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The Romans

Roman fort

As the Romans occupied the South of Scotland for relatively short periods, they left behind comparatively limited traces of their presence.

Broomholm Fort (NY 3786 8145) in Langholm Parish has been largely degraded by cultivation, but some parts may be seen clearly at ground level. The first fort on the site may date back to around  AD 80 in the time of Agricola, having been built on top of a prehistoric settlement. Two further periods of Roman use may have followed, the last one being around AD120 in the reign of Hadrian. After the Romans left a round house was built inside the remains of the fort. Coins of Nero, Vespasian and Domitian have been found here.

Raeburnfoot Fort (NY 2510 9908), Eskdalemuir, is much better preserved. It is a small Roman fort of the Antonine period, surrounded on three sides by an annexe, on a little hill overlooking the valley of the White Esk.

Gilnockie Marching Camp (NY 3895 7922), Canonbie, is the best preserved of the Roman camps of this type in Eastern Dumfriesshire. Two sides of the earth works are largely upstanding, with two traverse protected entrances clearly visible. Enclosing an area of 25 acres (10 hectares), this camp marks the passage of a substantial Roman army along the valley of the Esk.

Little remains of the supposed Roman road up Eskdale, but the road from Craik Cross to Raeburnfoot is very well defined in long sections, and the road from Raeburnfoot to Annandale is also easily followed some distance south west of Eskdalemuir Church.

The Middle Ages >>>

“Langholm As It Was” by John and Robert Hyslop 1912.
“County of Dumfries” R.C.A.H.M.S. Inventory 1920.
“Eastern Dumfriesshire” R.C.A.H.M.S. 1997.
“Explore beyond the Roman Frontier” Archaeosights guide

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