Rough Castle Fort

Falkirk, United Kingdom

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.

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User Reviews

Graeme Bryson (6 years ago)
Lovely walk and fascinating local history. Well sign posted and explained via various signs and info boards.
Julie Cully (6 years ago)
Really wasn't impressed. Needed more sound to light. Tree acrobat was awful and fell out of the tree and wasn't ready we got turned back. The actors were great but to far between. Sorry I went with great expectations and came away totally disappointed. A lot of money for not much.
Maria Martin (6 years ago)
Great walk as usual apart from meeting stupid "professional" dog walkers with 6/7 dogs, off leads and no control or call back! Should not be allowed!
william rogers (6 years ago)
Best location I've been on the Antonine wall,easy to understand how the wall,ditch and forts were put together. There's even man traps , pits in the ground with sharpened wooden stakes just a few steps North of the ditch. Standing on the causeway leading into the fort , you really get what this was all about, great view west for about a mile of the wall and ditch, and even the military way. P.S. the wooden stakes are now long gone.
Victor Bergh Alvergren (6 years ago)
Interesting remain from roman times. Not too much to see, the wall and the castle is gone but you can see the trench outside where the wall was - interesting! There are many signs pointing out where different places were.
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