Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Antonine Wall, Mount Pleasant, 190m WSW to 215m south east of Netherclose

A Scheduled Monument in Clydebank Waterfront, West Dunbartonshire

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9271 / 55°55'37"N

Longitude: -4.4527 / 4°27'9"W

OS Eastings: 246854

OS Northings: 673168

OS Grid: NS468731

Mapcode National: GBR 0R.ZMMS

Mapcode Global: WH3NS.K9W1

Entry Name: Antonine Wall, Mount Pleasant, 190m WSW to 215m SE of Netherclose

Scheduled Date: 2 February 1999

Last Amended: 26 November 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7064

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: Antonine Wall

Location: Old Kilpatrick

County: West Dunbartonshire

Electoral Ward: Clydebank Waterfront

Traditional County: Dunbartonshire

Description

The monument comprises a stretch of the Antonine Wall surviving as buried remains of the outer mound, ditch, berm and rampart. Although the Antonine Wall has been flattened at this point it is likely that archaeological deposits will survive under the topsoil. This stretch of the Antonine Wall follows a broadly ESE-WNW course running from the Gas Governor approximately 190m SE of Netherclose to Mount Pleasant. The monument was first scheduled in 1998 but the scheduling does not reflect recent development; the present rescheduling corrects this.

Dating to the mid-second century AD, the Antonine Wall comprised five elements: an outer mound, a broad V-shaped ditch, an open area of ground, the rampart and an associated road known as the military way. In general the Wall ditch was a broad and V-profiled earthwork, measuring approximately 12m in width and around 3.6m in depth. The outer mound was formed with upcast on the N lip of the ditch that created an additional obstacle and heightened the N slope of the ditch. An open area of ground, known as the berm, separated the ditch from the rampart. The rampart was constructed of turf blocks standing on a stone base around 4.3m in width. From Falkirk to Bo'ness, the rampart was composed of an earth core faced with clay cheeks. Generally, the stone base comprised roughly squared outer kerbs with a rubble core and incorporated culverts, box-like stone-lined channels that allowed water to drain through the rampart more efficiently.

At this site, the Antonine Wall consists of the buried remains of the outer mound, ditch, berm and rampart. Although there are no surface remains the Antonine Wall is known to survive. Both the ditch and stone foundation of the rampart were located by trial excavations conducted by Sir George Macdonald in the early 20th century. Macdonald also reported that deep ploughing in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant had brought up substantial quantities of the rampart's dressed kerbstones.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found, as shown in red on the enclosed plan. To allow for their maintenance, the scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all modern fences, gates, and stone field walls as well as the above-ground elements of all electricity poles.

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 stretch of the Antonine Wall that has not been excavated. Although no longer visible, accounts from the 19th and early 20th centuries note the line of this section of ditch. The survival of the frontier in this area is attested by Sir George Macdonald who conducted several trial excavations and notes the discovery of buried stonework following deep ploughing in 1909.

The monument possesses the potential to provide high quality archaeological evidence relating to the function of the Antonine Wall, and Roman frontier systems in general. It offers the potential to enhance our understanding of the construction, maintenance and subsequent abandonment of the Antonine Wall. There is good potential for the recovery of environmental samples from ancient ground surfaces sealed by the rampart and from the fills of the ditch that can improve our knowledge of the local landscape when the Antonine Was built and in use.

Contextual characteristics

The Antonine Wall, established in the early 140s AD, represents Scotland's most significant Roman antiquity. Measuring 60km in length, the Wall spans the narrow neck of land between Bo'ness on the River Forth and Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde. Incorporating a continuous system of wall and ditch, the Antonine Wall is accompanied at regular intervals by forts and fortlets linked by a road system. Archaeologists believe the layout of the frontier underwent alteration either during or immediately after construction with more forts being added, reducing the distance between garrisons. The Antonine Wall is one of only three linear barriers to be found along the 2000km European frontier of the Roman Empire, the other examples being Hadrian's Wall and the Rhine limes, and these are unique to Germany and Britain. However, the Antonine Wall is unique in the disposition of its forts at such close intervals and in the use of a turf superstructure on a stone foundation, an adaptation unparalleled elsewhere in the Roman Empire

Like other Roman frontiers, the Antonine Wall was intended to control and monitor cross-border movement into Roman-controlled territory rather than acting as a fortification to halt massed attack. However, it is likely that the frontier's physical presence in the landscape, a continuous barrier spanning central Scotland, discouraged small-scale local raiding.

Associative characteristics

The Antonine Wall formed part of the wider Roman reoccupation of Scotland. This comprises a web of roads interconnecting the forts and fortlets controlling the area to the south of the Antonine Wall. To the north of the frontier a chain of outpost forts, linked by a road, extended from Camelon on the outskirts of Falkirk to Bertha on the outskirts of Perth.

The Antonine Wall has a close relationship with the topography of central Scotland. Much of the frontier occupies the southern edge of the valley formed by the Rivers Kelvin and Carron, a position that offered the Antonine Wall wide-ranging views over the Kilsyth Hill, the Campsie Fells and Kilpatrick Hills and meant that it was widely visible in the landscape. The route of the Antonine Wall also has commanding views over natural communication routes.

National Importance

The monument is nationally important because it has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of the past, in particular the Antonine Wall and as well as the character of Roman frontier systems more generally. The monument has the potential to enhance to our understanding of the construction, maintenance and subsequent abandonment of the Antonine Wall. There is potential for the recovery of dateable remains and environmental samples from the fills of the ditch and from the ancient ground surfaces that are sealed by the rampart. Such information has the capacity to greatly enhance our understanding of the character of the local landscape when the Antonine Wall was occupied. The monument represents an important survival, situated on the periphery of urban development in an area that has undergone intensive cultivation for several centuries. The loss of the monument would impede our ability to understand the frontier and would erode the overall importance of the Antonine Wall as a single linear monument spanning central Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records this monument as NS47SE 83.0.

References:

Breeze D J (2006) THE ANTONINE WALL, Edinburgh: John Donald.

Hanson W S and Maxwell G S (1986) THE ANTONINE WALL: ROME'S NORTH WEST FRONTIER, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Macdonald G (1934) THE ROMAN WALL IN SCOTLAND (2nd Ed), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 180.

Keppie L J F (1990) SCOTLAND'S ROMAN REMAINS, Edinburgh: John Donald.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.