Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

Roman fort and annexe, 270m NNE of 3 Easter Happrew Cottages

A Scheduled Monument in Tweeddale West, Scottish Borders

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

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.


Latitude: 55.6477 / 55°38'51"N

Longitude: -3.2812 / 3°16'52"W

OS Eastings: 319465

OS Northings: 640093

OS Grid: NT194400

Mapcode National: GBR 53J4.F9

Mapcode Global: WH6V3.K9QR

Entry Name: Roman fort and annexe, 270m NNE of 3 Easter Happrew Cottages

Scheduled Date: 8 October 1959

Last Amended: 26 October 2021

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1493

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: fort

Location: Stobo

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale West

Traditional County: Peeblesshire


The monument comprises the remains of a Roman fort and annexe, dating to the 1st century AD, visible as cropmarks on oblique aerial photographs. The fort is located on a broad terrace above the Lyne Water at around 300m above sea level.

The fort is rhomboid in shape measuring around 140m across with three visible entrances, on the east, west and south sides. The north side of the fort has been eroded by the Lyne Water. The aerial photography shows that the fort is bisected by a road which is orientated east northeast by west southwest.  There is an annexe measuring around 140m by 70m on the southwest side of the fort. Excavations suggest that the commander's house stood to the north of this road, near the eastern gate and the fort faced south. Outside of the fort on its northeast side are at least three buildings which may be civilian rather than military in nature.

The scheduled area is irregular. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes above ground elements of all modern fences, dykes and field gates to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a.  The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past, or has the potential to do so, in particular in relation to the earliest period of Roman occupation of Scotland, and the construction, use, dismantling and abandonment of Roman frontier military installations during this period.

b.   The monument retains structural, architectural, or other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past.  Archaeological excavations have revealed extensive archaeological remains, and there is potential for the preservation of further additional buried features and deposits, including structural remains and environmental or palaeobotanical remains.

c.   The monument is a rare example of an early Flavian fort in Scotland, apparently unaltered once it was abandoned in favour of the nearby fort at Lyne.

d.   The monument is a particularly good example of a late 1st century AD Roman frontier fort and is therefore an important representative example of this monument type.

e.   The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past, in particular, it holds the potential to enhance our understanding of the early Roman presence within Scotland, including the construction and use of Roman military architecture in the late 1st century AD, the social and economic conditions surrounding them, and their relationships over time, and there is high potential for archaeological evidence to survive in and around the monument.

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape as a component of the Roman military network within southern Scotland.

g.  The monument has significant associations with Gnaeus Julius Agricola, the Roman Governor of Britannia and military commander of multiple campaigns into Scotland during the late 70s and early 80s AD, culminating in his victory in the Battle of Mons Graupius around 83AD.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument is a Roman fort and annexe which has been recorded through cropmarking on oblique aerial photographs and survives as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. Small-scale excavations were carried out at the monument in 1956 which revealed important information on the date and character of the fort. These excavations showed that the fort was enclosed by a turf rampart around 8m wide with a ditch 4m wide and around 1.5m deep in front of it. The front portion of the rampart stood on a stone base, presumably to minimise the likelihood that that rampart may collapse into the ditch. Behind the rampart was an area of ash, likely from ovens and beyond that lay a gravelled road. A small section of the garrison commander's house (the praetorium) was also uncovered. This was a timber building with wattle and daub walls. The excavations did not show any sign of repair or reconstruction which suggests that the fort was occupied only once and was then never re-occupied.

Outside the eastern rampart was a large pit, visible on aerial photographs which was shown by the excavations to be a Roman gravel quarry which was used in the construction of the roads within the fort. To the east of the pit were three buildings of uncertain function. They were, however, of a similar construction to the commander's house which suggests that they were contemporary Roman buildings. The largest of these buildings may have been a mansio (rest-house for travellers). These buildings are also known at the fort complexes at Trimontium (scheduled monument SM12869) and Birrens (scheduled monument SM666). An elongated annexe has been identified through aerial photography measuring around 140m east-west by 70m north-south what a possible entrance in the north. The annexe is an unusual  shape and its function is not certain.

Artefacts recovered during excavation demonstrate that the fort dates to the Agricolan campaign of the 1st century AD. It has been suggested that the fort was first constructed during initial phase of conquest and then abandoned in favour of the site at Lyne when the lateral east-west road linking Newstead to Clydesdale was constructed on the north side of the Lyne Water). Excavation identified only a single phase of construction suggesting the monument was not re-occupied or re-used.

The evidence indicates high potential for the survival of archaeological deposits, including occupation and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal and pollen within, beneath and around the remains of the fort and annexe. The archaeological deposits have the potential to provide information about character, layout and functioning of the fort, its chronology including its date of origin as well as the lives of Roman soldiers while in the field. Any artefacts and environmental material would enhance understanding of contemporary economy, land-use to our understanding of the character and nature of Roman forts in southern Scotland during the Roman occupation.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

A network of forts and fortlets were constructed in southern Scotland following the Roman invasions of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Forts were permanent or semi-permanent bases for Roman soldiers controlling an area of territory. They were linked by military roads and played a key role in the military control of Scotland. The Roman fort at Easter Happrew formed part of this wider network. Lyne, Roman fort, annexes and fortlet (scheduled monument SM1492) lies 0.5km northwest, Lyne, Roman temporary camp (scheduled monument SM1494) 0.7km northeast and the Roman temporary camp at Meldon Bridge (Canmore ID 51570) 0.8km east-northeast. The fort at Easter Happrew is therefore an important example which formed a key part of the wider network of Roman military control in southern Scotland. It has the potential to tell us about the nature and logistics of Roman military control in this region and the differing roles of Roman military establishments.

Roman forts were constructed in strategic locations, usually on communications routes and close to river crossings. The fort occupies a prominent position overlooking the Lyne Water. It was built on a raised terrace and made use of this topographic feature as part of its northern defences. The main east-west Roman road through the Scottish Borders probably followed the north bank of the Lyne Water. A branch to the fort probably forded the river below it. The fort was probably positioned here to control movement along the road and to monitor the river crossing. The monument therefore has the potential to add to our understanding of Roman military strategy. It can tell us about the nature of Roman occupation in southern Scotland and the impact of the Roman presence on the local people and the landscape of Scotland.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

Easter Happrew is one of a series of Roman forts connected with Gnaeus Julius Agricola, the Roman Governor of Britannia from around 78AD to around 85AD. His son in law Tacitus later wrote a history of Agricola from which we gain most of our knowledge of Agricola and his career. He undertook several military campaigns within Scotland, culminating in the Battle of Mons Graupius around 83AD, and the presence of multiple forts from the Flavian period such as this, coupled with the extensive military complex of Trimontium near Melrose, suggest Agricola had a long term intent to control or occupy this territory.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 50032 (accessed on 03/09/2021).

Breeze D J (1996). Roman Scotland. Batsford.

RCAHMS (1967) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Peeblesshire: an inventory of the ancient monuments. Edinburgh. pg. 169-71.

Steer, K. (1957). The Roman Fort at Easter Happrew, Peeblesshire in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vol. 90, pg. 93-101.

Accessed online at (20/07/2021).


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments 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 for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.