Duntocher Fort

Antonine Wall Fort, Fort and Fortlet

The only visible portion of this fort is a very small section of the western defences but the superb view offered from the trig. point at the top of Golden Hill make the site a worthwhile visit. The space available for occupation within the ramparts of the Antonine fort at Duntocher were estimated by Roy to measure about 430 ft. by 290 ft. (c.131 x 88 m) thus giving an area of just over 2¾ acres (c.1.2 ha).

The Ceramic, Numismatic and Epigraphic Evidence

The fort at Duntocher was excavated between 1948-51 and also in 1977. The only dateable pottery evidence recovered is a piece of Form 27 decorated ware bearing the mark of the Antonine potter Draucus. Ten coins have been recovered from the site, ranging from an “aureus” of Vespasian to a nummus of Constantine I dated c.301AD, also including 3 issues of Antoninus Pius, 3 of Trajan, a single denarius of Domitian and a Hadrianic aureus of 118AD.

There are four inscriptions on stone recorded in the R.I.B. from the environs of the Duntocher fort. There are a couple of building inscriptions recording work done on the rampart wall by one of the British legions, in this case Legio II Augusta, who were normally stationed at Caerleon in South Wales, both of which are decorated with a Capricorn above and a Pegasus below. The first was recovered in 1699 about a mile to the west of the fort near Carlieth farm (RIB 2204), another found sometime between 1826 and 1844 on the line of the Wall about 300 yards west of the fort. Aside from these distance slabs there is an altar to Jupiter (RIB 2201) discovered in 1829 on Easter Duntiglennan Farm close by the fort, also a fragment of building stone marked simply OFRO … (RIB 2202), found in 1732 at Cochno House nearby but now lost; the other three stones now reside in the Hunterian Museum and are shown below.

RIB2204 - Distance Slab of the Second Legion

For the Emperor Antoninus Augustus Pius, father of his country, the Second Legion Augusta built 3,271 feet.
IMP ANTON
AVG PIO
P P
LEG
II
AVG
F P III CCLXXI
For an incomplete record of this inscription Haverfield (EE ix p. 629 n. to C. 1136) quotes Sibbald MS. in Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, Directions ... how to trace ... the Roman Wall and Bodl. MS. Carte 269 f. 134 (in PSAS 44 (1909-10) 325), and notes that Gibb, Scot. Ant. 17 (1902) 77 incorrectly assigns it to CIL vii 1137 (RIB 2199) R.P.W.

RIB2203 - Distance Slab of the Second Legion

The Second Legion Augusta built 4140 feet.
LEG
II
AVG F
P IIII CXL
For a similar legend and decoration see RIB 2204.

RIB2201 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus

To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, ..
I O [...]
[...]
No commentary.

References for Duntocher

  • The Roman Wall in Scotland by Sir George MacDonald (Oxford, 2nd Ed. 1934) pp.328-332;
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
  • Britannia i (1970) p.274; The Roman Occupations of Scotland by B.R. Hartley in Britannia iii (1972) pp.1-55;
  • A Survey of the Coin Finds from the Antonine Wall by Richard Abdy in Britannia xxxiii (2002) pp.189-217;

Roman Roads near Duntocher

Antonine Wall: E (1) to Cleddans (Strathclyde) Antonine Wall: W (2.25) to Old Kilpatrick (Strathclyde)