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Bar Hill Fort was a Roman fort on the Antonine Wall in Scotland.[10] It was built around the year 142 A.D.. Older maps and documents sometimes spell the name as Barr Hill.[11] A computer generated fly around for the site has been produced.[12] Lidar scans have been done along the length of the wall including Bar Hill.[13] Sir George Macdonald wrote about the excavation of the site.[14] Many other artefacts have also been found at Shirva, about a mile away on the other side of Twechar.[15]

Bar Hill Fort
Bar Hill from the air (geograph 4517293).jpg
Bar Hill and Twechar with Kilsyth and Croy in the background
Alternative name(s)Barr Hill
Founded during the reign ofAntoninus Pius
ProvinceBritannia
Legions
2nd
20th
Cohorts
First Cohort of Baetasians,[1] First Cohort of Hamians[2]
CountyEast Dumbartonshire
Country United Kingdom
Excavation dates1902-1905, 1978-1982,[3] 1982-1984
ArchaeologistsGeorge Macdonald, Alexander Park
ExhibitionsHunterian Museum
RIB 2170. Honorific Building Inscription of the First Cohort of Baetasians.[4] It has been scanned and a video produced.[5]
RIB 2171. Building Inscription of the Second and Twentieth Legions.[6]
A man's[7], a woman's[8] and a child's[9] shoe from Bar Hill.

Many Roman forts along the wall held garrisons of around 500 men.[16] Larger forts like Castlecary and Birrens had a nominal cohort of 1000 men[17] but probably sheltered women and children[18] as well although the troops were not allowed to marry.[19] There is likely too to have been large communities of civilians around the site.[20]

An altar (RIB 2167) to Silvanus was found in 1895 on Bar Hill. It's thought to have originated from a small shrine outside the fort. The altar is now kept in the Hunterian Museum,[21] Glasgow along with others like the one found at Castlecary.[22] A 43 foot deep well was discovered at the site.[23] Several item were recovered from the well. It's possible they were dumped there when the site was abandoned. Shoes from men, women and children were found leading to suggestions of family life. Other recovered items include an altar, bones, shells and coins. Structural materials like building columns, wooden beams were found as was part of the pulley of the well.[24] Videos of some reconstructed objects like a barrel,[25] a window.[26] and various columns[27] have been produced as well as one of a bust of Silenus.[28]

Bar Hill Fort was one of over a dozen forts built along the Antonine Wall from around 140 AD. These follow a short route across Scotland’s central belt which was largely followed in the 18th century when constructing the Forth and Clyde canal.[29] On the south-facing slope of the hill is the headquarters; it is the biggest building that can be seen. The remains of a Roman bathhouse can also be observed.[30]

Bar Hill as seen from the air looking east from Twechar towards the Firth of Forth along the line of the Forth and Clyde canal. Kilsyth is on the left and Cumbernauld is on the right. Castlehill has a similar aerial view to the west.
RIB 2166.[31] Altar dedicated to Mars Camulus.
RIB 2167.[32] Altar dedicated to Silvanus. On a plinth. It has been scanned and a video produced.[33]
RIB 2169.[34] Altar dedicated by First Cohort of Baetasians. Their name also appears on an altar from Old Kilpatrick.
Roman images in stone from Bar Hill Fort. Silenus and bearded man with middle finger extended in the "infamis digitus" to ward off the evil eye.[35] A video of the figure on the right has been made.[36]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dedication Slab, Bar Hill". Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  2. ^ "BAR HILL: FORT, MILITARY WAY, WALL, AND TEMPORARY CAMPS" (PDF). Frontiers of the Roman Empire. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ Keppie, L J F (Sep 2010). "EXCAVATIONS AT THE ROMAN FORT OF BAR HILL, 1978-82". Glasgow Archaeological Journal. 12 (12): 49–81. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  4. ^ "RIB 2170. Honorific Building Inscription of the First Cohort of Baetasians". Roman Inscriptions of Britain. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Dedication Slab, Bar Hill". Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  6. ^ "RIB 2171. Building Inscription of the Second and Twentieth Legions". Roman Inscriptions of Britain. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  7. ^ "The Scottish Ten". The Engine Shed. Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation LLP. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Lady's Shoe, Bar Hill". Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Child's Shoe, Bar Hill". Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  10. ^ "BARHILL ROMAN FORT". castles forts battles. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  11. ^ Roy, William. "Map of the Scottish Lowlands". National Library for Scotland. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Bar Hill - Fly around". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  13. ^ Krakowka, Kathryn. "Meticulous metric survey of the Antonine Wall". Current Archaeology. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  14. ^ MacDonald, George; Park, Alexander (1906). The Roman forts on the Bar Hill, Dumbartonshire. Glasgow: J. Maclehose. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  15. ^ "OS 25 inch 1892-1949". National Library of Scotland. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Soldier". Frontiers of the Roman Empire. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  17. ^ Miller, S. N. (1952). The Roman Occupation Of South Western Scotland Being Reports Of Excavations And Surveys Carried Out Under The Auspices Of The Glasgow Archaeological Society By John Clarke, J. M. Davidson, Anne S. Robertson, J. K. St. Joseph, Edited For The Society With An Historical Survey By S. N. Miller. Glasgow: Robert Maclehose & Company Limited. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Children". Frontiers of the Roman Empire. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  19. ^ "Roman child's leather shoe". A History of the World. BBC. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  20. ^ Rohl, Darrell, Jesse. "More than a Roman Monument: A Place-centred Approach to the Long-term History and Archaeology of the Antonine Wall" (PDF). Durham Theses. Durham University. Available at Durham E-Theses Online ref: 9458. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  21. ^ "The Antonine Wall: Rome's Final Frontier". The Hunterian. University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Antonine Wall, Bar Hill Roman Fort". Canmore. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  23. ^ Morrison, Sue (2017). Twechar An Oral History of a Pit Village (PDF). Twechar: Oral History Research & Training Consultancy. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Bar Hill". Frontiers of the Roman Empire. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  25. ^ "Barrel, Bar Hill". Frontiers of the Roman Empire. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  26. ^ "Window Fragments, Bar Hill". Frontiers of the Roman Empire. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Columns Reconstruction". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  28. ^ "Bust of Silenus, Bar Hill". Frontiers of the Roman Empire. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Antonine Wall: Bar Hill Fort Near Twechar, Dunbartonshire". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  30. ^ "Bar Hill & The Antonine Wall". Undiscovered Scotland. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  31. ^ "RIB 2166. Altar dedicated to Mars Camulus". Roman Inscriptions of Britain. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  32. ^ "RIB 2167. Altar dedicated to Silvanus. On a plinth". Roman Inscriptions of Britain. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  33. ^ "Altar to Silvanus, Bar Hill". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  34. ^ "RIB 2169. Altar dedicated by First Cohort of Baetasians". Roman Inscriptions of Britain. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  35. ^ MacDonald, George (1911). The Roman wall in Scotland (1 ed.). Glasgow: J. Maclehose. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  36. ^ "Bust of Silenus, Bar Hill". Retrieved 12 July 2018.

Coordinates: 55°57′32″N 4°04′19″W / 55.959°N 4.072°W / 55.959; -4.072