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Antonine Wall, The Bungalow, Roman camp 380m west of

A Scheduled Monument in Lower Braes, Falkirk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9923 / 55°59'32"N

Longitude: -3.6894 / 3°41'21"W

OS Eastings: 294713

OS Northings: 678991

OS Grid: NS947789

Mapcode National: GBR 1N.VK3S

Mapcode Global: WH5R1.9NC3

Entry Name: Antonine Wall, The Bungalow, Roman camp 380m W of

Scheduled Date: 29 June 1972

Last Amended: 26 November 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3206

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Civil defence (eg. air raid shelter); Prehistoric domestic and de

Location: Grangemouth

County: Falkirk

Electoral Ward: Lower Braes

Traditional County: Stirlingshire

Description

The monument comprises the buried remains of a Roman temporary camp, visible as cropmarks, as well as a possible Iron Age enclosure and remains of trenches dug during World War Two. The camp lies wholly within Grangemouth Golf Course and occupies an area of relatively flat ground, with an annexe on the S side of the camp situated on a steep slope. The camp lies around 190m E of Millhall Reservoir. Cropmarks of a second temporary camp (SM 2250) lie approximately 390m to the WSW. The monument was originally scheduled in 1972; the present scheduling updates the scheduling in light of improved knowledge about the monument.

Dating to the mid-second century AD, the camp is associated with the construction of the Antonine Wall, situated around 390m to the N. The cropmarks represent negative or buried archaeological features that retain different levels of moisture than the surrounding subsoil resulting in the variant growth of the crops above. These cropmarks reveal one complete and two incomplete sides and two rounded corners of what was a four-sided temporary camp. Only the W side of the camp is entirely visible, measuring around 190m in length and has rounded corners visible at its NW and SW angles with what appears to be an entrance mid-way along its length. Approximately 140m of the S side of the camp is visible and a small rectangular annexe that was probably attached to the camp. The possible annexe encloses an area of about 0.8ha. Around 50m of the N ditch is visible. On the W and S sides of the camp, where the cropmarks are most clearly defined, the ditch is approximately 2.5-3m wide. Immediately to the SW of the camp is a ring-ditch, interpreted as an Iron-Age enclosure or structure. A number of other cropmarks lying in and around the annexe are interpreted as being trenches excavated during World War Two, possibly as a training exercise by the local Home Guard or another military unit, or as some defence for the airfield at Grangemouth.

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 accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the upper 300mm of all paths and hardstandings, 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

A typical Roman temporary camp comprised an open internal area where soldiers pitched tents in regularly arranged rows, enclosed by a low mound of earth topped with a palisade of sharpened stakes. Beyond the camp's rampart lay an external V-shaped ditch. This monument retains key elements of its original form, despite only being visible as a cropmark. These cropmarks show that evidence of the camp's ditches still survives below the topsoil. The site is of particular interest as it has an annexe, a feature found at only a handful of Roman temporary camps on the Antonine Wall.

The cropmarks of the Roman temporary camp therefore indicate that this is a well-preserved monument that has the potential to provide high-quality archaeological evidence relating to the date, construction, occupation and abandonment of the camp, particularly from its ditch and entrances. Excavations of similar sites elsewhere in Scotland tell us that Roman temporary camps interiors also have high potential for the survival of important evidence that can tell us more about the lives of the soldiers who occupied the site, such as rubbish pits, bread ovens, latrine pits and possibly stake-holes from tents. The possible Iron-Age enclosure appears as a circular cropmark approximately 45m in diameter with a possible entrance on the SE. The cropmark represents the buried remains of a ditch surviving below the topsoil. Excavation of similar sites suggests the ditch was likely accompanied by an inner bank of earth and probably enclosed at least one circular timber hut. The site has the potential to inform our understanding of Iron-Age settlement patterns in the area, the character of Iron-Age domestic life, the relationship (if any) between the site and the mid-2nd century AD Roman reoccupation, and the extent and nature of contacts the inhabitants of this site had with the wider world. The World War Two trenches have the potential to inform our understanding of the methods used to train the local Home Guard or other Army units.

Contextual characteristics

The camp provided temporary accommodation for Roman legionaries building the nearby stretch of the Antonine Wall and it is one of 20 such sites currently known along the line of the frontier. Archaeologists first recognised the relationship between these camps and the frontier in the 1950s when aerial photography became an important survey tool. The relationship of the camps to our understanding of the Antonine Wall is particularly important as only on this frontier can camps be directly related to the building of the frontier, our information being supplemented by the information provided on the well-known and internationally important distance slabs.

Built in the years following AD 142, the Antonine Wall represents Scotland's most significant Roman monument. 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 Wall is accompanied at regular intervals by forts, fortlets and other structures linked by a road system. It 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, which are unique to Germany and Britain. As a frontier, the Antonine Wall is interpreted as a means of controlling and monitoring cross-border movement into the Roman province to the south rather than a fortification intended to repel significant invasion. However, it is likely that the frontier's physical presence in the landscape, a continuous barrier spanning central Scotland, served as a deterrent to smaller-scale raiding.

The Iron-Age ring ditch can contribute to a better understanding of defended settlements in the Falkirk area. Situated close to the former coastline, the site would have commanded views over the mouth of the Rivers Avon and Carron at the point where they flow into the Forth Estuary. Information from the preservation and study of this site has the potential to enhance our understanding of Iron-Age settlement across the area and in Eastern Scotland. Sites such as this have good potential to provide evidence of Roman-native interaction.

The Home Guard were raised in 1940 as a volunteer force. At a time when invasion seemed imminent, the Home Guard were tasked to resist invasion forces while the Government and regular army organised a front line. The Home Guard comprised men who were either over or under age for active military service, medically unfit for service, or for men in reserved occupations (ie those deemed vital to the war effort, such as munitions workers, miners, or farmers) although up to 40% of recruits had seen service during World War One.

Associative characteristics

The Antonine Wall was established by the Emperor Antoninus Pius (AD 138-61) after successful campaigning in AD 139-42 by the Governor of Britain, Quintus Lollius Urbicus. It replaced Hadrian's Wall as the Empire's most northerly frontier. The Wall remained in use until it was abandoned, possibly after AD 165, when the Roman army withdrew from Scotland and the frontier line shifted again to Hadrian's Wall. The construction and purpose of the Antonine Wall exemplifies the wider system of military frontier management, termed limes, which stretched over the whole of the Roman Empire.

The Antonine Wall forms an extension to the existing transnational 'Frontiers of the Roman Empire' World Heritage Site that includes the German limes and Hadrian's Wall. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee approved the addition of the Antonine Wall on 7 July 2008.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of the past, in particular Roman temporary camps, their date, construction, use and role within the construction of the adjacent Antonine Wall, as well as domestic enclosures of the Iron Age, and military training undertaken during World War Two. Although no longer surviving as an upstanding earthwork, there is high potential for the preservation of important buried remains, in particular dateable organic remains, and artefactual evidence relating to the occupation of the camp. Within the camp, the potential for the survival of occupation evidence is high and such remains help inform our understanding of the lives of Roman soldiers while in the field. Organic evidence from the fill of the ditches around the camp is capable of providing information about the contemporary environment at the time of the construction of the Antonine Wall. As a group, the 20 temporary camps associated with the Antonine Wall provide an important tool to aid our understanding of the construction of the frontier. The Iron-Age ring ditch has the potential to make a valuable addition to our knowledge of the later prehistoric settlement pattern in the Falkirk area. Domestic remains from the site have the potential to tell us about wider society in the Iron Age, its architecture, how people lived, where they lived, who they had contact with, the nature of any interaction with Roman forces, and may inform our understanding of the agricultural economy of the area during the later prehistoric period. Environmental samples from the fills of the ditch may provide further information about the character of the local landscape during the late prehistoric period. The World War Two trenches demonstrate the type of training undertaken by the Home Guard or other army units to prepare for possible invasion and instruct them in the construction of defences. The loss of the monument would affect our understanding of the construction and use of temporary camps by the Roman army, in particular, the relationship between temporary encampments and the construction of the Antonine Wall, our ability to understand and appreciate Iron-Age domestic settlement in both the Falkirk area and across Scotland, and our ability to understand defensive structures built to resist invasion during World War Two.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the monument as NS97NW 11.

References:

Breeze D J 2006, THE ANTONINE WALL, John Donald: London.

Cook M 2000 'Deer's Den, Kintore', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 2000, 10-11.

Cook M 2002, 'Forest Road, Kintore', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 2001, 11.

Hanson W S and Maxwell G S 1986, ROME'S NORTH WEST FRONTIER, Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh.

RCAHMS 1963, STIRLINGSHIRE, AN INVENTORY OF THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS, Edinburgh: HMSO, 449 No. 590.

Robertson A S and Keppie L J F 2001, THE ANTONINE WALL: A HANDBOOK TO THE SURVIVING REMAINS, Glasgow Archaeology Society: Glasgow.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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