Bankhead Roman Fortlet


This small, square fortlet measures about 154 by 148 feet (47 x 45 m) over the ramparts and thus encloses an area of about ½-acre (0.2 ha). It is surrounded by three narrow, V-shaped ditches on all sides with an entrance positioned on the north. These northern defences have been partly destroyed by a railway cutting, those on the south by quarrying. The size and layout of Bankhead compares favourably with other known fortlets at Chew Green in Northumberland and at Castle Greg in Lothian, which may have been contemporary establishments of the Flavian period. It would appear that the fortlet was occupied for only a short time before being abandoned, at which time the rampart was thrown into the inner ditch, the outer ditches being allowed to silt-up naturally.

Fortlet and a possible marching camp at NS 747 121 were seen on APs by St Joseph and confirmed by excavation 1952-63. A metalled road issued from the S gate of the fortlet and flagged and paved surfaces were noted. There was evidence of burning, iron slag, fragments of glass and 15th century pottery, but no signs of earlier occupation.

References for Bankhead

  • Britannia xvi (1985) p.265;
  • Air Reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-1984 by G.S. Maxwell & D.R. Wilson in Britannia xviii (1987) p.19.

Map References for Bankhead

NGRef: NS9844 OSMap: LR72

OS National Grid Reference: NS971449
Dimensions: 154 x 148 ft (47 x 45 m)
Area: c.½-acre (c.0.2 ha)

Roman Roads near Bankhead

WNW (3) to Castledykes ESE (15) to Lyne (Borders)

Sites near Bankhead Roman Fortlet