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Watch Tower (Roman)

Site Name Westerton

Classification Watch Tower (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) Gask Ridge

Canmore ID 25377

Site Number NN81SE 7

NGR NN 87309 14593

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Muthill
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN81SE 7 8731 1457.

Excavation of this watch tower, previously identified from the air, showed it to be a circular enclosure c.14m in diameter defined by a 'Punic' ditch c.0.8m deep and between 1.5 and 3.0m wide, with an entrance gap to the south-east. There was no trace of an internal bank. In the interior a rectangular tower measuring c.3.5 by 2.5m was represented by four post-pits. Two foundation-trenches between the two pits nearest the entrance perhaps supported a ladder.

J K St Joseph 1951; F O Grew 1981

The site falls on a small rounded hillock, there are no ground surface indications of this watch tower.

Visited by OS 22 April 1975

Excavation was undertaken in 1979 to obtain dating evidence and a complete plan. The four-post tower was more elongated in plan than anticipated and was provided at the front with steps giving access to the first-floor level, a feature not readily paralleled in excavated towers anywhere in the Roman empire. The one fragment of probable mortarium recovered from the single enclosing ditch is commensurate with a Flavian ditch. Disturbance of the post-holes indicated that the tower had been deliberately demolished.

W S Hanson and J G P Friell 1995


Field Visit (25 November 1997)

NN81SE 7 8731 1457.

The site of this Roman watch tower, which was first recorded as a cropmarking on oblique aerial photographs (CUCAP, RCAHMSAP 1976, 1983) and subsequently excavated (St Joseph 1951), lies on the crest of a ridge to the NNE of Westerton. The watch tower is situated immediately to the W of the highest point of the ridge, but has a commanding aspect to the NE and SW along the line of the Roman road. The line of the road (NN 81 SE 11, RR 7) is visible on the photographs as two roughly parallel lines of quarry pits, with the watch tower lying on the line of the NW row of quarry pits.

Visited by RCAHMS (DCC) 25 November 1997

J K St Joseph 1951

Aerial Photographic Transcription (6 December 2018)

An interpretative transcription, or mapping, of information on oblique aerial photographs was produced on 6 December 2018.


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