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Ythan Wells, Roman camps 1000m WSW of Logie Newton Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.4335 / 57°26'0"N

Longitude: -2.5741 / 2°34'26"W

OS Eastings: 365629

OS Northings: 838270

OS Grid: NJ656382

Mapcode National: GBR N902.FHN

Mapcode Global: WH8N0.FFG8

Entry Name: Ythan Wells, Roman camps 1000m WSW of Logie Newton Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 April 1964

Last Amended: 16 January 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2415

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: camp

Location: Auchterless

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of two Roman temporary camps, partly superimposed, but both dating probably from the Agricolan period in the late 1st century AD. The defensive ditches of both camps are visible as cropmarks on oblique aerial photographs. The archaeological remains survive mainly beneath the ploughsoil as buried features and deposits, although parts of the rampart of the larger camp are preserved as upstanding features in later field boundaries. The camps are located at the N end of a broad ridge that rises above the S bank of the River Ythan and lie between 150m and 215m above sea level. The monument was first scheduled in 1963 and rescheduled in 1998, but the scheduled area did not adequately cover all of the archaeological remains: the present amendment rectifies this.

The two camps are different sizes and on different alignments. The large camp, Ythan Wells I, is aligned NE-SW and measures around 805m NE-SW by 590m transversely, enclosing an area of 45.3ha (112 acres). Unusually, the rampart is preserved along parts of the camp's SW and SE sides, where it is up to 3.7m in width and 0.7m in height. Of probably six original tituli (mounds of earth that acted as defences in front of the entrance gates), two are clearly visible as cropmarks in the NW and NE sides, placed at points where the defences change alignment. This camp overlies a much smaller camp at its NE corner, Ythan Wells II, which is aligned roughly W-E. This camp measures around 410m W-E by 325m transversely, enclosing an area of about 13.5ha (33 acres), and has rounded corners and four entrances. Stracathro-type gates with projecting ditches are visible in the N and W sides of the camp.

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 excludes the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences and telegraph poles.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has significant potential to contribute to our understanding of Roman camps, in particular, their construction, internal organisation, use, dating and changes in their design; and their distribution and relationship with each other and with other broadly contemporary monuments in the landscape. This monument can also inform our understanding of the daily lives of Roman soldiers and enhance knowledge of the impact of Roman campaigns on local Iron Age communities and the landscape. The monument at Ythan Wells is particularly valuable because it comprises two superimposed camps of different size and type, and because it is among the northernmost of the Roman camps in Scotland: Ythan Wells I appears to be one of a linear group of particularly large camps in NE Scotland. This camp is also important because part of the defences survive as an upstanding earthwork, indicating high potential for the preservation of important remains, including artefacts and ecofacts. Ythan Wells I was documented by antiquarians in the 18th century, which adds to the understanding of this camp. If this monument were to be lost or damaged, our understanding of Roman camps and our knowledge of Roman military structure and logistics would be significantly diminished.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ63NE 2: Ythan Wells, Roman Temporary camp. The Aberdeenshire Sites and Monuments Record records the monument as NJ63NE0002.

Aerial photographs used: AB6474, AB6469, AB6594, AB6595, AB6596, K17N150. Copyright RCAHMS,


Crawford, O G S (1949), Topography of Roman Scotland north of the Antonine Wall, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Hanson, W S and Maxwell, G S (1983), Rome's north west frontier: the Antonine Wall. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Hanson, W S (1987), Agricola and the Conquest of the North. London: Batsford.

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

Macdonald, G (1916), 'The Roman camps at Raedykes and Glenmailen', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 50,317-359.

Maxwell, G (1990), A battle lost: Romans and Caledonians at Mons Graupius, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

St Joseph, J K (1958), 'Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1955-7', J Roman Stud,.48, pp. 86-101.

St Joseph, J K (1970), 'The camps at Ardoch, Stracathro and Ythan Wells: recent excavations', Britannia, 1, pp. 163-178.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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