The fort at Whitemoss Farm, Bishopton, lies on the south shore of the Clyde Estuary about 3 miles to the west of the fort at Old Kilpatrick at the western end of the Antonine Wall on the opposite bank of the Clyde. An earlier Agricolan fort lies only 1¾ miles to the south at Barochan (NS4172), on a low hill overlooking the Clyde Estuary.

Decorated ware recovered from the Bishopton fort included the stamps of the Antonine potters Cinnamus Form 37 and Velox Form 31; its Antonine date is thus certain.

Bishopton Fort suffered from limited visibility to the west and, to mitigate against this deficiency, the Romans built two fortlets. One was positioned at Lurg Moor near modern day Greenock and enabled observation of the western segment of the River Clyde. The second, Outerwards near Skelmorie, was positioned to monitor the Upper Clyde including Bute and the Cumbraes. Both were built in a same configuration as the fortlets along the Wall enclosing around 02.5 acres. The ramparts were made from turf and were almost certainly topped with a breastwork or palisade. A defensive ditch surrounded both fortlets.

References for Bishopton

  • Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1955-7 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xlviii (1958) p.90;
  • The Roman Occupations of Scotland by B.R. Hartley in Britannia iii (1972) pp.1-55.

Roman Roads near Bishopton

Possible Road: ESE (22) to Bothwellhavgh (Strathclyde)

Sites near Bishopton Roman Fort