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Barr Hill Fort, Antonine Wall, Scotland

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This evening, I am focusing on one of the largest forts on the Antonine Wall.

The Antonine Wall is a turf structure completed approximately AD 142. It covered a distance of about 37 miles and stretched between Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde (Glasgow) to Bridgeness on the Forth (Edinburgh).

The impetus for construction of the Wall appears to have the need to provide the new Emperor, Antoninus Pius, with a military victory and/or territory gain to secure his credibility in Rome. This entailed moving the frontier some 100 miles from Hadrian's Wall to the Forth-Clyde isthmus. The Wall was in use for a period roughly equivalent to Antonine's reign which ended in AD 161.

It is believed there were some 26 forts along the line of the Antonine Wall of which Barr Hill was one of the six principal such forts and contained the usual range of buildings including a HQ, bathhouse, barracks, granaries and commander's residence.

This fort covers an area of 3.2 acres and is positioned at the highest point of the Wall at an elevation of 150m affording superb views of the Campsie Fells across the valley looking north (into hostile territory). Between the Wall and the fort ran the Military Way.

Troops stationed at the fort included:
  • cohors 1 Hamiorum, an archery unit from Syria.
  • cohors 1 Baetasiorum, recruited from Germany.
By accessing this site from nearby Croy, which also boasts a Roman site, the visitor will walk a well defined trail covering at least one mile which affords splendid views of the Wall.


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posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:27 PM 

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