Temporary Marching Camps

Ythan Wells, Glenmailen, Aberdeenshire/Grampian

NGRef: NJ6538
OSMap: LR29
Type: 2 Marching Camps
Roads
None
N.G.REFDIMENSIONSAREADESCRIPTION
Ythan Wells Camp 1, Glenmailen
NJ655383c.2,660 x c.1,822 ft
(c.810 x c.555 m)
c.111 acres
(c.44.9 ha)
This large rhomboid camp was discovered in 1785 or 1786 by Shand. The north and south angles are obtuse, the east and west both acute; none of them are equal. The sides, given clockwise starting at north measure 1,711, 2,529, 1,934 & 2,790 feet. There are two gates in the long north-west side and another in the shorter south-west side, any gates in the other two sides are undiscernable. This "120-acre" camp has a ditch of typical Roman military profile 11¼ feet wide and 4 feet deep, cut into the gravel which overlies the mudstone geology of this area. There are similarly sized camps at Raedykes, Normandykes, Kintore and Muiryfold.
Ythan Wells Camp 2
NJ6613851,450 x 1,050 ft
(442 x 320 m)
c.35 acres
(c.14.1 ha)
The entire W side, a long stretch of the N and several hundred feet of the S side have been recorded, and from these the outline of the entire camp maybe extrapolated, which enclosed an area of around 26 acres. Discovered in the summer of 1968 and excavated in September the same year, the ditches of this camp were only 4ft wide and 2ft deep, and were not back-filled when the second (larger) camp was built, because a period of time had elapsed sufficient for the original defences to have become almost entirely silted-up, making the task of filling them in unneccessary. This "33-acre" camp may be dated by its Stracathro-type gateways to the campaigns of Agricola. There is a similarly sized camp about 14½ miles (23.7km) to the north-west at Auchinhove.
See: Topography of Roman Scotland North of the Antonine Wall by O.G.S. Crawford (Cambridge 1949) pp.116-120 & fig.31;
Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) p.65;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1955-7 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xlviii (1958) p.93;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1965-1968 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lix (1969) pp.112-13 & fig.3;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1969-72 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lxiii (1973) p.226;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1973-76 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lxvii (1977) p.143;
Britannia ix (1978) pp.277-278.

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