Antonine Wall

The Roman conquest of Britain began in the south-east of England in AD 43 but Scotland was not subdued until almost 40 years later. By about AD 100 the conquerors had withdrawn to a line of forts across the north of England.  From AD 122 this frontier was consolidated by the construction of Hadrian's Wall. Following Hadrian's death in AD 138 the Emperor Antoninus Pius reoccupied southern Scotland and built a new wall, known nowadays as the Antonine Wall, across the narrow waist of Scotland between the rivers Forth and Clyde. It ran for 40 Roman miles (about 60km) from Old Kilpatrick on the Clyde to near Bo'ness on the Forth.

Forts were built at regular intervals along the wall, which was made of turf. In addition there were small fortlets, "expansions" (possible signal platforms) and civilian settlements. For a while the Antonine Wall became the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire.

During the last years of the reign of Antoninus Pius and those following his death in AD 161, the Antonine Wall was abandoned for good. During the period AD 208-211 the Emperor Septimius Severus carried out two campaigns in Scotland to restore peace, but after his death his son, Caracalla, ordered the Roman army to withdraw from the north once again.

East Dunbartonshire is an excellent location to track down the remains of the Antonine Wall and some of the forts that lay along it.

The Antonine Wall was inscribed by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee at its meeting in Canada in July 2008 as the United Kingdom's newest World Heritage Site. Further information can be found on the Antonine Wall dedicated website.