Temporary Marching Camp

Stracathro, Tayside

NGRef: NO618658
OSMap: LR45
Type: Temporary Camp
Roads
See Stracathro (Tayside)

"At Stracathro (NO 614655), Angus, a temporary camp approximately 800 ft. square was identified in 1955. There are four gates, each with distinctive external features (clavicula and straight ditch), similar in plan to those at Dalginross, which this camp closely resembles. It evidently marks the halting-place of a force of legionary strength." (St. Joseph, 1955)
N.G.REFDIMENSIONSAREA
NO614655c.1,400 x 1,200 ft
(c.427 x 366 m)
c.38½ acres
(c.15.6 ha)
This square camp was discovered by J.K. St. Joseph on A.P.'s taken in 1955. It measures 1,440 feet NW-SE by 1,225 ft transversely, but the two main axes cross at an angle of about 80° which means that the defences enclose a area of just under 40 acres in the form of a parallelogram. The is the nominative site-type of a group of British marching camps which all exhibit a certain type of gateway defenses nowadays known as the 'Stracathro type'. The camp possesses four of these distinctive gateways, one set in the centre of the north-west and south east sides with those in the remaining two sides off-set towards the south-east. They are characterised by a rounded clavicula-type expansion of the rampart and ditch on the right-hand side of the gate (viewed from within), with oblique linear defenses to the left. The camp was identified from the air in 1955 and examined on the ground in 1958; the NW gateway was excavated in September 1967, when its ditches were found to possess the typical Roman military V-shaped outline with a square drainage slot in the bottom.Stracathro Marching Camp
Plan of Stracathro Marching Camp
based on that of J.K. St. Joseph (1958)

This large temporary marching camp lies just to the west of the fort at Stracathro (NO6165). It is thought to be attributable to the campaigns of Gnaeus Julius Agricola sometime during AD82/83. Its distinctive protruding gateways have been recognised as the definitive examples for this type of camp, it being the first to be recognised. There are other "Stracathro"-type camps at Dalswinton, Castledykes, Menteith, Dalginross, Ythan Wells, Auchinhove and Inverquharity.

See: Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1951-5 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xlv (1955) p.87;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1955-7 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xlviii (1958) pp.91/2 & fig.7;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1958-1960 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. li (1961) p.123.

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