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Temporary Camp (Roman)

Site Name Gilnockie

Classification Temporary Camp (Roman)

Alternative Name(s) New Woodhead; Glencartholm

Canmore ID 67499

Site Number NY37NE 2

NGR NY 3895 7922

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Canonbie
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Annandale And Eskdale
  • Former County Dumfries-shire

Archaeology Notes

NY37NE 2 3895 7922

(NY 3895 7922) Earthwork (NAT)

OS 6" map (1957)

Roman temporary camp some 1450' by 750', visible on air photographs.

RCAHMS 1920; G Macdonald 1923

At New Woodhead, between 300' and 400' a.s.l. and on a slight SW slope, are the remains of a Roman camp measuring 443.0m NE-SW x 229.0m transversely within an earthen rampart and external ditch. The northern half of the camp lies in open pastureland; the remainder, within a mature wood. The whole of the NW side has been almost completely destroyed by a farm-track with deep side-ditches, and the northern half of the SW side has been destroyed by a now disused railway. It is best-preserved on the SE side where the rampart and ditch are visible in the open pastureland; within the wood, although the rampart is possibly better preserved, the ditch has been re-cut as a drain. There are two well-defined entrances on this side, each covered by a tutulus, and a central entrance is traceable on the NE side. There are now no traces of entrances on the NW and SW side, except for a tutulus preserved in the wood NW of the farm-track. The camp occupies an area of c.25 acres, and therefore falls into J K St Joseph's Series II category (J K St Joseph 1969).

Visited by OS (WDJ) 17 December 1970

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS (JP) 21 February 1973.

This Roman temporary camp is situated on a gentle SW-facing slope about 800m E of Glencartholm farmhouse. A regular parallelogram on plan, it measures about 450m by 220m (9.9 ha) within a single rampart and external ditch. Practically the entire NW side is overlain by a modern farm-track, and a railway embankment has encroached on half the SW side. Elsewhere its perimeter may be traced with ease, the SE portion which lies within a wood, being particularly well preserved; the rampart in these parts measures as much as 6.5m in thickness and 1.2m in height. Each of the six gates was protected by a titulum, but only three, situated on the NE and SE sides, can still be readily identified, and the SW gate has been completely destroyed by the construction of the railway.

RCAHMS 1981, visited August 1980.


Publication Account (17 December 2011)

This earthwork was depicted as a ‘camp’ on the 1st edition of the Ordnance Survey map (Dumfriesshire 1862: sheet liii) but was first properly recorded in 1912 by RCAHMS on field survey (1920: 27–8). It lies on a slope that faces south-west above the River Esk, about 2km south-east of the Roman fort at Broomholm. Stretches of the camp survive as an earthwork, partly in woodland, with a track occupying the line of the north-west side. A now dismantled railway line has destroyed part of its south-west side, and the camp measures 465m from south-west to north-eastby 251m transversely, enclosing 11.3ha (28 acres). Two tituli are visible in the south-east side and a further titulus in the north-west; the camp probably had six entrances.

The upstanding rampart survives to a height of about 1.1m and is spread some 6.5m wide. The accompanying ditch is shallow and about 5m wide. The tituli on the south-east side survive to a height of 1m above a shallow ditch, with their ramparts spread some 7m wide

R H Jones.


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