Blatobulgium (Birrens) Vicus
Mansioarea of Blatobulgium
A geophysical survey in the northern area of the fort in 1996 revealed the remains of a building with an inner courtyard, probably a hostel (mansio) . There is also evidence that the camp bath was outside the fortifications to the south on the banks of the river. Most of the traces of the vicus could be found north of the fort, Roman cultural layers were also found below the earth wall of the Antonine fort, right next to the area of the Hadrianic fort. Further civil traces were also observed in the northwest of the area.
Some inscriptions from Birrens also mention civilians
A woman named Magunna (probably a local by name) donated an altar to Iupiter Dolichenus . Presumably she lived in the camp village.
Furthermore, a man named Cistumucus is known who originally came from Locus Maponi , about 16 km west of Birrens, today’s Lochmaben.
There was a temple for the god Maponus (Cistumuci lo (co) Maboni) ; However, it is not entirely clear whether the mention of Maponus should only indicate the origin of the founder or name the deity as the beneficiary. Cistumucus may have been a local trader. The grave fields that are certainly also present here have not yet been localized.
Temple area of Blatobulgium
A plan from 1793 shows a slightly higher enclosure (annexes) west of the fort. Soil surveys carried out in 1939 revealed a total of two areas surrounded by double trenches. This complex probably went through several construction phases – similar to the fort. During the excavations from 1962 to 1967 no fortifications could be discovered on the east side of the fort. One of the four marching camps documented around Birrens was a little further north of the facility, but does not seem to have any connection with the annex. Both are likely to have been created at the same time as the camp. In the 19th century, the foundations of a stone building were also observed in the southern part of the complex. The first three inscription stones were found in 1731. One of these inscriptions was on an altar,Amandus , an architect dedicated to Brigantia , the patron goddess of the North British tribe of Brigantes . Fragments of a slightly larger statue could also be discovered. The group of figures was obviously in a temple building that measured about 36 × 12 English feet. Another altar, donated by soldiers of the Cohors II Tungrorum and found in 1810, was dedicated to the goddess Minerva . Three more altars were discovered two years later. They were dedicated to the deities Ricagambeda , Mars as well as the luck of the emperor and “all gods and goddesses”. Other consecration altars, probably also from this annex, wereConsecrated to Harimella and Viradecthis . This area is almost certainly the temple area of the fort.