Ancient Monuments

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Raeburnfoot, Roman fort 200m south west of

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale East and Eskdale, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.2802 / 55°16'48"N

Longitude: -3.1806 / 3°10'49"W

OS Eastings: 325106

OS Northings: 599087

OS Grid: NY251990

Mapcode National: GBR 677D.60

Mapcode Global: WH6WX.3JQZ

Entry Name: Raeburnfoot, Roman fort 200m SW of

Scheduled Date: 1 April 1924

Last Amended: 10 March 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM671

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Roman: fort

Location: Eskdalemuir

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument is the remains of a Roman fort and associated enclosure, dating probably to the late 1st -2nd century AD. The fort is visible as a partly upstanding sub-rectangular earthwork, lying entirely within a larger upstanding sub-rectangular enclosure. The monument is located on a valley floor at the confluence of two rivers, the White Esk and the Rae Burn, at around 190m OD, below Lamb Knowe which rises to the NNW. The monument was first scheduled in 1924, and rescheduled in 1961, but the documents did not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The well-preserved outer enclosure measures approximately 165m N-S by 110m E-W internally. It comprises an upstanding clay-built rampart, approximately 5.5m wide, with a single outer ditch about 5.4m wide. The fort lies entirely within the enclosure and the two are similar in form and both aligned NNW-SSE. The fort measures approximately 73m N-S by 64m E-W internally, within a 6m-wide turf-built rampart and two outer ditches, each 3m wide. The N and S sides of the fort survive as upstanding features; elsewhere, evidence of the defences will survive as buried remains. The enclosure and the fort are both truncated on the W by erosion of the steep scarp above the River White Esk. The enclosure and fort each have two opposed entrances in their N and S sides, where a road runs through the site. Small-scale excavations took place in the late 19th century and in 1946 and 1959-60. The latter revealed that the fort contained the remains of a number of timber buildings and cobbled streets. The site is believed to date from the Antonine period of Roman campaigns in the S of Scotland. It lies adjacent to a major Roman road and immediately N of a ford across the White Esk.

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 are expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all post-and-wire fences.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its significant potential to contribute to our understanding of the dating, development, function and variations in form of Roman forts and related structures. The fort at Raeburnfoot is particularly important because it is unusually well-preserved, with almost the entire circuit of the outer enclosure visible as an upstanding earthwork. Previous archaeological work at this site and on a Roman camp immediately to the N indicates that the site may have a complex chronology: the site has high potential for further research which would enhance our understanding of the Roman army on campaign. Spatial analysis of Roman forts and camps, and the Roman roads that connected them, can inform our understanding of Roman military strategy and the effects of the Roman presence on local peoples and the Iron Age landscape of Scotland. If this monument was to be lost or damaged, our understanding of Roman forts and related structures and our knowledge of Roman military logistics would be significantly diminished.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 67274.

Barbour, J 1898, 'Excavations at Raeburnfoot, Eskdalemuir', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc 14, 17-27.

Jones, R H and McKeague, P 2009, 'A 'Stracathro'-gated temporary camp at Raeburnfoot, Dumfrieshire, Scotland', Britannia 40, 123-136.

RCAHMS 1997, Eastern Dumfrieshire: An archaeological landscape. The Stationery Office.

Robertson, A S 1962 'Excavations at Raeburnfoot, Eskdalemuir, 1959-60', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc 39, 24-49.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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