Falkirk Roman Fort

Antonine Wall Fort

This Antonine Wall fort of around 3 acres (c.1.2 ha) lies in the Pleasance suburb of Falkirk and exhibits two occupation phases. Very little of the fort at Falkirk has been identified, but ditches of both the fort or its annexe have been located. The area of the
east gate is represented by three ditches with an entrance gap to the east of Pleasance Road and south of Booth Place. A cobbled roadway ran through the entrance gaps, possibly representing the Military Way as it entered the fort. Traces of timber buildings were located to the east, near the corner of Rosehall Terrace and Cow Wynd, probably within an annexe attached to the fort’s east side. Small portions of two ditches at the fort’s presumed south-west corner were identified between South Pleasance Avenue and Hodge Street. At least six phases of occupation were identified, including a pre-Roman palisade trench, two Roman phases (one probably pre-dating the construction of the Antonine Wall), a blacksmith’s workshop from around
the tenth century, and later medieval and modern occupation. Excavations between the fort and Callendar Park in 1980, just east of Kemper Avenue, revealed a stone bath-house. The large distance between the site of the fort and this bath-house remains puzzling, and is the longest known distance between a fort and bath-house anywhere on the line of the Wall.

There is only one inscription on stone from Falkirk recorded in the R.I.B., which reads simply This was made. which is not very helpful.

RIB 2143 - Inscription

… built ..


No commentary.

Among the Roman artefacts recovered from the site is a piece of woven checked material made from strands of different shades of natural (i.e. not dyed) wool; early evidence of a Caledonian tartan?

The only closely-dateable pottery evidence is a piece of decorated Form 31 stamped by the Antonine potter ANNIVS. MacDonald unearthed a cryptic report of 1880 which purported to have recovered terra sigilata bearing the stamp NOCTVRN•F contemporaries of which have been found at Newstead.

Only two coins have been recovered from the Falkirk area, a denarius of Domitian found in the hypocaust of the bath-house, and an unstratified as of Antoninus Pius, now lost.

References for Falkirk

  • The Roman Wall in Scotland by Sir George MacDonald (Oxford, 2nd Ed. 1934) pp.214-6;
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
  • 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 Falkirk

Antonine Wall: E (2.25) to Mvmrills (Central) Antonine Wall: W (1.25) to Watling Lodge (Central)

Sites near Falkirk Roman Fort