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Dunning, Roman camp 420m north west of Haughend

A Scheduled Monument in Strathallan, Perth and Kinross

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3164 / 56°18'58"N

Longitude: -3.5775 / 3°34'39"W

OS Eastings: 302518

OS Northings: 714892

OS Grid: NO025148

Mapcode National: GBR 1T.607R

Mapcode Global: WH5PK.0HPN

Entry Name: Dunning, Roman camp 420m NW of Haughend

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1975

Last Amended: 4 June 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3675

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: camp

Location: Dunning

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathallan

Traditional County: Perthshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a Roman temporary camp surviving as a cropmarked structure and a linear earthwork. The earthwork is visible on the ground as a ditch and bank structure (in the NW corner, in Kincladie Wood) while the remainder is visible only on oblique aerial photographs. The camp is located on gently undulating ground (between 50 and 70m above sea level) under a mixture of cultivated land, deciduous woodland, modern tracks and metalled roads and field/property boundaries.

The monument was first scheduled in 1975 and is being rescheduled now to improve the accuracy of the scheduled area in the light of new aerial photographic transcription and mapping, as well as to exclude an area of modern housing development in the SW corner.

The camp survives as a series of interrupted, linear, cropmarked ditches that when joined together form the outline of a broadly square-shaped enclosure (about 700m E-W by 675m transversely and enclosing an area of about 46.5 hectares). These are the defensive works of a temporary marching camp. The corners of the camp are formed into obtuse angles, despite the sides being broadly parallel. For approximately 130m along the camp's W side in Kincladie Wood, the bank and ditch can be seen on the ground and this includes part of an entrance. Further entrances are visible in aerial photographs at the S and N sides and current evidence suggests that the camp had six entrances, each protected by a titulus (or defensive outworks). In the SE and E sides the line of a modern track indicates the likely position of the remainder of the camp's defensive ditch. It is likely that the camp was in use during one or more military campaigns in the first or second centuries AD.

The interpretation of new aerial photographs and reinterpretation of existing images has highlighted an internal linear feature at the E side of the camp that may indicate phasing in the construction and use of the camp. A number of small excavations have confirmed the location of two entrances in the N and W.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence associated with their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground components of boundary features and the top surface of modern metalled tracks and roads, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument is a well-preserved example of a Roman temporary camp dating to the 1st or 2nd century AD with a considerable length of its western section intact as an upstanding earthwork. The outline shape and defensive features of the monument are clearly visible and these include the ditch, entrances and protective outer works. These features can tell us much about the design, construction and use of such monuments. The excavation of similar examples has proven that structures, artefacts and ecofacts (such as enclosed bivouacs, fires, cooking areas and environmental remains) survive within the interiors of these camps and these can help us understand the conditions, layout and disposition of troops camped here.

Contextual characteristics

The monument is an important component of a wider network of Roman military constructions of the 1st and 2nd century AD in what is now Scotland. This and a similar camp at Abernethy represent staging points in one or more of the campaigns that saw troops moving northwards. It is a very large example from a group of 220 confirmed temporary camps surviving across the south of Scotland and up the eastern half of the country as far as the Moray Firth. Another 40 or so monuments are also the possible remains of camps. Collectively they chart the extent of military campaigning and the progress of armies at the northern extreme of the Roman Empire. Analysis of this and other similarly-sized camps can help us understand the routes, tactics, organisation and skills of troops that built and used these temporary staging points. There is much variation in their size, layout, landscape position, defensive features and entrance structures and the example at Dunning can therefore help us understand more about the operation of Roman military campaigns.

Associative characteristics

The camp is directly associated with progress in Roman military campaigning in Scotland. Some researchers think that the site could be associated with the undiscovered battlefield Mons Graupius because of placename associations at the nearby Duncrub Hill.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the Roman military occupation of Scotland and the design, construction and use of its temporary defensive camps. It retains a significant amount of structural detail in the cropmarked ditch, entrances and defensive outworks that is visible on aerial photographs, and the space these enclose is likely to contain important information about the troops camped here. The survival of upstanding earthworks in these monuments is rare and so the stretch of approximately 130m of this in the NW corner is especially important. The loss of this example would diminish our understanding of this class of monument and its contribution to the understanding of the Roman presence in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NO01NW 7 and by Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust as MPK 1981.

References:

CFA 1993, 'Dunning (Dunning parish): Roman temporary camp', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 1993, 102.

Dunwell A J and Keppie L J F 1995, 'THE ROMAN TEMPORARY CAMP AT DUNNING: EVIDENCE FROM TWO RECENT EXCAVATIONS', Britannia 26, 1995.

Jones R H 2006, THE TEMPORARY ENCAMPMENTS OF THE ROMAN ARMY IN SCOTLAND, Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Hanson W S 1980, 'Roman campaigns north of the Forth-Clyde isthmus: the evidence of the temporary camps', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 109, 143-4.

Maxwell G S 1980, 'Agricola's campaigns: the evidence of the temporary camps', Scott Archaeol Forum 12, 28, 29, 37, 39-40.

Robertson N M 1998, 'Croft Avenue, Dunning (Dunning parish), Roman temporary camp; hollowed stone artefact', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 1998, 74-75.

St Joseph J K 1973, 'Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1969-72', J ROMAN STUD 63, 218-19.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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