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Barochan Hill

Roman Fort (Roman)

Site Name Barochan Hill

Classification Roman Fort (Roman)

Canmore ID 43107

Site Number NS46NW 17

NGR NS 41480 69060

NGR Description Centred NS 41480 69060

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Renfrewshire
  • Parish Houston
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Renfrew
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS46NW 17 centred 41480 69060

(NS 4135 6904) The remains of a Roman fort are situated on the summit of Barochan Hill at 200ft OD, partly in scrubby woodland and partly in arable land. Rectangular on plan and measuring about 168m E-W by 96m N-S, it faces E with a gateway in the centre of that side. Trial excavations revealed two pits close to the S rampart, one (rectangular) for puddling clay; the other (circular), a slow oven for firing bricks. These bricks were built along the edge of the heavy foundations of a central building. The fort defences comprise a single stony rampart spread to about 10m, but with no outlying ditches - only a palisade trench at the SE angle which can be seen to be developing into a ditch in the E field.

Information from F Newall letter to R W Feachem, 30 September 1972.

In 1953 a piece of (? 1st century AD) glass bead was picked up by R W Feachem on the site, and donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) in 1958 (Accession no: FR 668). (See NS46NW 4 - Roman patera found nearby).

A S Robertson 1970

Exploration of the S side of a defended enclosure whose W, N and E sides had been detected from air photographs showed to be a Roman fort of circa 1.3 hectares (3.2 acres). The S rampart was of turf and clay fronted by a palisade trench. Location of two internal buildings would indicate that the fort faced W. The date of construction was given by Agricolan pottery recovered from a tile kiln and puddling pit.

D R Wilson 1973; F Newall and A Hallifax-Crawford 1972

Photographed from the air by RCAHMS in 1977.

A fragment of a Samian bowl was found in the SE corner of the fort.

F Newall and W Lonie 1979

Work continued at the West Gate. The street inside this was 3.6m wide. Both north and south of the gate burnt material behind the rampart, overlaid by burnt red clay suggested use of these areas for ovens.

North of the gate two large pits, belonging probably to the construction phase, suggested by their contents that tile-making may have been undertaken nearby. Flavian date of the fort is confirmed.

S S Frere 1987.

The eastern half of the fort and all of the annexe have been ploughed for the first time since 1988, having been in 'set aside' for five years; barley has been planted. Fieldwalking revealed no Roman small finds, but burnt clay and charcoal were observed immediately behind the N rampart of the fort, and close to its NE corner.

L J F Keppie and M J Robb 1993.


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