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Temporary Camp (Roman)

Site Name Keithock

Classification Temporary Camp (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) East Mains Of Keithock

Canmore ID 36037

Site Number NO66SW 1

NGR NO 61030 63880

NGR Description Centred NO 61030 63880

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Brechin
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Angus
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO66SW 1 centred NO 61030 63880

This temporary camp, which has been associated with the campaigns of the emperor Septimus Severus (c.AD 208-110), occupies gently sloping ground on the right bank of the Cruick Water immediately N of East Mains of Keithock farmhouse. Roughly trapezoidal on plan, it measures about 625m from NW to SE by 410m transversely, enclosing an area of some 25ha, and a small rectangular annexe about 1.1ha in area is attached to the NW side, Titula have been identified at four of the camp's six gates.

W Roy 1793; J K St Joseph 1969; RCAHMS 1983.

No trace.

Site surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS 1 September 1971.


Publication Account (17 December 2011)

The camp at Keithock was one of the camps discovered by Captain Robert Melville while travelling through Strathmore in August 1754 (Balfour-Melville 1917: 123n), and planned by Roy the following year (Roy 1793: Pl. XIV; Jones and Maxwell 2008; see above, Chapter 3). It is now known only through cropmarkings on air photographs.

The camp lies just to the south of the Cruick Water, across which, about 1.5km to the NNE , lies the fort and camp at Stracathro. It is situated on ground that slopes gently from the south-east to the north-west. The camp measures 640m from north-east to south-west by about 410m transversely, with the south-east side longer than that on the north-east. It encloses a total area of about 26ha (64 acres).

Tituli are visible on the south-east and south-west sides, with two on the north-east side suggesting that it had six gates in total. Both Roy and St Joseph also recorded a titulus on the north-west side, but this could not be confirmed on the available air photographs (1793: Pl. XIV; RCAHMS DC 37458).

An annexe is visible to the north of the entrance gap on the north-west side. This measures some 117m by 109m and encloses 1.27ha (3 acres).

St Joseph conducted a small excavation on the northeast side in 1967, recording that all but the bottom 13cm of the ditch had been ploughed away, but his section drawing indicated a ditch which was about 0.9m in width at the top (RCAHMS St Joseph Collection: Notebook 4).

R H Jones.


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