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Castlehill

Fortlet (Roman)(Possible), Roman Fort (Roman)

Site Name Castlehill

Classification Fortlet (Roman)(Possible), Roman Fort (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) Antonine Wall, Castlehill, Bearsden

Canmore ID 44510

Site Number NS57SW 1

NGR NS 52482 72614

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/44510

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

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council East Dunbartonshire
  • Parish New Kilpatrick (Bearsden And Milngavie)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Bearsden And Milngavie
  • Former County Dunbartonshire

Archaeology Notes

NS57SW 1.00 52482 72614

NS57SW 1.01 NS 523 729 Roman Pick

(NS 5250 7270) Fort (R) (site of)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1973)

The existence of a Roman fort on Castlehill was indicated by the discovery of a column-capital in 1847 and of an altar (NS57SW 9) in 1826. More recently, Dr St Joseph has observed from the air the south ditches, the south-east angle, and a short length of the east side of the fort. There is a gate about the centre of the south side. If the fort was attached to the south of the Wall, its size would be some 350' E-W by 425'. In 1970-1, Antonine pottery was found in the roots of fallen trees on the summit of Castlehill.

A S Robertson 1973; J K S St Joseph 1951; G Macdonald 1934.

No traces of a fort are visible at Castlehill, the area consisting of a tree plantation some 1.0m in height. Position of fort plotted from St Joseph air photograph.

Visited by OS (D S) 14 January 1957.

NS 524 726 Further pottery fragments were discovered beside tree roots in 1972 and 1974.

M C Jarvis 1974.

Dr Keppie suggests that there may be a fortlet on the very summit of Castle Hill, outwith the NW corner of the established fort area but still attached to the S side of the Antonine Wall. It is argued that from the dimensions given by the early antiquaries, with the exception of Maitland, they descibe this fortlet rather than the much larger fort, and that a raised area noted and depicted by Roy may still be visible as a turfed 'plateau' some 30m square.

L J F Keppie 1980.

The only ground trace of the fort may be a vague linear depression in the southern half of the plantation enclosure, which probably corresponds to the outer ditch lines of the W side of the fort.The E & S defences fall within featureless arable fields. At NS 5241 5271 is an apparently artificial swelling, very roughly square and of the dimensions given, but having no identifiable form or positive indications of antiquity.

Revised at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (J R L) 5 March 1982 and (M J F) 7 July 1980.

Activities

Artefact Recovery (1826)

The existence of a Roman fort on Castlehill was indicated by the discovery of an altar (NS57SW 9) in 1826.

G Macdonald 1934

Artefact Recovery (1847)

The existence of a Roman fort on Castlehill was further indicated by the discovery of a column-capital in 1847.

G Macdonald 1934

Aerial Photography (14 July 1947)

Aerial Photography (20 July 1947)

Aerial Photography (1951)

Dr St Joseph has observed from the air the south ditches, the south-east angle, and a short length of the east side of the fort. There is a gate about the centre of the south side. If the fort was attached to the south of the Wall, its size would be some 350' E-W by 425'.

J K S St Joseph 1951

Field Visit (14 January 1957)

No traces of a fort are visible at Castlehill, the area consisting of a tree plantation some 1.0m in height. Position of fort plotted from St Joseph air photograph.

Visited by OS (D S) 14 January 1957.

Artefact Recovery (1970 - 1971)

In 1970-1, Antonine pottery was found in the roots of fallen trees on the summit of Castlehill.

A S Robertson 1973

Artefact Recovery (1972 - 1974)

NS 524 726 Further pottery fragments were discovered beside tree roots in 1972 and 1974.

M C Jarvis 1974.

Field Visit (7 July 1980)

The only ground trace of the fort may be a vague linear depression in the southern half of the plantation enclosure, which probably corresponds to the outer ditch lines of the W side of the fort. The E & S defences fall within featureless arable fields. At NS 5241 5271 is an apparently artificial swelling, very roughly square and of the dimensions given, but having no identifiable form or positive indications of antiquity.

Revised at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (M J F) 7 July 1980.

Publication Account (1980)

Dr Keppie suggests that there may be a fortlet on the very summit of Castle Hill, outwith the NW corner of the established fort area but still attached to the S side of the Antonine Wall. It is argued that from the dimensions given by the early antiquaries, with the exception of Maitland, they descibe this fortlet rather than the much larger fort, and that a raised area noted and depicted by Roy may still be visible as a turfed 'plateau' some 30m square.

L J F Keppie 1980.

Field Visit (5 March 1982)

The only ground trace of the fort may be a vague linear depression in the southern half of the plantation enclosure, which probably corresponds to the outer ditch lines of the W side of the fort. The E & S defences fall within featureless arable fields. At NS 5241 5271 is an apparently artificial swelling, very roughly square and of the dimensions given, but having no identifiable form or positive indications of antiquity.

Revised at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (J R L) 5 March 1982.

Aerial Photography (28 July 2003)

Aerial Photography (8 August 2006)

Aerial Photography (10 November 2006)

Geophysical Survey (March 2008)

NS 5250 7270 Topographic, magnetic and resistivity surveys of much of the summit and eastern slope of the hill were carried out during March 2008. The magnetic survey detected the fort’s E and W gates, parts of the N, W and E defences, as well as traces of structures within the fort, but failed to find evidence for a fortlet in the NW corner of the fort. Among the features identified by the resistivity survey was an enclosure lying within the western part of the fort, possible entrances to that enclosure, and structures on the E side of the fort.

Richard Jones, Jeremy Huggett and Alan Leslie (Archaeology Department, Glasgow University), 2008

References

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