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Roman Fort (Roman)

Site Name Glenlochar

Classification Roman Fort (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) Montford; Abbey Yard Cottage

Canmore ID 64687

Site Number NX76SW 2

NGR NX 73500 64528

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Crossmichael
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Stewartry
  • Former County Kirkcudbrightshire

Archaeology Notes

NX76SW 2 73500 64528

(NX 7351 6452) Roman Fort (R)

OS 6" map (1957)

Supposed site of Abbey (NR)

OS 6" map (1909)

The site of a Roman Fort. The idea of an Abbey started with the OSA and is based on a mis-interpretation of the Roman remains.

Information from A Graham, RCAHMS, 28 December 1950.

The fort accompanied by a series of temporary camps was identified by Dr St Joseph in 1949 (information from J K St Joseph letter 1949).

A trial section dug in 1952 revealed that there had been three superimposed forts, which coincided over the greater part if not the whole of the circuit. The first had been Flavian and had been destroyed by fire; the second was Antonine and the third was a later Antonine modification of the second.

There was an annexe on the north side. Beneath the Flavian fort were the rubbish pits and shacks which were shown at Newstead to exist outside a garrisoned fort. This suggests that there was an earlier Flavian fort at Glenlochar on a different site. The large ditch, which shows on APs at the northern end of the plateau, west of Glenlochar House and well beyond the limits of the Antonine annexe; and the fact that the main Roman road from the east makes for this area and not the later fort, suggest that the earliest site may prove to be north of the modern road on the highest and driest land. To judge by the extents of the pits this fort would undoubtedly be Agricolan. Six or seven camps associated with the forts have been identified (J K St Joseph 1958) (see NX76NW 3 and NX76SW 4, NX76SW 5, NX76SW 6 possibly 1).

The ditches of the north side of the annexe continue west as far as the bank of the Dee. A broad ditch; interupted by a gap for an entrance occurs 200' further north, and perhaps delimits an annexe to one of the Flavian forts.

I A Richmond and J K St Joseph 1953; J K St Joseph 1965.

The inner rampart of the fort can still be traced as a low spread unsurveyable mound. Slight traces of the large ditch to the north can still be seen on the ground but there is insufficient evidence to warrant survey of this or the other slight cropmark which suggest the site of an earlier Flavian fort.

There is no trace on the ground of the annexe or the temporary camps. Sites surveyed from St Joseph A Ps and ground observations.

Visited by OS (RD), 30 July 1968.

Roman Fort

(site of) [NAT]

OS (GIS) MasterMap, March 2011.

Scheduled (with NX76SW 2-6, 23, 24 and 29) as 'Glenlochar, Roman fort, annexe, road, camps and barrows 50m E of Montford....'.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 1 March 2011.


Publication Account (1986)

Viewed from the road, which slices its north-western corner, this large fort of 3.3 ha shows up only slightly as a ditched platform. Viewed from the air, which is how it was first identifIed in 1949 (having previously been marked on maps as the supposed site of an abbey), it presents a detailed cropmark of characteristic gridded 'playing card' shape, complete with annexes and at least six temporary camps in the vicinity. Placed on the east bank of the River Dee, this was obviously a major centre of Roman control in Galloway, the westward limits of which are still unknown beyond Gatehouse (NX 595574).

Study of its layout as revealed by aerial photography has suggested comparison with Birrens (no. 48), and during the Antonine periods it could have housed a similar general purpose garrison, namely, a partmounted milliary unit of the auxiliary army. The defences are especially broad. Excavations in 1952 demonstrated a succession of three forts, preceded by an early and temporary Flavian occupation. The first, late Flavian (late 1st century), fort may have occupied part of the plateau closer to Glenlochar House, and ended in what was described as 'wholesale conflagration'; it was replaced by a fort of the first Antonine period, later modifIed.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Dumfries and Galloway’, (1986).


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