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Date 1920 - 1935

Event ID 570494

Category Recording

Type Excavation


(NS 7335 7652) Roman Fort (R) (site of)

OS 6" map (1968)

The site of Croy Hill Roman fort occupies the larger half of a plateau on the E side of the hill. The 18th century historians stated that traces of the fort were either very indistinct or totally levelled. In their time, a hamlet was flourishing there, adding to the destruction of the fort. The ruins of a farmstead and a few trees now occupy the site. Roman stones have long been recorded from Croy Hill, including many building stones tooled with diamond and other patterns, noted by the Glasgow Archeol Soc's Antonine Wall Committee when cutting sections across the Wall and Ditch on Croy Hill.

Excavations by Sir George Macdonald in 1920, 1931 and 1935 have recovered much of the plan of the fort. Internally it measured 243ft from E to W by 270ft, enclosing an area of 1 1/2 acres. It abutted the Antonine Wall on the N, and on the remaining three sides was surrounded by a turf rampart, with three ditches on the W, and two on the S. In the centre of the fort were found the remains of the Headquarters Building and a granary. In the NE corner there was a remarkable stone-built well, later built over by a corner tower. A bath-house stood just outside the NE corner. Evidence for alterations and modifications was noted in certain of the fort buildings.

Under the Antonine fort, there was found a trench delimiting a fortlet, enclosing an area of about 3/4 acre with an annexe to the S of it, of roughly the same area. A Flavian date is suggested for the fortlet (A S Robertson, M Scott and L Keppie 1975), which is comparable with that a Bar Hill (NS77NW 8). However, preliminary excavation in 1975 discovered Antonine coarse pottery in the silting of the ditches of this fortlet, confirming doubts regarding the early dating. Excavation is to continue for a further period (Current Archaeol 1975).

The numerous finds from Macdonald's excavations are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

G Macdonald 1925; 1932; 1934; 1936 J Blaeu 1654; A S Robertson 1973

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