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Fortlets on the Antonine Wall at Seabegs Wood, Kinneil and Cleddans

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 November 2011

L. J. F. Keppie
Affiliation:
Hunterian Museum, The University, Glasgow
J. J. Walker
Affiliation:
Hunterian Museum, The University, Glasgow

Extract

The possibility of a Roman site on a small plateau at the W end of Seabegs Wood (NS 812792) was suggested by the surface recovery of Roman pottery (both samian and coarse wares) over a number of years by members of the Cumbernauld Historical Society, under the supervision of Mr J. J. Walker. Initially it was thought that the plateau (FIG. 1) could mark the site of the missing Seabegs fort (see below p. 160), but in the event a fortlet was located by excavation in June 1977, clearly to be identified with the fort at the ‘West end of Seabegwood’ noted by Dr Christopher Irvine during his journey along the Wall about 1680. No traces of the fortlet's defences have as yet been detected from the air (cf. PL. IXA).

Type
Articles
Information
Britannia , Volume 12 , November 1981 , pp. 143 - 162
Copyright
Copyright © L. J. F. Keppie and J. J. Walker 1981. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

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References

1 The fortlet lies on the land of Dalnair Farm, but the name Seabegs Wood is preferred here. Dalnair is the modern name already given to a temporary camp found some years ago in an adjacent field; see Joseph, J. K. St., JRS xlviii (1958), 89.Google Scholar The camp could have provided accommodation for the builders of the fortlet.

2 R. Sibbald, Historical Inquiries (1707), 30.

3 Keppie, L. J. F., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland cv (19721974), 157.Google Scholar

4 The following abbreviations have been used in this report:

Gillam 1970 Gillam, J. P., Types of Roman Coarse Pottery in Northern Britain (Newcastle, 1970).Google Scholar

Gillam 1976 Gillam, J. P., ‘Coarse fumed ware in Britain and Beyond’, Glasgow Arch. Journ. iv (1976), 5780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Farrar 1973 Farrar, R. A. H., ‘The Techniques and Sources of Romano-British Black-burnished ware’, in Detsicas, A. (ed.), Current Research in Romano-British Coarse Pottery, CBA Research Report No. 10 (1973), 67103.Google Scholar

5 G. Macdonald, The Roman Wall in Scotland (1934), 191; Steer, K. A., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland xciv (19601961), 322Google Scholar; Hendry, T. A., Glasgow Arch. Journ. ii (1971), 107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

6 Keppie, L. J. F., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland cvii (19751976), 77.Google Scholar

7 The History and Antiquities of Scotland (1757), 171.

8 For abbreviations employed in this report, see above (note 4).

9 Keppie, L. J. F., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland cvii (19751976), 72.Google Scholar

10 For the discovery at Croy, see Hanson, W. S. and Keppie, L. J. F., Current Archaeology lxii (June, 1978), 71.Google Scholar The fortlets known before 1977 are at Duntocher, see A. S. Robertson, An Antonine Fort, Golden Hill, Duntocher (1957), 16; at Glasgow Bridge, see Joseph, J. K. St., JRS xlv (1955), 86Google Scholar; at Wilderness Plantation, see Wilkes, J. J., Glasgow Arch. Journ. iii (1974), 51CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and at Watling Lodge, see Breeze, D. J., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland cii (19721974), 166.Google Scholar

11 RCAHMS, Inventory of Stirlingshire (1963), 100.

12 L. J. F. Keppie, in W. S. Hanson and L. J. F. Keppie (eds.), Roman Frontier Studies 1979 (1980), 108. Several of the antiquarians refer to a small square enclosure on Castlehill, clearly to be distinguished from the larger fort: for further discussion see L. J. F. Keppie, Glasgow Arch. Journ. vii, forthcoming.

13 Gillam, J. P., Scot. Arch. Forum vii (1976), 51.Google Scholar

14 The numerical sequence offered here necessarily differs from that advanced by Mr Gillam, as different criteria on frequency of sites have been adopted here.

15 The ‘primary’ fort at Castlecary fits uneasily into the postulated sequence of fortlet sites; a fortlet on high ground at or near the former Castlecary Brickworks would be more appropriate. A fortlet, or defended gateway through the Wall, might be sought near Bar Hill, if the garrison of that detached fort were to have access to the N. The numeration of sites on the list at p. 161 is not affected by this alternative hypothesis.

16 L. J. F. Keppie and D. J. Breeze, Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland, forthcoming.

17 Noted by D. J. Breeze, in W. S. Hanson and L. J. F. Keppie (eds.), op. cit. (note 12), 52.

18 But see Steer, K. A., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland xciv (19601961), 322.Google Scholar

19 T. Pont, in J. Blaeu, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, part v (1654); R. Sibbald, Historical Inquiries (1707); A. Gordon, ltinerarium Septentrionale (1726); J. Horsley, Britannia Romana (1732); W. Maitland, The History and Antiquities of Scotland (1757).

20 op. cit. (note 19), 172.

21 L. J. F. Keppie and D. J. Breeze, Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland, forthcoming.

22 This table is developed from that provided by Breeze, D. J., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland cv (19721974), 171.Google Scholar

23 D. J. Breeze and B. Dobson, Hadrian's Wall (1976), 56.

24 These short-axis mile fortlets could perhaps be described as ‘square’ rather than short-axis, given the similarity of the dimensions.

25 Breeze, D. J., Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland cv (19721974), 166.Google Scholar

26 D. J. Breeze and B. Dobson, op. cit. (note 23), 61.

27 This site is known only from aerial photographs. These seem to show that it was of the short-axis variety.

28 J. P. Gillam, loc. cit. (note 13).

29 W. S. Hanson and L. J. F. Keppie, loc. cit. (note 10).

30 Wilkes, J. J., Glasgow Arch. Journ. iii (1974), 57.Google Scholar

31 R. Sibbald, op. cit. (note 19), 30.

32 The Roman Wall in Scotland (1934), 240.

33 Discovery & Excavation in Scotland (1968), 44.

34 See L. J. F. Keppie and D. J. Breeze, Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland, forthcoming.

35 Britannia Romana (1732), 71; T. Pont in J. Blaeu. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1654), part v, 4.

36 G. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 32), 191.

37 K. A. Steer, loc. cit. (note 5); T. A. Hendry, loc. cit. (note 5).

38 loc. cit. (note 7).

39 The course of the Wall at Kinneil is disputed; aerial photographs (cf. PL. IXB) show two possible alignments for the Ditch W of Kinneil House, one passing almost directly below the House, the other veering away to the SE.

40 D. J. Breeze, loc. cit. (note 14).

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