Rough Castle Fort is a Roman fort on the Antonine Wall. The wall was built around 143 AD and stretched from Bo'ness on the River Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde. The fort is the best preserved of the 19 forts constructed along the length of the Wall. Built against the southern rear face of the Wall, the fort was defended by 6 metre thick turf ramparts and surrounded by defensive ditches. Gateways were provided through the main Wall to the north, and also through the walls on the other three sides of the fort. Causeways were then constructed across the main Antonine and secondary defensive ditches, affording easy access to and from the fort.
The fort was the second smallest on the Wall and had an area of about 4,000 square metres. The fort contained several substantial stone buildings, including a headquarters, the commander's house, barracks, a bath house and a granary. Although the original buildings have not survived, the foundations of these buildings were discovered during excavations in 1902 - 1903, 1932 and 1957 - 1961.
Inscriptions found on recovered artifacts indicate that the fort was the base for 480 men of the Cohors VI Nerviorum of Nervii, an infantry unit recruited from a north-eastern Gallic tribe. The military road on the south side of the Wall, which enabled transport between all forts, is still well defined and there is also a fine length of rampart and ditch still intact to the west.
A feature of the defences at the fort, discovered during the excavations, is a series of pits lying to the north west of the causeway across the Antonine ditch. These pits, known as 'lilias', would originally have contained sharpened stakes at the bottom. The lilias were positioned to help defend the vulnerable northern gateway through the Wall. Near the fort were a turf platform (beacon platform or signalling platform) and gravel pits for building of the military road. Interesting was that the bath house was built on an annexe. The fort was defended by Nervii and Flavius Betto was a commanding officer.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.