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Antonine Wall and fort, Castlecary

A Scheduled Monument in Denny and Banknock, Falkirk

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Latitude: 55.9824 / 55°58'56"N

Longitude: -3.9401 / 3°56'24"W

OS Eastings: 279051

OS Northings: 678305

OS Grid: NS790783

Mapcode National: GBR 1C.W2TS

Mapcode Global: WH4PS.GW0N

Entry Name: Antonine Wall and fort, Castlecary

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1981

Last Amended: 18 August 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90009

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: Antonine Wall

Location: Falkirk

County: Falkirk

Electoral Ward: Denny and Banknock

Traditional County: Stirlingshire


This monument comprises a short section of the Antonine Wall immediately E of Castlecary House, and Castlecary fort.

This proposal forms part of a programme which is intended to update the scheduling of the Antonine Wall, and extends the protected area along this part of the line of the Wall. Almost all of the area is in the Guardianship of the Secretary of State for Scotland. This section of the Wall was formerly unscheduled, but derived protection from the fact that it was in state care. This scheduling will accord appropriate scheduled status to the remains.

The site of the fort on the Antonine Wall at Castlecary has been known for some considerable time, and 17th- and 18th-century accounts speak of upstanding freestone masonry belonging to the fort defences and buildings being still visible. Unfortunately this was seen as an easy quarry for building stone, some of which was used in the construction of the Forth-Clyde Canal, and the fort suffered damage in 1841 when the railway line was driven through its southern half. Road construction on the north side of the fort and along the line of the Antonine Wall has also encroached on the site. Excavations took place on the site as early as 1902, when the basic layout of the fort was uncovered. The fort was found to have been surrounded by double ditches and a substantial stone wall with a massive foundation course about 3m wide. The wall itself was about 2m wide, constructed of ashlar facings with a stone rubble core bonded with lime mortar or cement. There were four gates, and at the SW corner the remains of a rectangular stone tower. An annexe was found attached to the E side, 142m by 98m, defended by a single ditch. Within the central area of the fort itself the principal buildings were identified; the headquarters building (with stone walls surviving up to six courses in height), the commandant's house, a granary, and a latrine in the NE corner. An internal bathhouse had been discovered in 1769 and described by General Roy; this lay near the SE corner and most of it was destroyed when the railway line went through the fort. Finds from the fort include earlier material as well as Antonine period artefacts, indicating that there may have been an earlier fort or camp somewhere nearby, dating to the Agricolan advance into Scotland of AD 80-81. Today little is visible on the ground, but a scarp running across the field marks the eastern edge of the fort where it meets the annexe, and some undulations in the ground within a small group of trees marks the partly-infilled excavation trenches over the principal buildings in the centre of the fort. The Antonine Wall has been partly built over, but just to the NE of the fort the line of the ditch can be clearly seen in the field next to Castlecary House.

The area to be scheduled consists of three main parts. One lies south of the railway line over the SW corner of the fort, and is roughly triangular, measuring a maximum of 215m by 61m. The second part covers the rest of the fort and annexe, lying between a minor road and the railway line, and measures a maximum of 342m by 118m. The third part covers the Antonine Wall east of Castlecary House and measures a maximum of 212m by 60m. All of these areas include all known remains and a margin around them where traces of activities associated with the construction and use of the monument may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


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Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Antonine Wall - Castlecary Fort
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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