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Eshiels, Roman camps 90m SSW of No 4 Eshiels

A Scheduled Monument in Tweeddale West, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6438 / 55°38'37"N

Longitude: -3.1434 / 3°8'36"W

OS Eastings: 328129

OS Northings: 639514

OS Grid: NT281395

Mapcode National: GBR 63H5.7N

Mapcode Global: WH6V5.PDBQ

Entry Name: Eshiels, Roman camps 90m SSW of No 4 Eshiels

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1975

Last Amended: 31 August 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3667

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: camp

Location: Peebles

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale West

Traditional County: Peeblesshire


The monument is the remains of two Roman camps dating probably from between AD 75 and AD 220. The camps survive as buried archaeological features that are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The camps lie on a level terrace on the N bank of the River Tweed, at about 160m above sea level.

The cropmarks define three sides of Camp I, indicating the positions of the defensive ditches on the WNW, SSW and ESE sides. The position of the NNE side is not apparent, but it is clear that the camp measures at least 405m NNE-SSW by 335m transversely. Traces of entrances called 'Stracathro-type' are visible on the ESE and WSW sides, formed from ditches protruding out from the line of the camp sides. Camp II is smaller. It appears to share part of the WNW side of Camp I, and lies entirely within the footprint of the larger camp. Parts of all four sides of Camp II are visible, and it measures about 320m NNE-SSW by 250m transversely. Entrances are visible in the centre of the NNE and SSW sides, protected by external ditches known as 'tituli'. A prehistoric barrow represented by cropmarks of a circular ditch with central pit lies on a low ridge about 25m W of the camps.

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 all fences and gates that lie at the boundaries of the scheduled area. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all other fences and gates, telegraph and electricity poles, and TV aerials. The scheduling specifically excludes the top 20cm of all areas of hard-standing. The monument was first scheduled in 1975, but the documents did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because it has significant potential to contribute to our understanding of Roman camps, including their dating, construction, use and role. It preserves significant evidence for two overlying camps with different entrance types, offering potential to understand the chronological relationship and development sequence. Spatial analysis of Roman camps and the Roman roads that connected them can inform our understanding of Roman military strategy, and the impacts of the Roman presence on local Iron Age communities and the landscape of Scotland. The camps lie immediately E of an older prehistoric barrow, indicating use of the landscape over an extended period. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand the construction and use of temporary camps by the Roman army on campaign, both in the Scottish Borders and across Scotland as a whole.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT23NE 27.

ReferencesJones, R H 2011, Roman Camps in Scotland, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland monog ser, 200.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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