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Roman Fort (Roman)

Site Name Malling

Classification Roman Fort (Roman)

Canmore ID 24065

Site Number NN50SE 6

NGR NN 56400 00060

NGR Description Centred on NN 56400 00060

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Port Of Menteith
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN50SE 6 centred NN 56400 00060

(Centred NN 5640 0006) A Roman fort was discovered in 1968 on a level platform some 20' above the W end of the Lake of Menteith. Crop marks reveal two ditches defining the whole of the NW side, 693' in length, and some 580' of the SW side, together with the rounded W and N angles. There is a central NW gate, on either side of which the ditches curve inwards. Two ditches, which continue from the N angle across sloping ground to the edge of the lake, presumably define an annexe. A section across the defences on the NW front, showed the ditches to be V-shaped and with a level space 5' wide between them. The outer is 12' wide and 5' deep, the inner 10' by 4', but the surface may have been lowered by ploughing. The area within the ditches seems to be a minimum of 9 acres, so the size of the fort may be close to that of the larger fort at Dalginross.

J K St Joseph 1969.

Further air reconnaissance in 1969-72 has revealed the two ditches forming the SE defences of the fort and two short ditches that swing out from the E angle to delimit the annexe. At the central SE gate, the ditches curve inwards and join, matching the NW gate. On the NE side, no ditches seem to have existed but the position of the rampart can be inferred from the kink in the ditches at the N and E angles. The space within the ditches, correcting previous measurements, is about 600' SW-NE by 490', an area of nearly seven acres.

The only extant features visible in 1972 in unploughed moorland round the S quadrant were a turf rampart, up to 12" high with great clods of earth attached, and a ditch. Both are so slight that all traces would be destroyed by ploughing.

J K St Joseph 1973.

There is no trace of the fort on the ground.

Visited by OS (J P) 28 April 1975.

NN 563 000 These crop-marks reveal the presence of a Roman fort and annexe, which occupy an area of 4.5ha.

RCAHMS 1979, visited December 1977

J K St Joseph 1969; J K St Joseph 1973


Geophysical Survey

NN 564 006 Resistance and magnetic surveys were conducted on the fort, which had previously been known only from the air. A clear image of the defences was obtained with signs of rampart re-entrants visible at some of the gates to parallel the re-entrant 'eagle beak' variation of the normal Flavian parrot beak ditch breaks known through aerial photography. The fort lies on the W side of the Lake of Menteith and the significant band of wetland that lies along the lake shore had prevented the formation of cropmarks and precluded the identification of the eastern side of the site. The survey was able to trace the N and S ditches right to the water’s edge without detecting a turn. At the same time, signs that the eastern end of the site might represent an annexe now seem unlikely, as no sign of a ditch and/or rampart could be detected that might represent the end of the fort proper, and signs of what might really be an annexe were discovered at the other end of the site, attached to the fort's SW corner. The fort therefore seems likely to be significantly bigger than had been thought, at c3.6ha over the inner ditch. Faint traces of internal buildings were revealed and faint suggestions from the air that the principia was sited in such a way that the fort faced W towards the lake, but with the retentura significantly smaller than the praetentura, were confirmed.

Outside the fort, clear images were obtained of parts of the two temporary camps, already known to exist on the site, with what are probably pits showing in the Stracathro type camp to the fort's S. A road was detected heading S, along with a number of possible roundhouse features and a c40 x 30m rectangular enclosure. There were large expanses of rig and furrow cultivation, both inside and outside the fort.

Archive: The Roman Gask Project

Funder: The Roman Gask Project

The Roman Gask Project


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