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Tamfourhill - Callendar Park, Antonine Wall

Culvert(S) (Roman), Frontier Defence (Roman)

Site Name Tamfourhill - Callendar Park, Antonine Wall

Classification Culvert(S) (Roman), Frontier Defence (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) Rough Castle; Falkirk, Blinkbonny Road To Frobisher Avenue; Falkirk, Southern Link Road

Canmore ID 46745

Site Number NS87NE 57

NGR NS 8750 7999

NGR Description From NS 8500 7992 to NS 9000 7958

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/46745

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

  • Council Falkirk
  • Parish Falkirk
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Falkirk
  • Former County Stirlingshire

Archaeology Notes

NS87NE 57.00 8500 7992 to 9000 7958 (formerly RRX 505)

NS87NE 57.01 NS 8500 7984 to NS 8527 7974 Antonine Wall, Military Way

See also NS87NE 29 and NS87NE 46.

NS 891 795 Observation of a building site in Arnot St., on the line predicted for the Wall by Macdonald (1934) disclosed no trace of it. The Wall therefore either continued directly west from Callendar Park or else passed at least 30m farther S.

D J Breeze 1971; G Macdonald 1934; D R Wilson 1972.

NS 873 800 Construction of Falkirk's southern link road destroyed a 45m length of the Antonine Wall. The stone base was completely stripped over this distance. It proved to be in a commendable state, except that the S kerb had been removed and the core disfigured by twin electricity cables. The base had a width of 4.5m. Excavation located three culverts through the stone base, which was 4.5m wide. The N kerb had been repaired. It had been taken up and relaid 0.5m further N. The Wall was of clayey soil revetted by turf cheeks. The ditch was 12m wide, and its upcast had been spread out to N over at least 11m.

S S Frere 1977; L J F Keppie 1976.

NS 8500 7992 to NS 8550 7982 Published survey (OS 25 inch 1961) revised. Rampart, Ditch and Outer Mound are generally well defined. The Rampart survives up to 1.5m high, and the Ditch is c. 12m to 14m wide and up to 3m deep.

NS 8550 7982 to NS 8568 7983 Published survey revised. Rampart, Ditch and Outer Mound are all well defined, with the Rampart up to 1.5m high and the Ditch c. 12m wide and 2.5m deep. There has been recent damage to the Rampart and the Ditch at the eastern end of this sector caused by vehicle encroachment.

NS 8568 7983 to NS 8579 7983 The only extant remains comprise the north scarp of the Outer Bank. Otherwise there is no trace across open woodland - slopes are shown on 1st edition of the OS 2 and a half inch map (Stirlingshire 1860, sheet 30/2).

NS 8579 7983 to NS 8600 7988 Published survey (OS 50 inch 1977) revised. The Ditch, c. 12m wide and up to 3m deep, and Outer Bank, are well defined but the Rampart is only intermittently extant, to a maximum height of 1m.

NS 8600 7989 to NS 8611 7988 Published survey revised. The Ditch, only, survives up to 12m wide and about 2m deep. There is a slight but distinct alignment change at NS 8600 7989.

NS 8607 7987 Excavation prior to road realignment in 1973 located the S kerb of the Wall base (L J F Keppie 1978).

NS 8611 7988 to NS 8624 7982 Published line resurveyed. Extant but denuded and overgrown remains of the Ditch are up to 12m wide and about 3m deep on the W side of Watling Lodge, but they deteriorate further W. The scarp on the N side of the Ditch is natural.

The alignment angle at NS 8617 7986 was deduced from the resurvey, and the amorphous spread of the Rampart on the E side of Tamfourhill Cottage. On the 2nd edition of the OS 2 and a half inch map and subsequent maps show the extant direction of the Wall here.

NS 8624 7982 to NS 8630 7982 Published line resurveyed. Only the S side of the Ditch is discernible, and this is now a severely landscaped garden feature of Watling Lodge.

NS 8625 7981 Wall base uncovered during excavations at Watling Lodge fortlet (see NS87NE 7) (D J Breeze 1972-4).

NS 8630 7982 to NS 8663 7984 (see also NS87NE 52) Published survey (OS 50 inch 1969) revised. Ditch, denuded in places but generally well defined, is from 12m to 15m wide and up to 5m deep. Vague swelling of the Rampart line is confused by a later bank with trees. There is a slight but distinct alignment change at NS 8642 7983. Under Scottish Development Department (Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments) Guardianship.

NS 8650 7982 to NS c.8663 7983 The wall base was traced from W of Port Downie to Watling Lodge. Well preserved, it has a standard width of 15ft and a forward berm of some 20ft (DES 1961).

NS 8663 7984 to NS 8677 7984 Published course revised. There is no known evidence for the course between these points, but there is no suggestion from the extent remains and ground topography at NS 8663 7984 of an alignment change. Therefore the extant alignment has been projected to point NS 8677 7984 where the first natural alignment position should occur, on higher ground.

NS 8677 7984 to NS 8700 7993 Published course (OS 50 inch 1972) revised. Newly assessed alignment angles at NS 8677 7984 and on NS 8711 7998 agree with the observation at NS 8691 7990 and the distinct sunken road line of Strachan Street which almost certainly indicates the former Ditch course. The 1918 edition of the OS 2 and a half inch map also shows the probable landscaped slopes of the Outer Mound parallel to this revised course, and the alignment angle on the NS 8711 7998 which is clearly indicated. Macdonald (1934) appears to have merely endorsed the OS line that expediently linked extant remains.

NS 8684 7988 Sewer trenches laid across the line of the Wall and Ditch in 1953 revealed no traces of either. The negative result may have been caused by a nearby small stream (Hunter 1953).

NS 8686 7989 Ditch appears as a hollow, first ascending and then descending within the grounds of Glenfuir (Macdonald 1934).

NS 8691 7990 A dip in a fence line denotes the course of the Ditch passing out of Glenfuir policies (see information from OS 1957).

NS 8700 7994 to NS 8719 7999 Published course (OS 50 inch 1976) revised. OS 2 and a half inch 1862 and RAF verticle aerial photographs (106G/ SCOT/ UK10, frame nos. 5094-5, 1946) show Ditch and Outer Mound continuing on the same alignment as the extant remains at Bantaskin for a short distance beyond the gardens fronting Blinkbonny Road. At NS 8713 7998 the hollow of the Ditch, some 20m broad, was noted against a back garden wall in 1957 (see information from OS 1957). The 1862 and later maps show a distinct turn to the SW near the former drive to Glenfuir House (i.e. at NS 8711 7997). From here the course must have run straight to NS 8677 7984.

NS 8719 7999 to NS 8732 8000 The spread hollow of the Ditch is fairly well defined; interrupted by new road constructions. Resurveyed at 1:1250.

NS 8720 7998 Wall sectioned in 1916. S kerb found and berm was not more than 15ft (4.5m) wide (Macdonald 1934).

NS 8727 8000 Excavation, prior to the destruction of a 45m length of the Wall in 1976, revealed the wall-base to be 4.67m wide, the berm 8.25m, the Ditch 12m , and the upcast from the Ditch on the N side to have spread to 11m (Keppie 1975-6).

NS 8732 8000 to NS 8750 8000 The tree-covered Ditch is up to 3m deep and has an average width of 12m. No trace of Rampart. Published survey correct. The N scarp of the Ditch [located in map sheet NS88SE] is from 0.5m to 1.5 high, and is fairly well defined.

NS 8745 8000 Part of the N bank of the Ditch [located in map sheet NS88SE] has been cut down to accommodate a gravelled walkway (Robertson 1979).

NS 8750 8000 to NS 8755 7999 The denuded remains of the Ditch, covered by dense vegetation, are up to 0.5m high on the N side and 2m on the S. There is no trace of the Rampart. Resurveyed at 1:1250. [N side of Ditch is included in map sheet NS88SW]

NS 8755 7999 to NS 8788 7999 Published course revised. The exact course is not in doubt and the Ditch was intermittently extant as late as the early 1960s (see OS 25 inch 1961 and previous editions).

NS 8775 7998 In 1916 several sections were cut across the line of the Rampart within the policies of Bantaskin (Macdonald 1934).

NS 8787 7997 Wall sectioned in 1916 (Macdonald 1934).

NS 8788 7999 to NS 8800 7998 Published survey (OS 50 inch 1967) revised. Macdonald's surveyed line (Macdonald 1934) is correct; subsequent OS plans introduced an erroneous southwards curve. The vague hollow of the S side of the Ditch is still visible within the N garden wall of 'Mayfield'.

NS 8794 7997 Wall foundations uncovered in grounds of 'Mayfield' when tree was uprooted (Macdonald 1934).

NS 8800 7998 to NS 8823 7998 Published survey revised. No physical evidence of the course is known; although the general line is not in doubt. The existing course is too southerly, placing the Wall on the very edge of a S-facing escarpment. The nature and location of Arnothill Lane must indicate the general position of the Ditch-line.

NS 8823 7998 to NS 8850 7982 Published survey (OS 50 inch 1968) revised. With the exception of the dubious evidence at NS 8840 7988 (the house is built on a N-facing slope), no physical evidence of the course is known, although its general line is not in doubt. The previously published line is topographically unsound, descending a slope at an acute angle, and is refuted in any case by the excavations at the Howgate (see NS 8850 7982). The revised line maintains the obvious ridge-top position.

NS 8840 7988 Subsidence-affected house foundations indicate probable course of Ditch (Macdonald 1934).

NS 8848 7981 The point at which the West Burn of Falkirk passed through the Antonine Wall was examined. The wide, shallow burn was first canalized and then culverted by the Wall builders. The culvert was of larger than usual construction with capping stones measuring up to 90cm by 70cm in size. Two culverts of the size normally associated with the Wall lay 1.5m and 3.6m to the W. The S half of the Wall base and the main culvert were sealed with puddle clay to keep the Wall foundation watertight. The S part of the Wall was also given an extra foundation of rounded cobbles. The burn itself was canalized for some distance to the N of the Wall. A shallow depression set hard up against the N kerb of the Wall base may represent the butt end of the frontier Ditch. This section of the Wall appears to have been dismantled upon abandonment with the large capping stones placed in stacks of two to three to the N of the Wall, adjacent to the burn. The whole area was subsequently covered with sand and gravel brought in by the flooding burn (Bailey 1989).

NS 8830 7992 A ditch butting on to the south side of the rampart was located by excavation. It was 0.6m deep from the surrounding natural, but owing to the severe restrictions of the site it was not possible to determine its width (Bailey 1991).

NS 8850 7982 to NS 8900 7968 Published survey (OS 50 inch 1968) revised. Optimum positions for alignment angle exist at both NS 8850 7982 and NS 8900 7968 (at or above the old East and West Burns respectively) and between them runs the relatively narrow ridge where the remains have been proved, if not the exact course. The direct revised line replaces the unsubstantiated meanderings of the previously published course and agrees with the re-measured findings at NS 8850 7982 and NS 8875 7975 while retaining sympathy with NS 8873 7976 and NS 8881 7973.

No further information was obtained as to the existence of a fort in the Pleasance area (see NS87NE 8).

NS 8850 7982 Several trenches cut on published course (Macdonald 1934) on an empty plot at Howgate proved entirely negative. More southerly course suggested. (Keppie and Murray 1979).

NS 8873 7976 Of numerous subsidence cases cited by Macdonald in this central Falkirk area, he takes reinforced foundations of the two westernmost houses in Booth Place as the most reliable evidence for the Ditch course which he suggests must turn N here (Macdonald 1915, 1934).

NS 8875 7975 Base of Wall 15ft. (4.5m) wide excavation in grounds of 'Rosehall', running SE by E (exact location measurements given) (Macdonald 1915, 1934).

NS 8881 7973 Wall uncovered about 1859 at Wallfield Cottage and adjoining property in Booth Place (no location measurements given)(ONB 1859).

NS 8900 7968 to NS 8911 7954 Published course revised. Rejecting the now doubtful evidence at NS 8910 7959, this is the most natural edge-of-slope line that incorporates the findings at NS 8903 7965 and allows for the assumed alignment angle at NS 8911 7954 where the change of slope and nature of the butt-end ditch NS 8911 7956 dictate a probable sharp turn.

NS 8903 7965 Subsidence reported at Woodside when built (Macdonald 1934).

NS 8910 7959 Macdonald located a depression with loose fill and vegetable matter and took this as evidence of Ditch line. (Sections across the corresponding area in 1971 -see NS 8911 7956- found nothing.) (Macdonald 1915).

NS 8911 7956 Butt-ended ditch segment located in 1971; thought to be the Antonine Ditch. (Alignment secured at NS 8917 7954 almost certainly proves this correct) (Breeze 1974-5).

NS 8911 7954 to NS 8921 7954 Published course revised. Alignment secured and surveyed at 1:1250 during excavations in 1980 (see NS 8917 7954 and NS87NE 15) The Ditch section at NS 8911 7956 falls on this alignment. The area is now developed, but kerbing of the Wall-base is permanently displayed at NS 8917 7954.

NS 8917 7954 Wall-base and Ditch excavated (and their alignment secured for a distance of about 30m) during excavation of a Roman building in 1980 (see NS87NE 15) (Keppie and Murray 1980).

NS 8921 7954 to NS 8945 7966 Published survey revised. The evidence of NS 8921 7954, NS 8932 7959 and NS 8936 7963 is consistent with soil marks on RAF vertical aerial photographs (106G/ SCOT/ UK10, frame nos. 5097-8, 1946). There is no evidence to support the curving course as formerly published. The area is severely landscaped and developed.

NS 8921 7954 Portion of Wall kerb found in situ near park wall (Macdonald 1915).

NS 8932 7959 Spreads of stone, some 14ft wide found in various places parallel with the slight depression of the Ditch, taken as evidence of the Wall course (Macdonald 1915).

NS 8932 7969 Former artificial gully accepted as Ditch on early OS maps refuted as such by Macdonald. Trenching along S side failed to locate a rampart (Macdonald 1915).

The scant remains of the former E-W trench comprise a short, landscaped length of the N slope; surveyed at 1:1250. The amorphous remains of what appears to be the spoil bank occur on the N side.

This trench was largely effaced by landscaping in the 1960's, but as late as 1957 (see information from OS 1957) its form was impressive enough for it still to be considered a possible alternative Ditch line. Although the established line is to the S, no satisfactory non-archaeological explanation of origin has been proffered. And its potential significance remains. The 1st edition of the OS 2 and a half inch (Stirlingshire 1860, sheet 30/4) indicates that it may have once continued to the steep scarp of the East Burn.

NS 8936 7963 Ditch located by trenching (exact location measurements give) (Macdonald 1915).

NS 8945 7966 to NS 8950 7965 Published survey (OS 50 inch 1970) revised. Disturbed ground, on the continued straight of the extant Ditch further E, shows in landscaped parkland and is distinct on RAF vertical aerial photographs (106G/ SCOT/ UK10, frame nos. 5097-8, 1946). See also slope detail on 1st and 2nd editions of the OS 2 and a half inch maps.

NS 8950 7965 to NS 8964 7963 Ditch is extant across parkland but fades to the W, averaging 14m broad and 3m deep; there is no trace of the Rampart or Outer Mound. Resurvey at 1:1250 proves the same alignment.

NS 896 795 Further work (Keppie and Walker 1981, 6) confirmed the alignment of the Wall within the policies of the former College of Education. The Military Way appeared at one point to incorporate a number of post-settings, but their purpose could not be established (Keppie and Walker 1982).

NS 8964 7963 to NS 9000 7958 Ditch is extant across parkland, averaging 14m broad and 3m deep; there is no trace of the Rampart. The Outer Mound has almost been levelled, but is still discernible within a coniferous belt, being about 15m wide by about 1m high on the S side and 0.4m high on the N. Published survey (OS 50 inch 1968) revised.

NS 8966 7965 to NS 8976 7963 Outer Mound, as well as the Ditch, is prominent (Macdonald 1934).

Information from OS 1980

G Bailey 1989, 1991; D J Breeze 1972-4, 1974-5; DES 1961; D M Hunter 1953; L J F Keppie 1978; L J F Keppie and J F Murray 1979, 1980; L J F Keppie and J J Walker 1981, 1982; Macdonald 1915, 1934; ONB 1859; A S Robertson 1979

NS 892 795 The Antonine Wall was located at Kemper Avenue (see NS87NE 15) some 9m N of its supposed position and with a roughly E-W alignment. There was no sharp right-angle turn hereabout, as shown on current OS maps. The stone foundation was 4.4m (14ft 5in) wide. In the E part of the excavated section, the core was made up of cut yellow sandstone, but in the W part it consisted of small natural cobbles, with a clear demarcation line; evidently two work squads had met at precisely this point. The superstructure was of earth, revetted by turf cheeks c.1m wide.

The Antonine Ditch was located N of the Wall at two points, and at a distance of 6.7m from its kerb. The Ditch, which had a fill of dirty brown sandy soil, had a width of 8.55m and a depth of 3.4m. No trace of an upcast mound remained. The alignment established in 1980 may confirm a Roman date for the butt-end of a ditch located nearby in 1973 just W of the Cladhan Hotel (Breeze 1977).

L J F Keppie and F Murray 1980; D J Breeze 1977.

NS 885 798 Extensive trenching on the line shown on the OS maps failed to locate either Wall or the Ditch. It is possible, therefore, that they lay further S at this point.

F O Grew 1980.

NS 892 795 Excavation located the Wall c.9m N of its expected position, aligned roughly E-W. There was no evidence for the sharp right-angled turn shown on the OS maps. The stone foundation was 4.4m wide and the turf cheeks revetted the earthen superstructure c.1m wide. The Ditch, 3.4m deep and 8.55m wide, lay 6.7m from the N kerb.

F O Grew 1981.

NS 892 795 A watching brief was maintained on the gas pipeline installation from the Leishman Tower to Finistore Avenue. The line thus passes some 10m to the south of the trial excavation recorded by D F Devereux. Again, there was no sign of Roman activity in the area although a thin spread of burnt sandstone chippings overlyin g a natural bank of gravel some 25m to the south of the line of the Wall may repr esent the Military Way. See also NS87NE 40.

G B Bailey 1985.

NS 8592 7985 A partial section through the Wall, c.305m W of Watling Lodge, was cut in advance of building. A four day excavation by Falkirk Museum in the grounds of Tay-a-valla house uncovered the northern part of the rampart of the Antonine Wall. Above the stone base eight layers of turf were detected in the 0.5m that survived; a difference in the thickness and colouration of the turves in the front 0.5m suggested the use thinner blocks as a revetment. A slot 0.6m wide at the top, narrowing to c.0.25m over the stone foundation, ran c.1.1m behind the front of the Wall. It had uniform fill of grey-brown loam. Although bulges at intervals and its base on the stone foundation suggested interpretation as a palisade-trench, the date and real purpose remain uncertain.

G B Bailey 1988; S S Frere 1989; L J F Keppie et al 1995.

NS 8830 7992 A ditch butting on to the south side of the rampart was located by excavation. It was 0.6m deep from the surrounding natural, but owing to the severe restrictions of the site it was not possible to determine its width.

Sponsors: Falkirk Museum, Historic Scotland

G B Bailey 1991b

NS 889 797 The site of a new jeweller's workshop lay across the line of the Antonine Wall ditch as shown on the OS maps. However, excavation failed to find any Roman occupation.

G B Bailey 1991; L J F Keppie, B Bailey, A Duwnell, J McBrien and K Speller 1995.

NS 883 799. In the grounds of Birchfield House, 15 Arnothill, a N-S ditch which could have abutted on the S side of the Antonine rampart (whose stonework was entirely robbed away) was located in advance of housebuilding; its overall width could not be established, and the date remains uncertain.

L J F Keppie 1993; L J F Keppie et al 1995; L J F Keppie, B Bailey, A Duwnell, J McBrien and K Speller 1995

NS 8846 7978 The points where the Rampart of the Antonine Wall crosses the West Burn of Falkirk and the Polmont Burn (NS97NW 46.04) were uncovered as a consequence of development threats. The two streams differ greatly in size, the West Burn of Falkirk being much smaller. This has led to different solutions being applied by the Roman engineers in designing the two crossings. Archival research indicated that the Antonine Wall at the West Burn of Falkirk lay some distance to the S of the line shown on OS maps (Bailey 1991). Excavation in advance of housing development construction found the stone foundation of the Rampart base. It was located 11.7m S of the 19th Century wall (at NS 8847 7980). Location of Wall is published on OS maps at NS 8846 7983 c.30m N of actual Wall location. None of the superstructure survived and of the base only three kerbstones were still in situ. These were quite large regular squared blocks, the easternmost still bearing the diagonal marks of the chisel on its side. The total width of the base was 4.2m. The rubble core contained between the kerbs was quite deep, consisting of several layers and containing a high proportion of angular stones. The old bed of the West Burn was found to be at least 3.4m wide and the nature of the natural subsoil suggested it was a broad shallow watercourse. Three culverts were found. These would appear to have been constructed over the West Burn and the Rampart carried on top of them. Culvert 3 was at least 0.6m wide and probably took the main flow of the water.

G B Bailey 1996

G B Bailey 1991; L J F Keppie, B Bailey, A Duwnell, J McBrien and K Speller 1995; G Macdonald 1934.

NS 897 796 Excavation, in advance of pipe-laying across the Wall and associated Ditch on a NW-SE alignment established that no archaeological layers were to be disturbed.

L J F Keppie 1997.

NS 853 798 An archaeological evaluation was undertaken c 500m E of the Roman fort at Rough Castle (NMRS NS87NW 6), in advance of proposed geotechnical work, involving the drilling of two boreholes.

Two trenches were excavated on either side of the Roman frontier works; only the northern trench revealed evidence of past activity. This consisted of a shallow ditch and a bank, both of which appeared to belong to 19th to 20th-century industrial activity. Several finds were recovered from this trench, all of which comprise industrial waste and other modern artefacts with the exception of a single abraded river pebble of uncertain date.

A detailed report has been lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: Dames & Moore.

J Hamilton 1998; L J G Keppie 1998

NS 8523 7980 An archaeological watching brief was undertaken during the machine-excavation of trenches associated with the laying of underground cables and the erection of electricity poles within the Scheduled area of the Antonine Wall Roman frontier works, on the presumed alignment of the military way. No archaeological features were revealed or artefacts recovered.

Full details are in a report lodged with NMRS.

Sponsor: Scottish Power plc.

See also NS87NE 152

A R Rees 1999

NS 85 79 Archaeological investigations were undertaken prior to construction works associated with the Falkirk Millennium Link Project.

NS 8523 7975 A cobbled layer of sub-rounded to sub-angular stones, averaging 0.15m in diameter, was located within a 2m square test pit lying 33m to the S of the Antonine Wall. This may represent part of the military way associated with the wall. (see also NS87NE 87)

Sponsor: Morrison Construction Ltd

J Gooder and A Duffy 2000

Small scale excavation at Tamfourhill (NS 855 797) in advance of works associated with the refurbishment of the Union Canal and its extension to the W to facilitate the renewal of its junction with the Forth and Clyde Canal at the 'Falkirk Wheel' development-site revealed:

NS 8523 7975 Cobbling possibly belonging to the Military Way (NS87NE 57.01).

NS 8595 7955 The titulus defending a gateway on the N side of the Tamfourhill temporary camp (NS87NE 13).

NS 8583 7959 A cobble surface of ill-defined date in the camp interior.

NS 8571 7984 The N edge of the Antonine Ditch in an area already much disturbed.

L J F Keppie 2001.

NS 8571 7983 The Millennium Link (Falkirk Interchange) Project required a re-alignment of the Lime Road at its junction with the B816 at Tamfourhill, Falkirk. It is at this point that Lime Road crosses the Antonine Wall and the new course of the road impacted on the scheduled area of the monument. The affected area lay immediately N of the B816 and to the W of Lime Road, forming an elongated wedge shape pointing N and amounting to approximately 550sq m.

Fieldwork in November 2000 found made-ground to cover the entire site, reaching a maximum depth of 1.65m Underlying this dumped accumulation lay recent drainage trenches, a modern sump and the headwall of a former culvert. At the northern end of the excavated area the subsoil surface rose abruptly. This was interpreted as the northern edge of the Ditch cut, a hypothesis supported by observation and extrapolation of this feature's situation relative to the well-preserved section of the Ditch lying immediately to the W. The Ditch's full depth remained unknown because of flooding by the burn. No small finds were recovered.

J W Gooder 2002

A Dunwell, G Bailey, A Leslie, A Smith 2002.

At NS 8525 7974 and at NS 8525 7976 In March 2000, four test-pits, each 4sq m in area, were excavated in woodland to the S of the Antonine Wall and to the N of Bonnyhill Road. Test-pit 2 and 4 were archaeologically sterile or disturbed. Test-pit 3 lay roughly 40m S of the Rampart. Its excavation revealed a stone-layer and extended across the entire test-pit. Test-pit 1 revealed a discontinuous spread of stones of similar size and form to those in Test-pit 3. However, the feature is too ephemeral to relate to the rampart base of an unknown mile fortlet, that has been proposed for this area (Keppie and Walker 1981).

J W Gooder 2002

A Dunwell, G Bailey, A Leslie, A Smith 2002; L J F Keppie and JJ Walker 1981.

Portion from Blinkbonny Road [NS 8718 7998] to Frobisher Avenue [NS 8753 7998] scheduled: the delineated area extends onto map sheet NS88SE.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 15 October 2003.

NS 873 799 An archaeological evaluation consisting of desk-based research followed by trial trenching was undertaken during November 2005 on a small area at Bantaskin, Falkirk, to establish the depths of, and the relationship between, a N-S aligned earthen bank and the upper deposits of part of the Antonine Wall. The earthen bank forms part of a designed landscape in the grounds of the now demolished Bantaskin House and is probably between 18th- and 19th-century in date. Its extent was shown to be greater than had been expected.

This short evaluation showed that the N-S earthen bank does not form part of the Antonine Wall fortifications and overlies the upper deposits in the Roman ditch. Cartographic evidence strongly suggested that this N-S feature was originally constructed between 1747 and 1780, most probably in the late 1770s after the construction of the Forth and Clyde canal, as part of the Bantaskin estate boundary. A further visit was required in February 2006 to monitor minor excavation and landscaping. These works caused no disturbance to Roman period features, and there were no finds of archaeological significance.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland.

Paul Fox and Thom Whalley, 2006.

Activities

Publication Account (1859)

NS 8881 7973 Wall uncovered about 1859 at Wallfield Cottage and adjoining property in Booth Place (no location measurements given)(ONB 1859).

Observation (1890)

NS 859 798 Culvert noticed in Antonine Wall between Bonnymuir and Falkirk, at E end of Tayavalla house in c.1890 (Glasgow Archaeological Society 1899).

Trial Trench (1 November 1913)

NS 8921 7954 Portion of Wall kerb found in situ near park wall (Macdonald 1915).

Trial Trench (1 November 1913)

NS 8936 7963 Ditch located by trenching (exact location measurements give) (Macdonald 1915).

Trial Trench (1 November 1913)

NS 8932 7969 Former artificial gully accepted as Ditch on early OS maps refuted as such by Macdonald. Trenching along S side failed to locate a rampart (Macdonald 1915).

The scant remains of the former E-W trench comprise a short, landscaped length of the N slope; surveyed at 1:1250. The amorphous remains of what appears to be the spoil bank occur on the N side.

Trial Trench (1 November 1913)

NS 8932 7959 Spreads of stone, some 14ft wide found in various places parallel with the slight depression of the Ditch, taken as evidence of the Wall course (Macdonald 1915).

Excavation (1913)

NS 8910 7959 Macdonald located a depression with loose fill and vegetable matter and took this as evidence of Ditch line. (Sections across the corresponding area in 1971 -see NS 8911 7956- found nothing.) (Macdonald 1915).

Observation (1913)

NS 8910 7959 Macdonald located a depression with loose fill and vegetable matter and took this as evidence of Ditch line. (Sections across the corresponding area in 1971 -see NS 8911 7956- found nothing.) (Macdonald 1915).

Trial Trench (1916)

NS 8720 7998 Wall sectioned in 1916. S kerb found and berm was not more than 15ft (4.5m) wide (Macdonald 1934).

Trial Trench (1916)

NS 8775 7998 In 1916 several sections were cut across the line of the Rampart within the policies of Bantaskin (Macdonald 1934).

NS 8787 7997 Wall sectioned in 1916 (Macdonald 1934).

Trial Trench (1917)

NS 865 798 Trenching beyond "Lock Sixteen" found Antonine Wall and clay cheeks. (Watling Lodge, E of) (Macdonald 1925).

Trial Trench (1917)

NS 862 798 Trenching W of Watling Lodge.

Publication Account (1934)

NS 8794 7997 Wall foundations uncovered in grounds of 'Mayfield' when tree was uprooted (Macdonald 1934).

Observation (1934)

NS 8903 7965 Subsidence reported at Woodside when built (Macdonald 1934).

Excavation (1934)

NS 8875 7975 Base of Wall 15ft. (4.5m) wide excavation in grounds of 'Rosehall', running SE by E (exact location measurements given) (Macdonald 1915, 1934).

Observation (1934)

NS 8873 7976 Of numerous subsidence cases cited by Macdonald in this central Falkirk area, he takes reinforced foundations of the two westernmost houses in Booth Place as the most reliable evidence for the Ditch course which he suggests must turn N here (Macdonald 1915, 1934).

Publication Account (1934)

NS 8686 7989 Ditch appears as a hollow, first ascending and then descending within the grounds of Glenfuir (Macdonald 1934).

Publication Account (1934)

NS 8840 7988 Subsidence-affected house foundations indicate probable course of Ditch (Macdonald 1934).

Trial Trench (1953)

NS 8684 7988 Sewer trenches laid across the line of the Wall and Ditch in 1953 revealed no traces of either. The negative result may have been caused by a nearby small stream (Hunter 1953).

Observation (29 January 1957)

NS 8590 7985 Ditch and rampart upstanding in area; Rampart destroyed by Tayavilla house but reappears E of house (Davidson, J.L).

Observation (1957)

NS 8691 7990 A dip in a fence line denotes the course of the Ditch passing out of Glenfuir policies (see information from OS 1957).

Excavation (1 January 1961)

NS 891 795 Stone foundation of the rampart of the AW was traced from W of Port Downie to Watling Lodge. It is well preserved. (Cruden, S.H.) (Watling Lodge, E of).

Excavation (March 1971)

NS 891 795 Observation of a building site in Arnot St., on the line predicted for the Wall by Macdonald (1934) disclosed no trace of it. The Wall therefore either continued directly west from Callendar Park or else passed at least 30m farther S.

D J Breeze 1971; G Macdonald 1934; D R Wilson 1972.

NS 8911 7956 Butt-ended ditch segment located in 1971; thought to be the Antonine Ditch. (Alignment secured at NS 8917 7954 almost certainly proves this correct) (Breeze 1974-5).

Aerial Photography (1971)

Excavation (March 1973)

NS 891 795 Observation of a building site in Arnot St., on the line predicted for the Wall by Macdonald (1934) disclosed no trace of it. The Wall therefore either continued directly west from Callendar Park or else passed at least 30m farther S.

D J Breeze 1971; G Macdonald 1934; D R Wilson 1972.

NS 8911 7956 Butt-ended ditch segment located in 1971; thought to be the Antonine Ditch. (Alignment secured at NS 8917 7954 almost certainly proves this correct) (Breeze 1974-5).

Excavation (1973)

NS 8607 7987 Excavation prior to road realignment in 1973 located the S kerb of the Wall base (L J F Keppie 1978).

Excavation (1975 - 1976)

NS 8727 8000 Excavation, prior to the destruction of a 45m length of the Wall in 1976, revealed the wall-base to be 4.67m wide, the berm 8.25m, the Ditch 12m , and the upcast from the Ditch on the N side to have spread to 11m (Keppie 1975-6).

Excavation (November 1979)

NS 8850 7982 Several trenches cut on published course (Macdonald 1934) on an empty plot at Howgate proved entirely negative. More southerly course suggested. (Keppie and Murray 1979).

Publication Account (1979)

NS 8745 8000 Part of the N bank of the Ditch [located in map sheet NS88SE] has been cut down to accommodate a gravelled walkway (Robertson 1979).

Excavation (1981)

NS87NE 44 896 795

Excavation confirmed the alignment of the wall within the policies of the former College of Education. The Military Way appeared at one point to incorporate a number of post-settings, but their purpose could not be established.

L Keppie and J Walker 1982

Aerial Photography (1982)

Publication Account (1982)

NS87NE 44 896 795

Excavation confirmed the alignment of the wall within the policies of the former College of Education. The Military Way appeared at one point to incorporate a number of post-settings, but their purpose could not be established.

L Keppie and J Walker 1982

Aerial Photography (1983)

Aerial Photography (1984)

Excavation (February 1988)

Excavation prior to house extension.

Excavation (May 1989)

NS 8848 7981 The point at which the West Burn of Falkirk passed through the Antonine Wall was examined. The wide, shallow burn was first canalized and then culverted by the Wall builders. The culvert was of larger than usual construction with capping stones measuring up to 90cm by 70cm in size. Two culverts of the size normally associated with the Wall lay 1.5m and 3.6m to the W. The S half of the Wall base and the main culvert were sealed with puddle clay to keep the Wall foundation watertight. The S part of the Wall was also given an extra foundation of rounded cobbles. The burn itself was canalized for some distance to the N of the Wall. A shallow depression set hard up against the N kerb of the Wall base may represent the butt end of the frontier Ditch. This section of the Wall appears to have been dismantled upon abandonment with the large capping stones placed in stacks of two to three to the N of the Wall, adjacent to the burn. The whole area was subsequently covered with sand and gravel brought in by the flooding burn (Bailey 1989).

Excavation (1 January 1990 - 31 December 1990)

Report: Excavations at 15 Arnothill, Falkirk, on the Antonine Wall, 1990.

Trial Trench (1992)

NS87NE 43 8890 7972

A trial trench 1.5m wide and 8m long N-S was dug on the site of a site of a new jeweller's workshop to the S of the Tattie Kirk and to the rear of Cow Wynd. It thus lay across the line of the Antonine Wall ditch as shown on some OS maps. There was no Roman, or Medieval occupation of the site, only 17th century and later pottery being found in cultivation soils. The natural sloped down to the S with 0.4m of overburden at the N end of the trench and 1.2m at the S end. The topmost deposit consisted of building rubble forming the base of a garage. Within this a roll-moulded skewput believed to have derived from a building on the Cow Wynd. Sponsor: Falkirk Museum.

G B Bailey 1992.

Watching Brief (1994)

NS87NE 45 865 798.

A watching brief undertaken during road widening operations on the N side of Tamfourhill Road, Falkirk, adjacent to the Antonine Wall, revealed no artefacts and no trace of any structures.

Sponsor: Central Regional Council.

L Main 1994a.

Excavation (February 1996)

NS87NE 44 896 795

NS 8966 7958 A field evaluation was conducted in February 1996 on the line of the Antonine Wall in Callendar Park. Five trenches were excavated in order to determine a route for a proposed gas main which would cause the minimum disturbance to the remains of the frontier works. The pipe was to cross the Antonine ditch using an existing built ramp within it: a test trench confirmed that no archaeological deposits would be disturbed here. No remains were identified in the four test trenches excavated to the S of the ditch.

A detailed report will be lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: British Gas plc.

A Rees 1996.

Aerial Photography (5 February 1997)

Aerial Photography (4 March 1997)

Test Pit Survey (March 2000)

At NS 8525 7974 and at NS 8525 7976 In March 2000, four test-pits, each 4sq m in area, were excavated in woodland to the S of the Antonine Wall and to the N of Bonnyhill Road. Test-pit 2 and 4 were archaeologically sterile or disturbed. Test-pit 3 lay roughly 40m S of the Rampart. Its excavation revealed a stone-layer and extended across the entire test-pit. Test-pit 1 revealed a discontinuous spread of stones of similar size and form to those in Test-pit 3. However, the feature is too ephemeral to relate to the rampart base of an unknown mile fortlet, that has been proposed for this area (Keppie and Walker 1981).

J W Gooder 2002

A Dunwell, G Bailey, A Leslie, A Smith 2002; L J F Keppie and JJ Walker 1981.

Excavation (23 November 2000 - 27 November 2000)

NS 85 79 Archaeological investigations were undertaken prior to construction works associated with the Falkirk Millennium Link Project.

NS 8595 7955 A putative tutulus to Tamfourhill Roman temporary camp (NMRS NS 87 NE 13). As the feature was unaffected by canal construction works, it was not excavated.

Sponsor: Morrison Construction Ltd

J Gooder and A Duffy 2000

Archaeological Evaluation (2000)

NS 85 79 Archaeological investigations were undertaken prior to construction works associated with the Falkirk Millennium Link Project.

NS 8583 7959 Two sections of a 6m wide cobbled road surface, aligned E-W and of unknown date, were located either side of a small wooded ravine.

Sponsor: Morrison Construction Ltd.

J Gooder and A Duffy 2000

Watching Brief (20 March 2001)

NS87NE 155 centred on NS 8515 7975

Aerial Photography (5 February 2002)

Excavation (30 August 2004 - 31 August 2004)

Report - Excavations at 1 St. Andre's Place, Falkirk, 2004.

Archaeological Evaluation (November 2005 - February 2006)

NS 873 799 An archaeological evaluation consisting of desk-based research followed by trial trenching was undertaken during November 2005 on a small area at Bantaskin, Falkirk, to establish the depths of, and the relationship between, a N-S aligned earthen bank and the upper deposits of part of the Antonine Wall. The earthen bank forms part of a designed landscape in the grounds of the now demolished Bantaskin House and is probably between 18th- and 19th-century in date. Its extent was shown to be greater than had been expected.

This short evaluation showed that the N-S earthen bank does not form part of the Antonine Wall fortifications and overlies the upper deposits in the Roman ditch. Cartographic evidence strongly suggested that this N-S feature was originally constructed between 1747 and 1780, most probably in the late 1770s after the construction of the Forth and Clyde canal, as part of the Bantaskin estate boundary. A further visit was required in February 2006 to monitor minor excavation and landscaping. These works caused no disturbance to Roman period features, and there were no finds of archaeological significance.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland.

Excavation (13 April 2007 - May 2007)

NS 8827 7995 In April 2007 an evaulation was undertaken on the Antonine Wall at Bantaskine. Investigation of a hole created by removal of a tree and trial trenching (to a depth of 100mm) aimed to define the depths of the upper deposits prior to scarification works.

In May 2007 (4 Camelon Road) two trenches were placed at right-angles across the line of the Wall at Arnothill. The N lip of the ditch was found as well as the remains of the upcast mound. The latter had a bipartite structure, with more stone in its N section. The line of the frontier was found to be c20m S of the line shown on the current OS maps.

Funder: Falkirk Museum, Falkirk Local History Society, Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society.

Watching Brief (15 January 2007 - 17 January 2007)

Watching brief in advance of new heating power scheme.

Fyles, C.

Excavation (August 2014)

NS 8755 7998 An excavation in August 2014, in advance of a house extension on the berm of the Antonine Wall, showed that all Roman levels had been removed during the occupation of Bantaskine House in the 19th century.

Funder: Mr Beattie

Geoff Bailey

(Source: DES)

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