Westerwood Roman Fort

North Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

At the west end of Cumbernauld Airport runway is the site of a Roman fort on the former Westerwood farm. Very little is visible on the ground today, but portions of the fort’s southern defensive ditches may be traced as subtle hollows within the field.

The fort at Westerwood is the fourth smallest known along the Antonine Wall, with an internal area of about 0.8ha, situated on a steep decline toward the north. The existing farm buildings occupy the fort’s north-east quadrant. The Antonine Wall Rampart and Ditch composed the fort’s northern defences, while a turf rampart and double ditches marked the fort’s east, south, and west sides (an additional short section of a third ditch is located north of the fort’s west gate). The Antonine Wall Rampart had a stone base measuring 4.3m wide, while the Ditch measured about 12m wide. The fort’s other ramparts were likewise constructed atop a stone base, about 4.8m wide everywhere except for on the southeast, where it measured only 4.3m. The fort featured four gates, with the east and west gates located approximately one-third of the distance between the Antonine Wall Rampart and the fort’s south rampart; the Military Way crossed the fort through these gates.

Excavation has revealed that the Antonine Wall Rampart base was constructed before the fort’s other ramparts, suggesting that the fort was secondary (not part of the original plan for the frontier), but it remains unclear if a gap in the Rampart’s base at the fort’s north gate was made during the Rampart’s construction, or was made when the fort was added later.

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