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Roman road, Caddam Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Kirriemuir and Dean, Angus

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Latitude: 56.6893 / 56°41'21"N

Longitude: -3.0095 / 3°0'34"W

OS Eastings: 338264

OS Northings: 755739

OS Grid: NO382557

Mapcode National: GBR VJ.LLWQ

Mapcode Global: WH7QB.R437

Entry Name: Roman road, Caddam Wood

Scheduled Date: 14 February 1958

Last Amended: 29 August 2022

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM143

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: road

Location: Kirriemuir

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Kirriemuir and Dean

Traditional County: Angus


The monument comprises a 1.1km stretch of Roman road, likely to date to the late 1st century AD, within Caddam Wood to the north of Kirriemuir. The road survives as a low raised mound to the southwest of Windyghoul Road (NO 3786 5531 to NO 3792 5536) and within the main body of Caddam Wood to the northeast of Windyghoul Road (NO 3792 5537 to NO 3864 5613). Both sections have evidence of flanking ditches. Caddam Wood is a mixed broadleaf and conifer plantation in an arable landscape around 160m above sea level.

The Roman road survives in two sections within Caddam Wood to either side of Windyghoul Road. The section to the southwest of Windyghoul Road measures 75m in length and survives as a low raised mound up to 5m wide with flanking ditches on either side of the road between NO 3786 5531 to NO 3792 5536. The section to the northeast of Windyghoul Road measures around 1km in total length. The Roman road survives as a low mound up to 5m wide with flanking ditches running southwest-northeast for around 695m between NO 3804 5550 and NO 3851 5601, it is then obscured by dense forestry before reappearing for a further stretch of around 40m between NO 3859 5609 to NO 3862 5612.

The scheduled area comprises the course of the Roman road within Caddam Wood. The monument is in two parts to the southwest and northeast of Windyghoul Road. Both sections are 20m wide overall, however the northwest section is narrower near the junction of Windyghoul Road and Woodside. 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 above ground elements of all modern post and wire fences are excluded 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, as part of a Roman road network and the Roman strategic network of camps, forts, fortlets and signal stations. It adds to our understanding of Roman military expansion into Scotland. 

b.   The monument retains structural, archaeological and other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. In particular there is potential for the preservation of buried features and deposits relating to the Roman road, its use, re-use and abandonment. Significant upstanding remains also provide evidence of the route's construction techniques.

c.   The monument is a rare example of a Roman road in Scotland where significant upstanding remains survive in form of earthwork banks and ditches. 

d.   The monument is a particularly good example of a Roman road which has survived as an earthwork monument. It is therefore an important representative of this monument type.

e.   The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past. It contributes to our understanding of the Roman occupation of Scotland.

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape as part of the wider Roman strategic road network that linked Roman forts. It has the potential to add to our understanding of Roman troop movements and campaigning during the period of Roman occupation.

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 well preserved section of Roman road in Caddam Wood to the north of Kirriemuir, Angus. The road formed part of the wider network of roads, camps and forts which were used as part of the Roman occupation of upland Scotland. Limited archaeological excavation was carried out across the road in 1963. At that time the excavations showed a raised causeway with two flat-bottomed ditches. The width of the causeway was 5.79m. It was constructed of clay topped with gravel, below which was decayed turf (Angus HER ID: NO35NE9902).

Scientific study of the monument has the potential to produce more detailed information and improve understanding of Roman military engineering and road construction techniques. The monument may seal features deriving from earlier land use, and will preserve evidence for the construction, use and abandonment of the road. Deposits beneath the road may contain important paleoenvironmental evidence that can help us reconstruct the environment before the road was built and any cut features associated with the monument may similarly provide information about the environment while the monument was in use. Archaeological deposits within the monument may preserve material with the potential to provide a better understanding of the development sequence and use of the monument both in the Roman period and any possible use in later periods.

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

This road forms part of a wider network of Roman roads which connected forts and camps north of the Forth-Clyde Isthmus. The road is likely to date to the period of Roman expansion into Scotland under Julius Agricola in the 1st century AD. It linked the fort and camp at Cardean (scheduled monuments SM2306 and SM4337) and the fort and camp at Inverquarity (scheduled monument SM6452). These forts are often referred to as 'glen blocking forts'. It is though that they were intended to be used as springboards for a series of offensives into the "Caledonian" highlands along the lines of the Glens. These forts form a rough line from Barochan on the Clyde (scheduled monument SM3318) to Stracathro, Angus (scheduled monument SM2829). The road in Caddam Wood form part of the wider road network that joined these sites.

Study of this monument in relation to other Roman monuments to the north of the Antonine Wall has the inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the road construction techniques and relationship to the wider road network used by the Roman Empire in its invasions and occupations of what is now Scotland in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Study of the road and fortlet in relation to other Roman monuments has the potential to increase our understanding of the scale of Roman intervention into highland Scotland and it's likely impact upon the native population.

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

The monument is associated with the Roman invasion of Scotland. It may have been used during the Roman advance northward in the 1st century AD during the campaigns of Gnaeus Julius Agricola (Breeze 2006).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 32173 (accessed on 28/06/2022).

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference NO35NE9902 (accessed on 28/06/2022).

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

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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