Antoninus Pius became Emperor of Rome in AD 138 and almost immediately abandoned Hadrian’s Wall and sent his Legions back into Scotland. They established a new frontier between Bo’ness on the Firth of Forth and the Old Kilpatrick on the Clyde. For twenty years this line - now known as the Antonine Wall - would be Rome’s northernmost frontier.
The Antonine Wall is a hidden gem and a 'must see' for anyone interested in the Romans. Much of the frontier has been destroyed for the Roman engineers were just too efficient. When the Canal, Railway and Motorway builders arrived they could not better their second century counterparts and followed a similar route to their destination destroying much of the heritage as did the house builders attempting to meet the needs of the expanding nineteenth and twentieth century populations. Nevertheless segments of the frontier remain and walking the line the visitor cannot help but be impressed as it darts between summits, towers above the Carron and Kelvin valleys and overlooks the approaches from the Campsie Fells and Kilsyth Hills.
Visit the Wall
Significant sections of the Antonine Wall still survive. Find all the remains in this eleven part guide.
The Wall was a triumph of engineering that maximised use of the local topography. This guide details the line of the entire frontier from east to west including satellite navigation information to help you truly discover this amazing monument.
The Antonine Wall was a layered system comprised of various components.
The physical barrier was a ditch and rampart constructed from turf. Military operations were sustained from a network of forts all connected via a Military road.
The Romans had invaded Scotland in AD 80 but they withdrew to Hadrian’s Wall.
When Antoninus Pius became Emperor of Rome in AD 138 he reversed Hadrian’s policy of retrenchment. But his new frontier was occupied for just twenty years.
The Roman Legions commemorated their work with ornate engravings.
Each Legion was responsible for building defined stretches of the Wall and they carved distance slabs to record their achievements. Some have been found.