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Auchendavy

Enclosure(S) (Roman)

Site Name Auchendavy

Classification Enclosure(S) (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) Auchendavy-hillhead

Canmore ID 260438

Site Number NS67SE 12.01

NGR NS 674 750

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/260438

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2018.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Dunbartonshire
  • Parish Kirkintilloch (Strathkelvin)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Strathkelvin
  • Former County Dunbartonshire

Activities

Watching Brief (May 1999)

NS 6747 7504 In May 1999 Headland Archaeology Ltd carried out an archaeological watching brief during the construction of the Kelvin Valley Sewer. A possible Roman enclosure was discovered NW of the Antonine Wall at Auchendavy. This section of the sewer ran along the foot of the slope below Auchendavy Farm, 100m N of the Antonine Wall and adjacent to the River Kelvin. Access to this section of the sewer required the creation of two temporary roads over the line of the Antonine Wall and the opportunity was taken to confirm its precise position at these points (At NS 6742 7492 (see NS67SE 42.00) and at NS 6817 7516) Monitoring during the stripping of the way-leave for the pipe trench identified archaeological features over a 150m section. The majority of features uncovered appeared to form part of a medieval or later field enclosure system. Three stratigraphically earlier ditches contained only Roman artefacts and their close proximity to the Antonine Wall and Roman fort (see NS67SE 12) at Auchendavy suggested that they might be contemporary with the frontier wall.

A machine-excavated trench was opened along the length of the proposed route for both access roads along the Antonine Wall; both were stripped of topsoil and hand-cleaned in order to confirm the position of the Rampart and Ditch so that they could be protected during construction of the access roads. Both the Rampart base and Ditch were revealed in Access Road 16 (At NS 6817 9516) just N of the B8023 road, confirming the assumed location of the Antonine Wall. Preservation of the Rampart base was extremely poor with only a small number of stones remaining. Only the Ditch (see NS67SE 42.00 at NS 6742 7491) was uncovered at Access Road 14 (at NS 6742 7516). It was recorded further S than expected and this indicates that the Wall curves to the SW.

M Hastie 2002

A Dunwell, G Bailey, A Leslie, A Smith 2002.

Watching Brief (May 1999)

NS67NE 12.01 674 750.

See also NS67NE 21.00 and NS67SE 42.00.

In May 1999 Headland Archaeology Ltd carried out an archaeological watching brief during the construction of the Kelvin Valley Sewer. A possible Roman enclosure was discovered NW of the Antonine Wall at Auchendavy. This section of the sewer ran along the foot of the slope below Auchendavy Farm, 100m N of the Antonine Wall and adjacent to the River Kelvin. Access to this section of the sewer required the creation of two temporary roads over the line of the Antonine Wall (see NS67SE 42.00 and NS67NE 21.00) and the opportunity was taken to confirm its precise position at these points (At NS 6742 7492 and at NS 6817 7516). Monitoring during the stripping of the way-leave for the pipe trench identified archaeological features over a 150m section. The majority of features uncovered appeared to form part of a medieval or later field enclosure system. However, three stratigraphically earlier ditches contained only Roman artefacts and their close proximity to the Antonine Wall and Roman fort (see NS67SE 12) at Auchendavy suggested that they might be contemporary with the frontier wall.

In the excavated area (4000sq m) to the N of the Antonine Wall 22 features were recorded. The majority of the features appeared to form part of a series of enclosures. One ditch contained a fragment of medieval pottery. Three ditches were noticeably different in character from the rest. Two of these contained fragments of Roman pottery indicating an Antonine date.

Three distinctive ditches were uncovered to the NE end of the excavated area. The most substantial ditch was aligned NE to SW and ran for 60m before disappearing under the SW baulk. Sections across this ditch revealed a V-shaped cut with steep sides. The second ditch was aligned NW to SE. It ran for 18m before petering out at the SE end. The ditch was U-shaped in profile with steep side and a narrow base. The third ditch was located to the S of the first ditch. It was slightly curved on plan and 10m of its length was visible in the trench, before it ran under the S baulk. The ditch profile was very similar to the second ditch, being u-shaped with steep sides, but it was smaller.

There are three possible explanations fir these ditches, taking into account their location, size and layout. They could be part of a Roman temporary camp; extra defensive features to strengthen this section of the wall; or field enclosures associated with the fort at Auchendavy. However, the dimensions and layout of the ditches appear to correspond well with a number of excavated Roman field systems. These enclosures or plots have been recorded close to Roman forts associated with the Antonine Wall, for example at Carriden (Keppie et al 1995)(see NT08SW 7), and SE of Rough Castle (Mate 1995)(see NS87NW 6). They generally consist of arrangements of sub-rectangular ditched enclosures characterized by rounded angles and slightly offset junction (Keppie et al 1995). The morphology and characteristics of the field system at Carriden are very similar to those of the enclosure uncovered at Auchendavy and it is possible that these ditches represent the remains of a field system associated with a vicus located just N of Auchendavy Roman fort.

M Hastie 2002

A Dunwell, G Bailey, A Leslie, A Smith 2002; L Keppie, B Bailey, A Dunwell, J McBrien and K Speller 1995; I D Mate 1995.

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