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Clydebank, Duntocher

Fortlet (Roman), Roman Fort (Roman)

Site Name Clydebank, Duntocher

Classification Fortlet (Roman), Roman Fort (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) Golden Hill Park; Antonine Wall, Golden Hill Park Roman Fort, Annexe And Bathhouse

Canmore ID 43265

Site Number NS47SE 12

NGR NS 4953 7264

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/43265

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council West Dunbartonshire
  • Parish Old Kilpatrick (Clydebank)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Clydebank
  • Former County Dunbartonshire

Archaeology Notes

NS47SE 12 4953 7264

See also NS47SE 83.00.

(NS 4953 7264) Roman Fort (site of)

OS 6" map (1957)

Roman fort - Golden Hill, Duntocher. Exploratory trenches cut in 1933 by Mr John Clarke revealed that the ramparts of the fort were probably of turf and not stone.

G Macdonald 1934

The fort was re-located by trenching in 1948 and further excavations between 1949-51 revealed its entire Antonine plan and the course of the Antonine Wall across Golden Hill Park.

The earliest structure was a fortlet 60ft square internally defended by a turf rampart set on a 12ft wide stone foundation and a surrounding ditch. Later, an irregularly shaped fort of only circa 1/2 acre internal area was added to the east side, the fortlet then serving as a small military enclosure. The fort was also defended by turf rampart set on a stone foundation, and by 3 ditches on the east, and south sides. An annexe with an internal area of almost twice that of the fort, adjoined it on the west. A central stone building of more than one period and two sets of barrack block post holes were found within the fort and building post holes were found in the fortlet.

The finds, all 2nd century, are with the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow. A full excavation report and early biblographic history are given by Robertson.

A S Robertson 1957

The site of the fort is now occupied by a park and football pitch and the surface has been so disturbed as to make it impossible to identify any features.

Visited by OS (DS) 17 January 1957

Air photographs show Golden Hill and vague vegetation mark detail of the fort and fortlet. In 1977-8 the stone base of the fortlet was exposed on behalf of Clydebank District Council, and in 1979 the Council created a "Roman Garden" north west of the fort.

A S Robertson 1979

No change to report of OS (DS). The recent exposures of the fortlet wall have been back filled, but a surrounding protection fence remains. There are no known plans for Clydebank District Council to permanently display or mark the site (information from D Breeze, Historic Scotland, December 1980).

The "Roman Garden" is an ornamental flower bed at NS 4958 7274. Sites of Fortlet and Fort re-surveyed at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (JRL) 19 December 1980

Possible pottery kiln.

D J Breeze 1987

A study of utilitarian pottery from the Antonine Wall has distinguished small numbers of locally made vessels with North African affinities at nine or 10 forts. Similar vessels at Chester and others made by Legio XX at the Holt works depot, one with a potter's graffito in neo-Punic, suggest the presence of North Africans. Detachments sent from Britain to Pius' Mauretanian war of AD 146-9 may have brought North Africans back with them to Britain (possibly including legionary recruits or transfers, and Moorish irregulars or levies). At the western sector of the Antonine Wall, changes in the legionary work-stints may be linked to troop reductions for the war, as the mural barrier and Bearsden and Duntocher fort interiors were still unfinished. After the conflict, Bearsden and Duntocher were each partitioned to make an annexe and their internal buildings re-planned and completed; a programme of annexe construction began at other forts, and secondary alterations were made to many existing fort interiors. All may be connected with changes in units or in the composition of the returning garrisons, now perhaps mixed and augmented with small numbers of North African troops. Possible epigraphic evidence is examined.

V Swan 1999.

Scheduled with length of Antoinine Wall [from NS 4940 7278 to NS 4960 7264] as Antonine Wall, Golden Hill Park Roman fort, annexe and bathhouse.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 2 February 1999.

NS 494 728 An archaeological evaluation was undertaken in November 2004 as the line of the Antonine Wall and its associated ditch might cross the SW edge of the site. The Roman fort of Golden Hill Park and its related bathhouse lie directly to the S. A total of 64m2 was investigated by means of evaluation trenches, though test pits were necessary in most areas to reach natural alluvial deposits. Modern made ground was identified to the S of the site, while made ground of 20th-century date and redeposited natural alluvial deposits associated with the burn were revealed in the N and E. No significant archaeological features or deposits were encountered.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: Stuart McElney.

M Roy 2004

Activities

Excavation (1933)

Roman fort - Golden Hill, Duntocher. Exploratory trenches cut in 1933 by Mr John Clarke revealed that the ramparts of the fort were probably of turf and not stone.

G Macdonald 1934

Excavation (1948 - 1951)

The fort was re-located by trenching in 1948 and further excavations between 1949-51 revealed its entire Antonine plan and the course of the Antonine Wall across Golden Hill Park.

The earliest structure was a fortlet 60ft square internally defended by a turf rampart set on a 12ft wide stone foundation and a surrounding ditch. Later, an irregularly shaped fort of only circa 1/2 acre internal area was added to the east side, the fortlet then serving as a small military enclosure. The fort was also defended by turf rampart set on a stone foundation, and by 3 ditches on the east, and south sides. An annexe with an internal area of almost twice that of the fort, adjoined it on the west. A central stone building of more than one period and two sets of barrack block post holes were found within the fort and building post holes were found in the fortlet.

The finds, all 2nd century, are with the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow. A full excavation report and early biblographic history are given by Robertson.

A S Robertson 1957

Field Visit (17 January 1957)

The site of the fort is now occupied by a park and football pitch and the surface has been so disturbed as to make it impossible to identify any features.

Visited by OS (DS) 17 January 1957

Excavation (1977 - 1978)

In 1977-8 the stone base of the fortlet was exposed on behalf of Clydebank District Council, and in 1979 the Council created a "Roman Garden" north west of the fort.

A S Robertson 1979

Aerial Photography (1978)

Air photographs show Golden Hill and vague vegetation mark detail of the fort and fortlet.

A S Robertson 1979

Field Visit (19 December 1980)

No change to report of OS (DS 1957). The recent exposures of the fortlet wall have been back filled, but a surrounding protection fence remains. There are no known plans for Clydebank District Council to permanently display or mark the site (information from D Breeze, Historic Scotland, December 1980).

The "Roman Garden" is an ornamental flower bed at NS 4958 7274. Sites of Fortlet and Fort re-surveyed at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (JRL) 19 December 1980

Reference (1987)

Possible pottery kiln.

D J Breeze 1987

Reference (2 February 1999)

Scheduled with length of Antoinine Wall [from NS 4940 7278 to NS 4960 7264] as Antonine Wall, Golden Hill Park Roman fort, annexe and bathhouse.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 2 February 1999.

Reference (1999)

A study of utilitarian pottery from the Antonine Wall has distinguished small numbers of locally made vessels with North African affinities at nine or 10 forts. Similar vessels at Chester and others made by Legio XX at the Holt works depot, one with a potter's graffito in neo-Punic, suggest the presence of North Africans. Detachments sent from Britain to Pius' Mauretanian war of AD 146-9 may have brought North Africans back with them to Britain (possibly including legionary recruits or transfers, and Moorish irregulars or levies). At the western sector of the Antonine Wall, changes in the legionary work-stints may be linked to troop reductions for the war, as the mural barrier and Bearsden and Duntocher fort interiors were still unfinished. After the conflict, Bearsden and Duntocher were each partitioned to make an annexe and their internal buildings re-planned and completed; a programme of annexe construction began at other forts, and secondary alterations were made to many existing fort interiors. All may be connected with changes in units or in the composition of the returning garrisons, now perhaps mixed and augmented with small numbers of North African troops. Possible epigraphic evidence is examined.

V Swan 1999.

Aerial Photography (8 September 2006)

RCAHMS aerial survey of the site

Publication Account (2008)

A 1:25000 scale map of the Antonine Wall was published by RCAHMS in 2008. The map shows the course of the Antonine Wall on a modern map base, including areas where the Wall is in public ownership or care and can be visited. The data had been collated as part of the project to prepare maps for the World Heritage Site nomination bid.

Watching Brief (29 May 2012 - 10 August 2012)

Archaeological monitoring was required for Scottish Water Shared Services in support of the sewer repairs at Roman Road, Duntocher. The proposed study area at Duntocher, West Dunbartonshire currently exists as the grounds and car park for the Antonine Sports Centre. This area does not, according to the West of Scotland Archaeology Service and Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, contain any known archaeological sites. However substantial Roman archaeological remains are present to the immediate East and North. The main monument is the remains of the Golden Hill section of the Antonine wall (Canmore ID 43265) and the Golden Hill Roman Fort, annexe and bathhouse (Canmore ID 43317). In the course of the works extensive areas of made ground and elements of 19th and 20th century structures were encountered to the south of the Duntocher Burn. To the north of the burn additional walls were located, while only short sections of these walls were exposed they may be of earlier origin than the 19th century. No significant archaeological finds were recovered during the course of these works.

Information from Oasis (rathmell1-120674) 26 March 2013

Geophysical Survey (August 2016)

NS 4953 7264 A magnetic and electrical resistance survey within and to the N of the fort was carried out in August 2016 to reconsider aspects of Anne Robertson’s interpretation of the layout of the fort based on her excavations in the 1950s. The results have highlighted several discrepancies, including

the presence of a triple ditch in front of the Antonine Wall, rather than the two proposed by Robertson, and a causeway across the triple ditch from the fortlet’s N gate rather than from Robertson’s N gate of the fort. The results also prompt a reconsideration of the spatial relationship of the fort with respect to the fortlet. Unexpected findings were a structure (c20 x 16m) S of the fortlet and more than two structures located in the supposed annexe area of the fort.

Report: WoSAS (intended)

Funder: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Richard Jones – University of Glasgow

(Source: DES, Volume 17)

Watching Brief (30 March 2016 - 23 September 2016)

These archaeological works were carried out as a requirement of (NS 49465Scheduled Monument Consent (Reference/Case ID 201507447) in support of the enhancement project within Goldenhill Park, Duntocher. They were designed to mitigate the impact on the archaeological remains from the renewal of the fence enclosure and works to improve the presentation of the wall base section within the enclosure.

The watching brief confirmed that the fence renewal was delivered in a manner that did not adversely affect the Scheduled Monument. Further, the insertion of gravel lined gullies to the front and rear of the wall did not disturb significant archaeological strata – though a sherd of samian ware was recovered. Community involvement through talks, guided tours and test pits (outwith the Scheduled Monument) sought to promote the works.

No other significant archaeological features or artefacts were disturbed by the works.

Information from OASIS ID: rathmell1-241870 (L McKinstry) 2016

Archaeological Evaluation (17 January 2017 - 26 January 2017)

Archaeological test pitting was carried out to inform the design of access improvement works at Goldenhill Park, Duntocher. Test pits predominantly exposed natural soil profiles or those altered in the 20th century. Potential ex situ wall base fabric was noted in one test pit to the W of the fort. Four sherds of pottery were recovered from a test pit within the fortlet, that also exposed the internal cobbled or metalled surface of the fortlet.

Information from Oasis (rathmell1-274826) 14 March 2018

Watching Brief (6 March 2017 - 2 June 2017)

Archaeological works comprising the monitoring of the implementation of access improvement works were carried out at Golden Hill Park Roman fort, annexe, and bathhouse in Duntocher, Clydebank. The access improvement works exposed natural soil profiles or those altered in the 20th century as part of park landscaping. No significant archaeology was discovered during the course of the works.

Information from OASIS ID: rathmell1-286568 (J Durnan) 2017

References

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