Located just outside Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Raedykes is the site of a Roman marching camp. Covering an area of around 93 acres, the site would have originally housed three full legions, or 16,000 troops.
History of Raedykes
The site was first recorded by Maitland and planned by George Brown and Barclay of Urie in 1778.
Raedykes probably dates to the 1st century AD, though it has been argued that it could originate from any time during the following two centuries. The fort was one of many which were established during the late first century AD. Many of these camps were reoccupied during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus about a century later.
The whole perimeter of the camp has been recorded, and is significantly irregular in shape because of the terrain. There were originally six gateways of which five are visible. It is situated a day’s march north from Stracathro fort, which was also a Roman marching camp.
The camp remains in a remarkable state of preservation, with the rampart and ditch clearly visible for much of the perimeter. The site commands good views of the surrounding countryside, particularly to the sea at Stonehaven some 5km to the south-east.
It makes for a scenic walk for outdoor and history enthusiasts alike, though do be aware that at times the site is inaccessible due to livestock.
Getting to Raedykes
From the centre of nearby Aberdeen, the site is a 40 minute drive via the A92 road. From the centre of Stonehaven, the site is 10 minutes via Slug Rd/A957.