Fort, Fortlet and Marching or Temporary Camps
Roman Military Sites at Hallyne and Lyne
There are a number of Roman sites in this area. A large fort was replaced by a much smaller fortlet, both of these permanent fortifications being located on a promontory overlooking the stream of the Lyne Water, to the immediate west of Hallyne Church (NT1840). In addition, there are two superimposed temporary marching camps located on a piece of relatively flat but sloping ground to the immediate south of Lyne village (NT2040) and about a mile east of the permanent encampments. No dating evidence is available for the camps.
Although the site of the Lyne fort is unremarkable, the nearby (later) fort at Hallyne is more interesting, being located on a natural spur within a meander of the Lyne Water, overlooking the river and the A72 road from the north. Nothing remains in the interior but the view from the fort platform is quite rewarding.
The Fort – Antonine Period I (c.142AD – c.158)
This large fort was excavated in 1901. There is an irregular, polygonal annexe of just over 3 acres (c.1.2 ha) attached to the north side of the fort which extends about 450 ft. from its defences and is enclosed by a single broad ditch (NT 188405). The annexe is seen on A.P.’s to contain a number of pits within its interior, but is not in alignment with the known defences of the fort. This may indicate that the annexe is in-fact, attached to an earlier – perhaps Flavian – fort lying beneath that recorded by ground survey.
The Fortlet – Antonine Period II (c.158AD – c.162)
A Fortlet was recorded on A.P.’s taken in the late-1940’s lying north of the fort at Lyne. The fortlet remains as a 120 feet square platform with rounded corners, covering about a third of an acre and was evidently built specifically to overlook long stretches of the Lyne Water, which was not possible from the position of the earlier fort.
The Dateable Pottery Evidence
The only dateable Roman pottery from the Lyne/Hallyne area is a single piece of South Gaulish decorated ware produced during the Antonine period recovered from within the site of the fort.
Other Roman Sites in the Area
On the south bank of the River at Easter Happrew, an earlier Flavian fort had been succeeded by a small but successful civil settlement. The road eastwards to Newstead is punctuated by two marching camps, one at Eshiels (NT2839) and another at Innerleithen (NT3236). Another two camps are situated along the road to the west at Castlecraig (NT1244).
References for Lyne/hallyne
- Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) p.57;
- Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1958-1960 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. li (1961) p.121;
- The Roman Occupations of Scotland by B.R. Hartley in Britannia iii (1972) pp.1-55.
Map References for Lyne/hallyne
NGRef: NT1840 OSMap: LR72