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Gilnockie Roman Camp, 300m south west of New Woodhead

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale East and Eskdale, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.1036 / 55°6'12"N

Longitude: -2.958 / 2°57'28"W

OS Eastings: 338974

OS Northings: 579217

OS Grid: NY389792

Mapcode National: GBR 79SF.D9

Mapcode Global: WH7YX.JZND

Entry Name: Gilnockie Roman Camp, 300m SW of New Woodhead

Scheduled Date: 1 April 1924

Last Amended: 28 November 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM668

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: camp

Location: Canonbie

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument is the remains of a Roman camp built between AD 71 and AD 410. The monument is visible as upstanding earthworks, including well-preserved sections of the rampart and defensive ditch. The camp is located close to the E bank of the River Esk, about 1km NE of the river. It stands between 90m and 105m above sea level on a SW-facing slope, with its long sides bounded by tributaries of the Esk.

The camp is sub-rectangular on plan. It measures about 465m NE-SW by 251m transversely, and encloses an area of 11.3 ha (28 acres). The defensive rampart and ditch are visible on the SE and NE sides of the camp's perimeter, and on parts of the NW and SW sides. The camp defences are best preserved on the SE side where the rampart and ditch are visible in open pasture land. The remains of the rampart stand up to 1.1m high and have spread to 6.5m wide. The adjacent ditch is around 5m wide, but its depth is unknown as it is largely in-filled. Two tituli (mounds of earth that acted as defences in front of the gates) are visible at roughly equal intervals along the SE side, and a further titulus survives in the NW side. The camp probably had six entrances in total: two in the long sides and one at the approximate centre of the short sides. A track overlies the line of the NW defences and a dismantled railway line overlies part of the SW perimeter. The monument was last scheduled in 1972, but the documents did not meet modern standards: 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 scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its high potential to contribute to our understanding and appreciation of Roman camps, including their construction, use and internal layout. The Roman camp at Gilnockie is particularly important because it is one of relatively few camps which preserve upstanding remains: much of the defensive circuit survives as a rampart and ditch visible on the ground surface. The presence of upstanding remains and the lack of later development within the site suggests there is high potential for the survival of buried remains that can significantly increase our understanding of the Roman army on campaign. Spatial analysis of Roman temporary camps and the roads that connected them can inform our understanding of Roman military strategy and the local impacts of the Roman presence on Iron Age communities and the landscape of Scotland. If this monument were to be lost or damaged, our understanding of the construction and use of temporary camps by the Roman army and our knowledge of Roman military structure and logistics would be diminished.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NY37NE 2.


Macdonald, G (1923), 'The Romans in Dumfriesshire', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc,3 Ser, 8, pp. 92-4.

Royal Commission of Ancient and Archaeological Monuemnts Scotland (RCAHMS) (1997), Eastern Dumfriesshire: An Archaeological Landscape, RCAHMS, Edinburgh.

St Joseph, J K 1969, 'Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1965-8', J Roman Stud, 59, p. 114.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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