Inchtuthil Roman Fort, Scotland


Inchtuthil Roman Fort, Perthshire

This evening, I am posting information on an extensive legionary site at Inchtuthil near Dunkeld in central Scotland.

This site dates from the Flavian period ( AD 69-96) which covers the rule of Vespasian and his two sons, Titus and Domitian.

The Inchtuthil fort was not an isolated outpost but formed an integral part of a frontier zone comprising a twenty-mile wide corridor which embraces the Gask Ridge and forts at Bertha, Fendoch, Cargill and Carndean. Purpose of this deployment was to provide a supervised zone which controls exits to the Highlands.

Facts and information concerning Inchtuthil-

  • Site is largely intact and undisturbed and as such provides the only complete plan of a legionary fortress in the Roman Empire.
  • Area extends to 50 acres ( 20 hectares).
  • At peak would have held complement of about 5000 men.
  • Roman  name was Pinnata Castra ( Fortress on the wing.)
  • Facilities included a hospital, workshop and 64 barrack buildings.
  • Excavated in 1950s when a pit containing 750,000 iron nails was discovered.
  • Appears not to have been fully completed before order to withdraw was given. Occupied only briefly until vacated around AD 86/ AD 87. Was home to the XX Valeria Victrix which was moved south to Chester (now England) to replace another legion which had been transferred to Europe to counter a Dacian invasion in AD 86.

Ditch defences at Inchtutil Roman Fort, Perthshire

Here is a video clip of the site. This was taken from standpoint of defensive ditch shown above and as features in N.E. edge of site plan as found on this web page.

To visit the site proceed as follows:

  • East of Spittafield on the A984 is a junction with the B947.
  • Opposite the B947 is an unsealed farm road.
  • Go down the farm road for about one-third of a mile and turn right at first set of buildings on right.
  • Go along this road for about half a mile keeping all buildings on left.
  • At junction with another unsealed road turn left.
  • Travel for about third of a mile ignoring tracks leading off to the left.
  • Track terminates at field gate with water gardens below on right. This is the entrance to the site.


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