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Oakwood

Rig And Furrow (Roman), Temporary Camp (Roman), Quern (Roman)

Site Name Oakwood

Classification Rig And Furrow (Roman), Temporary Camp (Roman), Quern (Roman)

Canmore ID 54276

Site Number NT42NW 12

NGR NT 4248 2544

NGR Description centred on NT 4248 2544

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/54276

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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Kirkhope
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
  • Former County Selkirkshire

Archaeology Notes

NT42NW 12 centred on 4248 2544

For adjacent fort, see NT42SW 1.

(NT 4248 2544) Roman Camp (R) (Site of)

OS 6" map (1959)

Roman Temporary Camp, Oakwood. In 1949 routine examination of the National Survey air-photographs revealed a Roman temporary camp at Oakwood.

In 1951-2 excavations showed that the camp had been approximately rectangular on plan and, with axial measurements of 1400ft and 980ft, had covered an area of 31 acres. The rampart, 15ft thick, was built of puddled clay, and the ditch was 6ft wide and 2ft deep, while the ditch upcast had been heaped on the outer lip to form a couterscarp mound.

Of the four gates, the surviving pair in the N and W sides each 20ft wide and are protected by double claviculae, while the E gate, of which the internal claviclus alone remains, and the vanished S gate may be assumed to have been similarly designed.

The substantial nature of the defences, and the fact that better tactical positions in the immediate locality have clearly been sacrificed in order to establish the camp as close as possible to the site of the Agricolan fort (NT42SW 1), suggest that the camp may have been erected primarily to house the labour force employed on the construction of the permanent work.

Only that portion of the defences which lies north of the east and west gates can now be traced on the ground is tussocky grass and then only to a trained eye. The rampart is nowhere more than 18 ins high, the ditch is revealed only intermittently by a growth of bent and the outer mound can be seen only in parts.

RCAHMS 1957, visited 1952; K A Steer and R W Feachem 1954

RCAHMS and Steer and Feachem confirmed.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RD) 12 January 1966

The camp, which lies on a regularly ploughed NW-facing slope, is now extremely difficult to identify on the ground. The low bank and ditch in the NE corner is all that can be traced with certainty.

Visited by OS (MJF) 19 December 1979

Fragment of bun-shaped quern.

E J MacKie 1971

Activities

(17 December 2011)

The camp and nearby fort at Oakwood were first discovered in 1949 during routine assessment of recent Royal Air Force photographic coverage of Selkirkshire by Feachem at RCAHMS (Steer and Feachem 1954: 81; RCAHMS 1957). The camp lies on uneven ground above the Ettrick Water, with the Roman fort located 150m to the south. The north-eastern part of the camp survives as a low-lying earthwork, up to 0.4m high; the remainder was traced through a series of small-scale excavation trenches in 1951–2 (Steer and Feachem 1954).

The camp measures 427m from north-east to southwest by 308m transversely and enclosed 13.2ha (almost 33 acres). Internal and external claviculae, known as cuspate gates (see section 7b), are visible in the north-east and north-west sides, and an internal clavicula in the south-east, and it is assumed that the camp possessed four cuspate gates (Steer and Feachem 1954: fig 2). Excavations revealed that the rampart was some 4.6m wide, with the ditch 1.8m wide and 0.6m deep (Steer and Feachem 1954: 85). The excavators recorded that part of the rampart was kept in place by a clay cheek, presumably to stop it from slumping into the ditch.

Illustration 187 includes information gathered from Steer and Feachem’s excavations (1954: fig 2).

R H Jones.

Publication Account (17 December 2011)

The camp and nearby fort at Oakwood were first discovered in 1949 during routine assessment of recent Royal Air Force photographic coverage of Selkirkshire by Feachem at RCAHMS (Steer and Feachem 1954: 81; RCAHMS 1957). The camp lies on uneven ground above the Ettrick Water, with the Roman fort located 150m to the south. The north-eastern part of the camp survives as a low-lying earthwork, up to 0.4m high; the remainder was traced through a series of small-scale excavation trenches in 1951–2 (Steer and Feachem 1954).

The camp measures 427m from north-east to southwest by 308m transversely and enclosed 13.2ha (almost 33 acres). Internal and external claviculae, known as cuspate gates (see section 7b), are visible in the north-east and north-west sides, and an internal clavicula in the south-east, and it is assumed that the camp possessed four cuspate gates (Steer and Feachem 1954: fig 2). Excavations revealed that the rampart was some 4.6m wide, with the ditch 1.8m wide and 0.6m deep (Steer and Feachem 1954: 85). The excavators recorded that part of the rampart was kept in place by a clay cheek, presumably to stop it from slumping into the ditch.

Illustration 187 includes information gathered from Steer and Feachem’s excavations (1954: fig 2).

R H Jones.

Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding earthwork or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council

References

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