About Bar Hill Roman Fort
Bar Hill Roman Fort was a fort built along the Antonine Wall, a 2nd century defensive wall in Scotland. Of the 16 forts along the wall, Bar Hill Fort occupied the highest location and today affords visitors stunning views over the Kelvin Valley.
Bar Hill Roman Fort history
Bar Hill Roman Fort was built around the year AD 142 during the reign of Antoninus Pius, yet unlike many forts along the Antonine Wall was not on the wall itself but instead around 30 metres south. The complex included barracks, a headquarters building, latrines, a bath house, and the Commander’s House, and likely held around 500 soldiers at any one time.
A 13-metre well was situated in the centre of the site, and following the Romans’ departure from Bar Hill many threw possessions they did not wish to take with them into it. A wooden comb, buckets, nails, pieces of stone columns, and shoes from men, women, and children have been found during excavations of the well, helping to shape an idea of life at the fort.
Outside Bar Hill’s walls also grew up a village of tradesmen and shopkeepers to supply the soldiers with goods and services. Pubs and restaurants in the village afforded the men a chance to relax and enjoy life on the Wall, with some even having partners and children living there despite being unable to marry in the army.
Bar Hill Roman Fort today
Today, parts of Bar Hill Roman Fort can still be discerned from its ruins including the fort platform, east gate, headquarters building, and bath house, with information boards detailing their original uses and the history of the site.
Great views of the surrounding Kelvin Valley may also be admired from the site of the Roman Empire’s northernmost frontier, with a nearby Iron Age fort an added bonus to explore.
Getting to Bar Hill Roman Fort
Bar Hill Fort is located just east of the village of Twechar, Dunbartonshire in Scotland. It can be accessed via the B8023, and is well-signposted from the village. The nearest train station is Croy, 4 miles away, while the nearest bus stop is on Barrhill Lane, a 10-minute walk away.