About Croy Hill Roman Fort
Croy Hill Roman Fort is the site of one of the many forts along the Antonine Wall, a vast 2nd century defensive barrier in Scotland which ran from West Kilpatrick to Carriden, along what is now Scotland’s central belt.
Croy Hill Roman Fort history
Constructed during the reign of Antoninus Pius, Croy Hill Roman Fort was one of 16 forts to make up the Antonine Wall. The wall was established to control trade and offer protection from the more aggressive of the Caledonian tribes, and was built in just two years. At Croy Hill, alongside a fort, fortlet, and probable temporary camp were constructed two communication platforms known as ‘expansions’, as well as a bath house outside its walls.
Interestingly, the ditch beside the battlements is thought not to have been dug by the Romans, it being likely impossible to shape with Roman tools due to the hard basalt and dolerite beneath. As such, it is the only one of its kind along the Antonine Wall whose ditch was not dug by the Romans.
A number of religious items were discovered during excavations of the site, including fragments of a relief of Jupiter Dolichenus, an altar dedicated to Nymphs, and an altar dedicated to Mars. Excavations of a building inscription also revealed that the Sixth Legion occupied the fort.
Croy Hill would continue to be occupied until the late 160s AD when the Romans began to retreat south to its more famous counterpart, Hadrian’s Wall.
Croy Hill Roman Fort today
Today, visitors to Croy Hill can still make out the two beacon platforms and a defensive ditch which would have formed part of the original fortifications. Exploring the clear mark left on the Scottish landscape by the Romans, visitors can also enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area from one of the highest forts along the wall.
The Firth of Forth and hills of Fife may be viewed to the east, the Kilsyth Hills to the north, and the next fort along the Antonine Wall may also be admired to the west, at Bar Hill Roman Fort.
Getting to Croy Hill Roman Fort
Croy Hill Roman Fort is located between Croy and Dullatur, with access following minor roads off the B802. The nearest train station is Croy, a 20-minute walk to the site, while a number of bus services stop on the B802 at Smithstone Crescent, a 10-minute walk to the site.