Pennymuir

Temporary Camp (roman)

Site Name Pennymuir

Classification Temporary Camp (roman)

Alternative Name(s) Pennymuir Camp C; Dere Street

Canmore ID 83743

Site Number NT71SE 5.3

NGR NT 756 144

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Hownam
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Roxburgh
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT71SE 5.03 756 144

Camp C: lies to the N of A (NT71SE 5.01 and B (NT71SE 5.02), on the E side of Dere Street and astride the modern road from Pennymuir to Hownam. It occupies a southward-facing slope which is, for the most part, only gently inclined but which falls away sharply at the SE corner towards a marshy hollow. The departure from the normal rectangle in favour of a trapezoidal plan is not, however, conditioned by the ground, and must be due either to a misuse of sighting-lines or to reliance upon 10' rods only. The W side also exhibits minor irregularities due to errors in alignment. Internally the camp measures 910' by 640' alone the axes. The rampart can still be traced on the ground for the greater part of the W half of the circuit, but former cultivation has completely obliterated the E half. The approximate position of the N gate and the vegetation-mark of the ditch from the E side of this gate to the NE corner, and thence southwards as far as the modern road are revealed on an air photograph taken by Dr St Joseph (visible on air photographs ref:DJ 29); while the ploughed-down heel of the ditch was observed at Y on the plan in 1949 in a trench cut across the site by a mechanical drainer. South of the road the course of the ditch is preserved for a further 240' by a field-drain, but from this point to a little beyond the assumed position of the S gate there is no sign of the defences either on the ground or on the air photographs. The rampart and ditch of Camp C are of much smaller proportions than those of A and B. At X on the plan the drainage trench referred to above showed that the ditch, which was covered by 12" of peat, was 3'3" wide and 1'6" deep, including a drainage slot 5" wide, while the rampart, formed of mixed peat and sand from the ditch, was 7' wide and reduced to a height of 12". The only gate now visible on the ground is situated in the W side, 350' behind the S front: it is 21' wide, and is covered by a traverse whose slight surface indications were confirmed by a section cut by the late Sir W Aitchison in 1949. This gate was presumably matched by another in a corresponding position in the E side, while it may be inferred that the S gate, like that in the N side, was centrally situated. The positions of the gates show that the S gate was the porta praetoria, so that the camp will have faced S.

RCAHMS 1956, visited 1949.

Centred NT 757 144. The only remaining part of Camp 'C' is its W side, S of the Pennymuir road, traceable for some 150.0m as a very slight turf bank (2.0m broad and 0.2m high); the SW angle; and part of the S side running from this angle for some 100.0m when it is lost in field drains. A field drain marks part of the E and S sides of the camp. N of the road the field is under crop, and no trace of the bank was found here except for a mere suggestion of its continuance on the W side immediately N of the road. The entrances were not apparent.

Visited by OS (JLD) 11 August 1960

Generally as described by previous authorities.

Visited by OS (RD) 30 May 1968.

No change to the previous information.

Visited by OS (BS) 8 September 1976.

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