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

Westerwood to Bar Hill

Croy Hill


Access the Croy Hill footpath (turning left and keeping the electricity pylons on your left). You’ll almost immediately see a segment of ditch both in the field that sits between the public road you were previously on and to the right climbing the hill. The latter is particularly impressive and is well preserved as it was literally carved out of the rock - undoubtedly a backbreaking task! The path is sign-posted but is obvious - just follow the ditch.

Travel and Parking

Continue to 'Bar Hill'

Key:

Known Fort Location (No Visible Remains)

Fort (Visible Remains)

Other visible remains

Onwards from Dullatur


From Dullatur ditch, head under the railway bridge and follow the public footpath passing a number of farms. The path eventually intersects with the public road from Dullatur village. Throughout you are broadly following the path of the Wall.

This section of the Wall is almost exclusively accessed via a footpath that runs its entire length. Parking is available at Croy or Dullatur or further east at Castlecary.

Getting There

Westerwood Roman Fort


Westerwood Fort, whose Roman name is unknown, enclosed around 2 acres but there are no visible remains above ground. The Regiment that was stationed here is also unknown although an altar dedicated by the wife of a Centurion of the Sixth Legion (Legio VI Victrix) suggests a Legionary presence - a unusual scenario. The site is currently occupied by farm buildings.

This article details the line of the Antonine Wall from the site of Westerwood Roman Fort through towards the entry point for Bar Hill. It includes the stunning section of ditch at Dullatur and then climbs to Croy Hill. At the latter the rock cut ditch, impressive northern views and two so-called ‘expansions’ can also be seen. The vast bulk is a footpath with no vehicular access.

Croy Hill Fort and Fortlet


Croy Hill hosted first a small fortlet and then a larger fort. The former was around 22 metres by 18 metres and was sighted near the crest of the hill. Some historians suggest this was a fortification raised by Julius Agricola during his campaigns of the AD 80s where he established a Roman baseline across the Forth/Clyde isthmus. However this explanation has been discounted in recent times and it is more likely the fortlet was simply part of the initial configuration of the frontier when the bulk of garrisons were planned to be situated away from the line of the Wall itself with access provided by small fortlets such as this. This plan changed before the frontier had been completed with more troops moved onto the line of the Wall. The larger fort at Croy was constructed accordingly.


The fort enclosed an area a little under 2 acres and included the normal configuration for a Roman fort - a headquarters in the centre with granaries and barracks. A bath house was located outside the fort and, unlike at Bar Hill and Bearsden for example, was not contained within a defensive annexe enclosure. Unusually for an Antonine Wall outpost, but standard elsewhere in British Roman forts, a small civilian settlement was established to the immediate rear of the fort. Nothing remains visible of the fort itself but its location can be identified from the low stone walls of a later farmstead that occupied the site.


Note the portion of 'uncut' ditch. Did the basalt rock defeat even the Romans or was this left to facilitate access to the fort (but then why situate it offset to the east)? Some also argue it may have been the result of the convergence of two work crews.

Approaching Westerwood

The site of Westerwood Roman Fort (no visible remains)

Towards Croy Hill

Croy Hill Footpath

Forts and Fortlets

Westerwood Roman Fort:

(Site of - no visible remains)

Lat/Long:  55.973350N 3.988349W

Grid Ref:   NS 7601077380

Postcode: N/A

Croy Roman Fortlet:

(Site of - no visible remains)

Lat/Long:  55.970865N 4.018481W

Grid Ref:   NS 7412277158

Postcode: N/A

Towards Dullatur


Continue west on the footpath noting that it does become a little boggy. The Golf course is on your right but you’ll soon come to a wooded area with steps taking you into an enclosed area which has an impressive section of ditch.

Footpath from Westerwood

Access to Dullatur Ditch

Head under the railway bridge...

...and follow track  to the public road

Line of Wall

View to the north from site of Westerwood Roman Fort

Dullatur Ditch

Towards Croy


Once you emerge on the public road its initial path mirrors the line of Wall. However, after a little over 50 metres, it bends sharply to the right whereas the Wall itself continued directly ahead into the (private) field. Keep following the road which skirts around the farm after which you can access the Croy Hill footpath.

Looking back towards Dullatur

Heading towards Croy Hill

Ditch at Croy Hill

Uncut ditch

Site of Fortlet

Site of Croy Hill Roman Fort and the earlier Fortlet

Croy Hill Expansions


Keep following the ditch and as you reach the crest of the hill you’ll see Bar Hill, the site of the next Roman Fort on the Wall, in the distance. Nearby the confused earthworks to the rear of the Wall are examples of ‘expansions’. These were constructed in the same manner as the frontier itself with a stone base (in each case about 5 metres square) and earth rampart presumably built to the same height as the substantive Wall. They are generally accepted as signal platforms and the location here would make sense for it would enable Croy to contact Bar Hill and perhaps other signal stations to the north and/or south. Interestingly here at Croy the expansions were built after the Wall not concurrently (the stone base and turves of earth do not overlap). This may be linked with the upgrade from a fortlet to fort.

Expansions at Croy Hill

Line of Wall at Croy looking west

Looking towards Bar Hill from Croy

Ditch at Croy Hill

Towards Bar Hill


The footpath descends towards Croy village. Once you’ve descended down the slope you’ll see sign posts pointing you in the right direction. Take care crossing Howe Road and then head up the farm track.

Towards Bar Hill

Access to Bar Hill


LAT/LONG

OS GRID REF

POSTCODE

Westerwood

55.973350N 3.988349W

NS 7601077380

N/A

Dullatur

55.972577N 3.995776W

NS 7554477307

N/A

Croy Hill East

(Parking)

55.970897N 4.021673W

NS 7392277168

G68 0AQ

Croy Hill Fort

(Site of)

55.970865N 4.018481W

NS 7412277158

N/A

Croy Expansions

55.962495N 4.037228W

NS 7292476261


N/A

Croy Hill West

(Parking)

55.962495N 4.037228W

NS 7292476261

G65 9JF

Bar Hill Access

55.961238N 4.047345W

NS 7228976140

N/A

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

Carriden to Mumrills

Visit the Antonine Wall