Oakwood Temporary Camp

The camp and nearby fort at Oakwood were first discovered in 1949 during routine assessment of recent Royal Air Force photographic coverage of Selkirkshire by Feachem at RCAHMS (Steer and Feachem 1954: 81; RCAHMS 1957). The camp lies on uneven ground above the Ettrick Water, with the Roman fort located 150m to the south. The north-eastern part of the camp survives as a low-lying earthwork, up to 0.4m high; the remainder was traced through a series of small-scale excavation trenches in 1951–2 (Steer and Feachem 1954).

The camp measures 427m from north-east to southwest by 308m transversely and enclosed 13.2ha (almost 33 acres). Internal and external claviculae, known as cuspate gates (see section 7b), are visible in the north-east and north-west sides, and an internal clavicula in the south-east, and it is assumed that the camp possessed four cuspate gates (Steer and Feachem 1954: fig 2). Excavations revealed that the rampart was some 4.6m wide, with the ditch 1.8m wide and 0.6m deep (Steer and Feachem 1954: 85). The excavators recorded that part of the rampart was kept in place by a clay cheek, presumably to stop it from slumping into the ditch.

Illustration 187 includes information gathered from Steer and Feachem’s excavations (1954: fig 2).

R H Jones.

References for Oakwood

  • Historical Map and Guide – Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001);
  • The Roman Occupations of Scotland by B.R. Hartley in Britannia iii (1972) pp.1-55
  • https://canmore.org.uk/site/54276/oakwood

Map References for Oakwood

NGRef: NT4224 OSMap: LR73

Roman Roads near Oakwood

Possible Military Road: NE (12) to Newstead (Newstead, Borders) Possible Military Road: SW (17) to Milton (Tassiesholm, Beattock, Dumfries & Galloway)