have been found at Hill of Megray (NO88NE 3) and Cowie Common (NO89SE 2). In each case the latest coins were Severan.

O G S Crawford 1949; G Macdonald 1916; J K S St Joseph 1958.

Raedykes marching camp is generally as described above. From ground observations and Macdonald's measurements, the angle in the SE side occurs at the entrance "C" and not to the W of it, as shown on his plan (Fig.6) (Macdonald 1916). Similarly the SE angle has been repositioned. Resurveyed at 1/2500.

The outer earthwork is obscured by dense afforestation.

Visited by OS (NKB) 28 July 1965.

The outer work, referred to by authority 5, extends 190.0m from NO 8423 8955 to NO 8440 8961 and is situated in dense afforestation astride a ridge, some 230.0m S of the marching camp and parallel to the SSE rampart of the latter. It terminates at the NE end on marshy ground and at the SW end on the steepening slopes of the ridge. It comprises a strong earth-and-stone rampart with a ditch facing SE along which is a modern ditch. Two breaks occur in the rampart, of which the more westerly is either caused by, or accentuated by a drainage ditch. The position of the work relative to the marching camp, effectively blocking any approach along the ridge from a low hill to the SE, confirms that it is an outwork to the camp.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 29 June 1966.


J K S St Joseph 1969.

This temporary camp is situated on Garrison Hill; it is irregular on plan and encloses about 38 ha. Each of its six gateways was protected by a titulum and it probably dates to the first century AD.

G Macdonald 1916; 1939; O G S Crawford 1949; J K S St Joseph 1978; RCAHMS 1984, visited March 1984.



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