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A history of the Antonine Wall and a guide to the surviving remains of Rome’s Northernmost Frontier

Carriden to Mumrills

Visit the Antonine Wall

The Wall Starts


The precise starting point of the eastern end of the wall is unknown but it is presumed to be at the waterfront near the low tide mark in vicinity of modern Pier Road. Here a ridge of high ground runs down to the water whilst the coastline also abruptly turns. Whether it ended in a statute or other elaborate structure, as Hadrian’s Wall is mooted to have done, is also unknown. However, based on discovery of a Roman distance slab (a stone engraving detailing the builders of the relevant section of Wall) we know the line had started by the northern part of Harbour Road. A replica of the stone can be found there.

Second Legion


The distance slab, one of twenty recovered from the line of the Wall, records that the Second Augustan Legion (Legio II Augusta) constructed this section. Measuring the distance in the Roman Pace (1.48 metres) a distance of a little under 7,000 metres is claimed on this slab. All three of the British based Legions provided manpower for the construction of the Antonine Wall - but based on the distance slabs found plus the relative size of the marching (working) camps used during construction, the bulk of the Second Legion was deployed north at this time (their normal base was Caerleon in South Wales).

A993


The line of Wall now aligns with the A993 for some distance. No remains are visible but there are good footpaths along this moderately busy road that give goods views that explain why the Romans chose this route. Follow the A993 - initially called Grahamdyke Road and then Dean Road - to Kinneil House.

Line of the Wall - A993

Kinneil House


When the A993 bends sharply to the right, you will see a sign-posted turn left for Kinneil House. The line of the Wall ran into the grounds of this property but thankfully it is owned by Historic Scotland and set within a public park! There is car parking within and the highlight of this section - the remains of Kinneil Roman Fortlet - can be found in the grounds. There is also a small museum with some Roman displays.


Kinneil Fortlet


In total nine Fortlets have currently been discovered on the line of the Antonine Wall and the assumption is that these structures were built at roughly one mile intervals along the frontier. Acting as fortified gateways they were similar to milecastles on Hadrian’s Wall with north and south gates plus timber barracks for a small contingent of soldiers (probably detached from nearby forts). Interestingly there is no evidence for a causeway over the Wall’s ditch at this fortlet or the others which would seem to render the access offered superfluous. However it is possible that any such causeway was removed when the Wall’s configuration was changed during the building programme; the decision was made to build more forts along the frontier line which perhaps made the fortlets redundant.

Travel and Parking

Replica Roman Distance Slab

Continue to 'Mumrills Roman Fort'

Key:

Known Fort Location (No Visible Remains)

Fort (Visible Remains)

Other visible remains

The fortlet at Kinneil

Site of Carriden Roman Fort (no visible remains)

Looking out to the  Forth - Carriden Fort was positioned beyond the treeline

Line of the Wall - Harbour Road

Climb From Bridgeness


The line of Wall headed South-South-West following the line of Harbour Road passing Kinningars Park. It changed course to a South-Westerly heading at the South Philipingstone Lane junction at which point the line becomes buried under modern housing. The line of the Wall re-aligns with the road network at Grahamdyke Lane.

Wall turned South-West here

Grahamdyke Lane - aligned to the Wall

Line of the Wall - A993

View north

Line of the Wall and site of Inveravon Roman Fort

Wall ran through cemetery

Approaching Mumrills

This section starts in the urban Bo’ness region, passes through a rural environment and then back to an urban setting as you approach the outskirts of Falkirk. On-road parking is relatively straight-forward in all locations. Walking is possible but care must be taken.

Getting There

Forts and Fortlets

Carriden Roman Fort

(Site of - no visible remains)


LAT/LONG

OS GRID REF

POSTCODE

Carriden Fort

(Site of)

56.009139N 3.564152W

NT 0257080682

EH51 9SN

Distance Slab

56.016377N 3.583472W

NT 0138481515

Harbour Road,

EH51 9LF

Kinneil Fortlet

56.005377N 3.641505W

NS 9773880376

EH51 0PR

Inveravon Fort

(Site of)

55.998931N 3.685160W

NS 9499879724

FK2 0YA

Mumrills Fort

(Site of)

55.996353N 3.736128W

NS 9181379516


FK2 9NH

Lat/Long: 56.009139N 3.564152W

Grid Ref:  NT 0257080682

Postcode: Unnamed Road, EH51 9SN

Kinneil Roman Fortlet

(Found within grounds of Kinneil House)

Lat/Long:  56.005377N 3.641505W

Grid Ref:   NS 9773880376

Postcode:  EH51 0PR

Inveravon Roman Fort(let)

(Site of - no visible remains)

Lat/Long:  55.998931N 3.685160W

Grid Ref:   NS 9499879724

Postcode: FK2 0YA

Mumrills Roman Fort

(Site of - no visible remains)

Lat/Long:  55.996353N 3.736128W

Grid Ref:   NS 9181379516

Postcode: FK2 9NH

Distance Slabs

Bridgeness

(Replica Harbour Road, cast Hunterian)

IMP CAES TITO AELIO HADRI ANTONINO AVG PIO P P LEG II AVG PER M P IIIIDCLII FEC


"For the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Father of his Country, the Second Augustan Legion completed 4652 paces."


Found near Bridgeness, West Lothian

Carriden Roman Fort


The site of Carriden Roman Fort can be found off a heavily pot-holed Unnamed Road connected to Carriden Brae (A904). There is nothing to see now other than a large open field. Known to the Romans as Velunia it enclosed approximately 4 acres and was garrisoned by a 500 strong Auxiliary infantry regiment (cohors quingenaria peditata). It was an earth and timber construction surrounded by triple ditches.

No Through Road!


There is no direct route out of Kinneil park that allows you to follow the line of the Wall so so you will need to exit the grounds and skirt round. Head back onto the A993 (which becomes Grangemouth Road) and follow it round past the Chemical works (which should be on your right). You will see a signposted road to ‘Inveravon’. After climbing the hill the road aligns with the line of the Wall and you can follow this for some distance back towards Kinneil House. The benefit of visiting this area is are the superb views - it is clear why the Romans chose this route for the Wall.

Inveravon Roman Fort(let)


Return the way you came but just before you re-join Grangemouth Road look to your left (the picture below) and you will see the site of Inveravon Roman Fort. No remains are visible and very little is known about this fort. At best it was an extremely small fort - possibly even a fortlet - and there is even some dispute as to whether it even existed; the evidence of Roman military presence found here could be indicative of a temporary marching camp.

River Avon


Return to Grangemouth Road, head west (with the Chemical Refinery on your right) and take the next left. You’ll cross over a bridge over the River Avon then head left. After 200 metres you will see a Historic Scotland sign and a short section of ditch adjacent to the ski ramp. Also visible here is the point where the wall crossed the River Avon. Whether a bridge existed or if the Wall simply stopped and started again is unknown. The two sections of Wall were not aligned at this point though with the section on the eastern bank being slightly further to the north.

Grangemouth Golf Club


The line of the Wall now enters the Grangemouth Golf Club with no public access so reverse your steps and follow Smiddy Brae (the same road you are currently on) west. The line of the Wall is running to your left hand side throughout this time on the higher ground. You’ll soon get to a small village called Old Polmont and the line of the Wall can next be viewed at the Commonwealth War Graves.

M9


From the cemetery the line of the Wall now crosses the M9 motorway and is almost perfectly aligned under the eastbound exit of Junction 5. Clearly you can’t follow so keep following Smiddy Brae that leads you onto the A905 from which you can access the roundabout under the M9 Junction 5.


The Wall now aligns with the A9 for a short distance before swinging West-South-West onto the now pedestrianised Mumrills Road. Follow this road and it will take you to the site of Mumrills Fort (if in a car head to Sandy Loan, FK2 9NH).

This article details the line of the Antonine Wall from Carriden Roman Fort, guardian of the most easterly part of the frontier, through to the location of Mumrills Roman Fort. The highlight of this segment is undoubtedly the Fortlet at Kinneil but also of note are the superb views offered over the Firth of Forth (and the Grangemouth Chemical Works!).

Carriden to Mumrills Mumrills to Rough Rough to Castlecary Castlecary to Westerwood Westerwood to Bar Hill Bar Hill to Kirkintilloch Kirkintilloch to Cadder Cadder to Bearsden Bearsden to Castlehill Castlehill to Old Kilpatrick Beyond the Wall

Visit the Antonine Wall