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Oxton, Roman fortlet and annexes 230m NNE of Braefoot Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Leaderdale and Melrose, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7816 / 55°46'53"N

Longitude: -2.8118 / 2°48'42"W

OS Eastings: 349181

OS Northings: 654547

OS Grid: NT491545

Mapcode National: GBR 81TL.19

Mapcode Global: WH7VP.SY75

Entry Name: Oxton, Roman fortlet and annexes 230m NNE of Braefoot Cottage

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1969

Last Amended: 29 January 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2837

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: annexe

Location: Channelkirk

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Leaderdale and Melrose

Traditional County: Berwickshire

Description

The monument is the remains of a Roman fortlet and associated annexes, dating to the late first or second century AD. The archaeological remains survive as buried features visible on oblique aerial photographs. The monument is located on a low ridge in the Lammermuir Hills. The monument was first scheduled in 1969, but the documents did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The visible cropmarks identify the whole fortlet and a series of four annexes. The fortlet itself is approximately square and comprises a substantial rampart and two ditches. There is a single entrance facing the SW. Two annexes on the NE side indicate a development sequence; both are demarcated by single ditches, one broad and one narrow. A smaller ditched annex is visible on the NW side within a narrow ditch. The fourth and by far the largest annex is attached to the SE side and encloses an area of approximately 2ha. This unusual annex is an irregular elongated shape, aligned NW-SE and around 225m in length. It is delineated by a 3m wide ditch, pierced by several entrances to the SE and NW. It is aligned with Dere Street, a major Roman supply route that runs alongside the SE side of this annex and the fortlet.

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 specifically excludes the above-ground elements of the post-and-wire boundary fences enclosing the monument and the above-ground elements of all telegraph poles to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its significant potential to contribute to our understanding of Roman fortlets, camps and annexes, as well as Roman military logistics and supply networks. Spatial analysis of Roman forts and camps can inform our understanding of Roman military strategy, the impact of the Romans on the local Iron Age landscape and peoples, the methods of construction of Roman forts, and the daily lives of those who served in or served the Roman army. If this monument was to be lost or damaged, our understanding of the Roman occupation of southern Scotland and of Roman military structure and logistics would be greatly diminished.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/canmore.html CANMORE ID 54576.

St Joseph, J K 1958, Air reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-84 , J Roman Stud 48, 88, 92.

Hanson, 1980, The first Roman occupation of Scotland , in Hanson, W S and Keppie, L J F, Roman Frontier Studies 1979, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 71, 18.

Maxwell, G S and Wilson, D R 1987, Air reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-84 , Britannia 18, 25-6.

Jones R 2011, Roman Camps in Scotland, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/54576/

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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