Ardoch, one of the best preserved forts from the Roman period in Scotland

North-eastern defences of Ardoch Roman Fort, Braco, Scotland

This afternoon, I am posting information on Ardoch, one of the Roman Empire’s most impressive and best preserved earth-and-timber forts in Britain.

Despite the fort’s size and status there is minimal signage and no visitor centre. However, the site is easily accessed from the village of Braco and is open continuously throughout the year.

Location: Braco in central Scotland which is 39 miles N.E. of Glasgow, and 125 miles north of Carlisle on the western end of Hadrian’s Wall.

Layout and History: There are actually three forts here: First, a 1st century AD Flavian era fort of 8.6 acres ( 3.5 ha) which formed part of the Gask Frontier in what is now Perthshire, central Scotland and which lasted from around AD 79-AD 87; Second and Third, two re-occupations from the Antonine Period AD142-160s. During the Antonine period Ardoch extended to 5.7 acres (2.3 ha) and served as an outpost of the Antonine Wall which ran on an east-west line roughly between modern-day Edinburgh and Glasgow, sections of which still exist.

Military Units: Tangible evidence in the form of a tombstone (now in Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum) records the death of Ammonius, a centurion of the cohors 1 Hispanorum equita ( 1st cohort of Spaniards) after 27 years service or approximately 45 years of age. This tombstone dates from the first, Flavian ,occupation in the 1st century. There is no firm evidence of the unit in occupation during the Antonine era although there was sufficient space for a cohors militaria equitata which comprised about 500 men.

Tombstone of Ammonius, Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, Scotland

Other Roman Military Archaeology: There are remains of other forts, fortlets and signal towers in the region, all part of the Gask Frontier, which can be visited.

Video clip of Ardoch Fort

Eastern defences of Ardoch Roman Fort, Perthshire, Scotland

View from East Gate looking south, Ardoch Roman Fort

East Gate, Ardoch Roman Fort, Perthshire, Scotland

Eastern defences of Ardoch Roman Fort, Perthshire, Scotland

Northern defences of Ardoch Roman Fort, Perthshire, Scotland

Northern defences of Ardoch Roman Fort, Braco, Scotland


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