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Newstead Roman military complex, 660m WSW of Broomhill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Leaderdale and Melrose, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.5971 / 55°35'49"N

Longitude: -2.6852 / 2°41'6"W

OS Eastings: 356920

OS Northings: 633930

OS Grid: NT569339

Mapcode National: GBR 93PQ.GF

Mapcode Global: WH7WQ.QLJ2

Entry Name: Newstead Roman military complex, 660m WSW of Broomhill Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 July 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12869

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive); Roman: fort

Location: Melrose

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Leaderdale and Melrose

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument comprises the buried remains of the Roman military complex at Newstead, which consists of: a series of four overlying forts; seven annexes which occur on all four sides of the forts; at least six camps; one bathhouse; and a possible amphitheatre. The monument consists of at least four phases of construction during two or more periods of occupation, which occurred during the late 1st and mid 2nd century AD. Archaeological excavations have demonstrated that building foundations and significant archaeological deposits survive in situ. The character, extent and general layout of the site is discernible from cropmarks visible on aerial photographs. The monument lies on the S side of the River Tweed, below the hillfort on Eildon Hill North and to the E of the village of Newstead, at approximately 120m above sea level. The monument was first scheduled as three separate monuments in 1970 and 1972: the present rescheduling combines the previous schedulings (SMs 163, 2845, 2903) and improves the documentation and mapping.

The archaeological excavations conducted during 1905-1910, 1947 and 1989-1996 of the fort and surrounding area have demonstrated the good survival of archaeological deposits. The excavations revealed the foundations of four overlying Roman forts and a bathhouse; a series of fort, annex and camp ditches; and over 100 excavated pits. The excavations have confirmed and clarified the Roman phases of the monument and highlight the exceptional archaeological potential of this complex and extensive site. The forts, while varying slightly, each measure about 250m N-S by 250m E-W, forming an approximate square shape enclosing an area of roughly 5.78ha; the exception is the first, early Flavian fort, which is irregular in plan and about 4.29ha in area. The site was first occupied around AD 78. This phase of occupation encompassed the first and second forts and continued until around AD 105. This was followed by an hiatus before the site was reoccupied around AD 140. The fort was then rebuilt and expanded in about AD 160 and was finally abandoned sometime around or after AD 180. The last Roman activity at the site seems to have been the construction of a large 67ha camp, which has been attributed to the campaign of Emperor Septimus Severus in AD 208-211. The scheduled area also includes three Iron Age indigenous settlements. Two of these comprise circular enclosures both roughly 110m in diameter, while the third is a smaller rectilinear enclosure measuring 50m NNW-SSE by 50m transversely.

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 scheduled area extends up to, but excludes, all modern public roads and the properties of Broomhill farm. To allow for their maintenance, the scheduling also excludes the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences, telegraph poles and boundary walls, the top 300mm of all farm tracks, and the above-ground elements of all street furniture and signage.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular the Roman occupation of southern Scotland. This potential is enhanced by the confirmed presence of extensive remains, excellent levels of preservation, multiple phases of occupation and known historical periods of use. Newstead is one of the most important Roman period monuments in Scotland and has a place in the national consciousness. Excavations have demonstrated that the site has high potential for the preservation of further important buried remains, in particular, datable artefactual material and organic remains relating to the occupation of this sequence of forts and camps. The loss of this monument would significantly affect our ability to understand the Roman military presence in Scotland. It would also have far-reaching implications for our understanding of the construction, purpose and use of forts and camps and the development of frontier infrastructure and society within the Roman Empire. The close proximity of various types of indigenous Iron Age settlements, in the form of the three enclosed settlements and the major hillfort on Eildon Hill North, provide excellent potential to improve our understanding of the complex history of the area in the Iron Age, the impact of Roman occupation on the local inhabitants and society, and what, if any, level of interaction occurred between the Romans and the native inhabitants.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Full details

The RCAHMS record the monument as NY18SW 11 Newstead Roman fort.


Bruhn, J and Hodgson, N 2009, 'Scotland South of the Antonine Wall', in Hodgson, N (ed) Roman Scotland: A handbook to accompany the post-Congress excursion to Scotland, 24-26 August 2009, Newcastle upon Tyne: Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, 5-12.

Clarke, S 1995, 'A Quantitative Analysis of Finds from the Roman Fort of Newstead: Some Preliminary Findings', in Cottam, S, Dungworth, D, Scott, S and Taylor J (eds) TRAC94: Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Durham 1994, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 72-82.

Clarke, S 1997, 'Abandonment, rubbish disposal and special deposits at Newstead', in Meadows, K, Lemke, C and Heron, J (eds) TRAC96: Proceedings of the Sixth Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Sheffield 1996, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 73-83.

Clarke, S and Jones, R F J 1994, The Melrose By-Pass Phase iii Archaeological Report 3; Stage 2, Excavation. Bradford, University of Bradford

Clarke, S and Jones, R F J 1996 'The Newstead Pits', Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies 5, 109 -124.

Clarke, S and Wise, A 1999, 'Evidence for extramural settlement north of the Roman fort at Newstead (Trimontium), Roxburghshire', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 129, 375-390.

Clarke, S 2000, 'The west annexe at Newstead (Trimontium), Roxburghshire', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 130, 457-467.

Curle, J 1911, A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort at Newstead in the parish of Melrose. Glasgow: J Maclehose and Sons.

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

Hunter, F and Keppie, L 2013, A Roman Frontier Post and its People: Newstead 1911-2011, National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh.

Jones, R F J 1989, The Newstead Project 1989; Summary Report. Bradford, University of Bradford.

Jones, R F J, Rush, R, Cheetham, P and Dent, J 1990, The Newstead Project 1990 Field Season Preliminary Report. Bradford, University of Bradford.

Jones, R F J, Clarke, S, Dent, J and Cheetham, P 1991, The Newstead Project 1991 Field Season Preliminary Report. Bradford, University of Bradford.

Jones, R F J, Cheetham, P, Clark, K, Clarke, S and Dent, J 1992, The Newstead Project 1992 Field Season Preliminary Report. Bradford, University of Bradford.

Jones, R F J, Clarke, S, Clark, K, Dent, J, Dave Lucy, D and Cheetham, P 1993, The Newstead Project 1993 Field Season Preliminary Report. Bradford, University of Bradford.

Manning, W H 2006, 'The Roman Fort at Newstead: the weapons and the garrisons', in Wilson, R J A (ed) 2006, Romanitas: Essays on Roman archaeology in honour of Sheppard Frere on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 74-94.

Richmond, I A 1952, 'Excavations at the Roman Fort of Newstead 1947', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 84, 1-38.

Ross, A 1968, 'Shafts Pits and Wells – Sanctuaries of the Belgic Britons?', in Coles and Simpson (eds) Studies in Ancient Europe. Leicester, Leicester University Press, 256-284.

Ross, A and Feacham, R 1976, 'Ritual Rubbish? The Newstead Pits', in Megaw, J V S (ed) To Illustrate the Monument. London, Thames and Hudson, 228-237.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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