2011-06-07 (Day 285) Antonine Wall

Most people have heard of Hadrian’s Wall. This is close to the border between Scotland and England, and many people think that it represents the most northerly part of the Romans’ occupation of the British Isles.

Fewer know of the Antonine Wall.

The Antonine Wall spans Scotland from the Forth to the Clyde. It was built in AD142. Yet the Romans were only able to hold the line for around twenty years – the terrain, the hostility of the locals, the climate and the simple fact of being at the wrong end of a long supply chain combined to make the task more difficult than it was worth.

The wall was constructed by digging out a ditch and using the soil that was dug out to make a mound over which an enemy would have to climb. At Polmonthill, just at the end of the artificial ski slope, some of the remains can still be seen. Here, at the right of the picture, and just at the base of the trees, the rough shape of a ditch can be perceived.