Drumquhassle Roman Fort

Gask Ridge Signal Station

The fort platform, at the end of a natural ridge, was quite prominent from the Gateside to Gartness minor road, but no remains of the defences or interior buildings were visible in the cow pastures which now house the site.

Sited on the level summit of Drumquhassle Ridge overlooking the confluence of the Catter Burn with Endrick Water near the south-east end of Loch Lomond, this fort, discovered from the air in 1977, was the last to be confirmed of the so-called Glen Forts. These were a series of medium-sized auxiliary forts constructed during the early administration of Sallustius Lucullus probably during the year 85AD, which, although originally intended as a springboard into the Central Highland Massif, were demolished and abandoned after only a short period of occupation, possibly as early as 86.

The fort measures approximately 426 ft. by 360 ft. (c.130 x 110 m) over the ramparts, covering an area of about 3½ acres (c.1.4 ha). There was a single period of occupation after which the camp was purposefully demolished.

Work in Drumbeg Quarry exposed an annexe attached to the north side of the fort, ther defences of which showed evidence of rebuilding. The spoil-heap at the quarry was filtered and found to contain fragments of Samian, mortaria, amphora, terra nigra, coarsewares, glass fragments, a glass bead, and two small flint blades. Feldwalking on the site of the fort has uncovered various small finds including clay sling-bullets, fragments of amphora, mortarium and coarse ware, asses of Titus and Domitian among other coins, also “the handle terminal of a trulla of Flavian date” which had the name of the owner stamped into it: P CIPIO POLYBIO.

References for Drumquhassle

  • Britannia x (1979) p.275;
  • Britannia ix (1978) p.412;
  • Air Reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-1984 by G.S. Maxwell & D.R. Wilson in Britannia xviii (1987) p.17;
  • Britannia xxix (1998) p.379;
  • Britannia xxx (1999) p.328;
  • Britannia xxxi (2000) p.381.

Map References for Drumquhassle

NGRef: NS4887 OSMap: LR57

Roman Roads near Drumquhassle

None identified

Sites near Drumquhassle Roman Fort