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Annan Hill Roman camp

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale South, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.9769 / 54°58'36"N

Longitude: -3.2637 / 3°15'49"W

OS Eastings: 319216

OS Northings: 565425

OS Grid: NY192654

Mapcode National: GBR 5BNW.7Q

Mapcode Global: WH6YD.V51H

Entry Name: Annan Hill Roman camp

Scheduled Date: 25 November 1981

Last Amended: 16 January 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4273

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: camp

Location: Annan

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale South

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises the remains of part of a Roman temporary camp. The camp survives as buried features and deposits and is visible as cropmarks captured on aerial photographs. The camp is sub-rectangular in form and originally measured about 146m from NE to SW by 100m transversely in total, enclosing an area of at least 1.4ha, but its eastern end has been developed for housing. The camp is located on top of Annan Hill at about 30 to 35m above sea level, with commanding views in all directions. The monument was first scheduled in 1981, but is being amended to better reflect the extent of surviving archaeological remains.

The cropmarks and limited excavations have identified all four sides of the camp, including two of the gateways: one on the SW side and the other on the NE. Limited excavations in 1966 and 1985-6 identified the SW and SE defensive ditches, the E angle and the gates in the SW and NE sides. The ditches, preserved below the ploughsoil, are on average 1.6m wide by 1m deep. The SW entrance was recorded as 10m wide and the SE entrance as 8.2m wide. In the mid 1980s a housing development removed the E angle and part of the camp interior after archaeological examination. In 2002, evaluation of a house plot towards the NE edge of the camp revealed another stretch of the NE ditch and confirmed the location of the NE entrance.

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 part of the eastern end of the camp now occupied by a housing development is excluded from the scheduling. The scheduled area also specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences, hedges and telegraph poles. It also excludes the above-ground parts of the stable, water tower and associated structures and pipework.

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 the construction, use and internal layout of Roman temporary camps. Although no longer surviving as an upstanding earthwork, there is good potential for buried remains from the fills of the ditch. Such deposits could include dateable organic remains and artefactual evidence relating to the occupation of the camp. Within the camp, the potential for the survival of occupation evidence in the form of rubbish pits and bread ovens is high; such remains help inform our understanding of the organisation of the camps and the lives of Roman soldiers while in the field. Organic evidence from the fill of the ditches around the camp could provide information about the contemporary environment at the time of the camp's construction. Spatial analysis of camps and Roman roads can inform our understanding of Roman military strategy and offer insights into the effects of the Roman occupation on the local Iron Age landscape of the time. The loss of the monument would diminish 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 NY16NE 6 Hillside Roman temporary camp.


Brann, M L 2001, 'Annan Hill Roman temporary Camp, Dumfries and Galloway (Annan parish), watching brief', Discovery Excav Scot, vol. 2, 25.

Brann, M L 2002, 'Annan Hill Roman temporary camp, Dumfries and Galloway (Annan parish), watching brief; excavation', Discovery Excav Scot, vol. 3

Gibbs, A 1966, 'Annan Hill, Roman temporary enclosure', Discovery Excav Scot, 20.

Goodburn, R 1978, 'Roman Britain in 1977. I. Sites explored', Britannia, vol. 9.

Crawford, O G S 1949, Topography of Roman Scotland north of the Antonine Wall, Cambridge

Jones, R H 2011, Roman Camps in Scotland, Edinburgh

Keppie, L 1986, 'Excavation of a Roman temporary camp at Annan Hill, Dumfriesshire', Glasgow Archaeol Soc Bull, vol. 21 March, 6-10.

Keppie, L J F 1988, 'Excavation of a Roman temporary camp at Annan Hill, Dumfriesshire 1985-86', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd series, vol. 63, 13-21.

RCAHMS 1997, Eastern Dumfriesshire: an archaeological landscape, Edinburgh, 183-4, 309, no. 1204.

St Joseph, J K 1961, 'Air reconnaissance in Britain, 1958-60', J Roman Stud, vol. 51, 122.

Webster, G 1985 The Roman Imperial Army, 3rd ed, 171.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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