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Drumquhassle

Roman Fort (Roman)

Site Name Drumquhassle

Classification Roman Fort (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) Easter Drumquhassle, Roman Fort And Annexe

Canmore ID 43408

Site Number NS48NE 13

NGR NS 48430 87444

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/43408

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

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Drymen
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Stirlingshire

Archaeology Notes

NS48NE 13 48430 87444

NS 48430 87444 Roman Fort (Site), Drumquhassle: Crop-marks have revealed a small Roman fort of Agricolan date which, together with a number of annexes, occupies an area of about 6 ha. There is nothing to be seen on the ground.

RCAHMS 1979, visited September 1978.

Trial excavation confirmed that the fort measured approximately 110m by 130m over the rampart. There was only one period of occupation, at the close of which the defences were deliberately slighted; pottery of the late 1st century AD was recovered from the innermost ditch on the E side.

RCAHMS 1978.

NS 484 876 Sand and gravel extraction at Drumbeg Quarry encroached on part of the annexe on the N side of the fort. Cleaning of the exposed face revealed three areas of archaeological interest. Two appeared to be the annexe ditch, recut at least once, cut obliquely by the section. An iron boot stud or nail head and a fragment of pottery or daub were recovered from one of the cuts. The third area was a shallow natural depression, outside the annexe, filled with waterlogged waste organic material and containing sherds of pottery and glass.

Topsoil, and material from both ditches and layers from above the waterlogged deposits, had been dumped on the annexe beside the quarry section. Finds from the surface of the spoil tips include sherds of samian, mortaria, amphora, coarse greyware and redware. One sherd of a terra nigra platter was also recovered, as were shards of glass and a glass bead. Among the other finds are two small flint blades. The spoil tips were removed from the annexe in August 1997 under archaeological supervision by Alba Archaeology Ltd.

Sponsor: Tulloch Capital (Quarry Products) Ltd

J S Rideout 1997

NS 484 874 Recent finds from the site (NMRS NS48NE 13) and its vicinity by Drymen & District Local History Society (1998) and by Mr W Kerr and Mr J Stevenson (1998-2000) have included coins of the emperors Titus and Domitian (reinforcing the suspected 1st-century AD date of the fort), clay slingshot, a possible surgical instrument, the terminal of a 'patera' stamped for P Cipius Polibius, a copper-alloy harness mount, a lead weight, samian, amphora, and coarse pottery. Claimed as Treasure Trove (TT 63/99 and 66/99) and allocated to the Hunterian Museum.

L J F Keppie 2000.

Scheduled as Drumquhassle, Roman fort and annexe 300m NNW of Easter Drumquhassle.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 16 August 2001.

NS 484 872 Large-scale geophysical survey revealed a clearer image of the Roman fort than previously seen from the air. It has a double ditch with so-called 'parrot beak' entrance breaks. The fort measures c 111m E-W by 133m over the inner ditch: an area of c 1.47ha (3.6 acres). Ditches to the N and S have been interpreted as one or more annexes. The survey was able to trace a further 210m of one of these ditches, right past the fort's eastern side, and there are signs that these features might join the fort's southern outer ditch.

About 50m to the E of the fort, faint traces of a 20m2 rectangular enclosure were found, around a copious spring that is the closest water source to the site. At present there is no evidence to confirm a Roman date, but it could represent a springhead structure of some sort.

A number of artefacts were picked up from molehills inside the SE quadrant of the fort, including sling bullets similar to those already recovered from the same part of the site, and an enamelled Roman brooch.

Sponsors: Roman Gask Project, Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.

D J Woolliscroft 2004

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