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Keithock, Roman camp north of East Mains of Keithock

A Scheduled Monument in Brechin and Edzell, Angus

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Latitude: 56.765 / 56°45'53"N

Longitude: -2.6393 / 2°38'21"W

OS Eastings: 361018

OS Northings: 763888

OS Grid: NO610638

Mapcode National: GBR WX.WWBW

Mapcode Global: WH8R8.F7F7

Entry Name: Keithock, Roman camp N of East Mains of Keithock

Scheduled Date: 21 May 1963

Last Amended: 30 October 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2303

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: camp

Location: Brechin/Stracathro

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Brechin and Edzell

Traditional County: Angus


The monument comprises the remains of a large Roman camp with an attached annex. The camp is visible as cropmarks captured on aerial photographs and survives as features and deposits buried beneath the ploughsoil. The camp is rectangular in plan and measures 640m from NE to SW by 410m transversely, enclosing an area of about 26ha (64 acres). Originally the camp had six entrances, each with a titulus (external protection for the gateway) of which four are visible as cropmarks: two on the NE and one on the SW and SE sides of the camp. The annex is on the NW side of the camp and measures 117m by 109m, enclosing an area of 1.27ha (3 acres). The camp is located immediately S of Cruick Water on a gradual rise at about 60 to 70m above sea level; most of the fields which it occupies are currently in cultivation. The monument was first scheduled in 1972, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present amendment rectifies this.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them 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 scheduled area specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences, hedges and drystane dykes.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of the past, in particular Roman camps: their dating, design, methods of construction, use and role. There is good potential for the survival of important buried remains in the fills of the ditch and from features within the interior. Such deposits could include dateable organic remains and artefactual evidence relating to the occupation of the camp, and could provide evidence about the landscape and environment at the time of the camp's construction. Within the camp, there is high potential for the survival of occupation evidence in the form of rubbish pits, bread ovens and latrine pits, which can inform our understanding of the lives of Roman soldiers while in the field. This camp is located only about 1.5km SSW from the Roman fort and camp at Stracathro, and is the northernmost member of a discrete group of 25ha camps that line Strathmore. Spatial analysis of camps and Roman roads can inform our understanding of Roman military strategy and offer insights into the effects of the Roman presence on local Iron-Age communities and the landscape. The loss of the monument would affect our understanding of the construction and use of temporary camps by the Roman army and our knowledge of Roman military structure, economy and social practice.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The RCAHMS record the monument as NO66SW 1 Keithock Roman temporary camp.

Aerial photographs used:

AN 4528 CN, AN 4529 CN, AN 5334 PO, AN 5760, AN 5761, AN 5762, AN 5763, AN 5764, AN 5765, AN 5766, B 51548 PO, B 51549 PO, A 83266 PO, A 83267 PO, A 83268 PO, A 83269 PO, A 83270 PO, A 83271 PO, A 83272 PO


Keppie, L J F 1993, 'Roman Britain in 1992. I Sites explored. 2. Scotland', Britannia 24, 281.

Jones, R H 2011, Roman Camps in Scotland, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland monog ser.

St Joseph, J K 1958, 'Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1955-7', J Roman Stud, vol. 48

St Joseph, J K 1961, 'Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1958-60', J Roman Stud, vol. 51

St Joseph, J K 1965, 'Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1961-4', J Roman Stud, vol. 55

St Joseph, J K 1969, 'Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1965-68', J Roman Stud, vol. 59

St Joseph, J K 1955, 'Battledykes, Keithock', Discovery Excav Scot

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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