The Gask Ridge
Perthshire Roman Defence

The Gask Ridge was one of two lines of forts, built by Agricola after he defeated Calgacus at the battle of Mons Grapius in AD83. The outer line hugs the edge of the highlands, built by his successor some years later. Agricola built the inner line of forts which lie in the centre of the valleys of Strathearn and Strathmore, following the line taken by the Roman road leading north. The Gask Ridge frontier is a group of towers, forts and fortlet that run this Roman road from south of Ardoch (Braco) to Bertha at InverAlmond. It is possible that the series extends further south to Doune or even to the Clyde - Forth isthmus. The traditional view gave its abandonment at circa AD87 but there is now evidence for a longer period. Dating has suggested either before building of Inchtuthill or just after the fortress abandonment or just after the building.

Ardoch

Around AD80, some 40years before the construction of Hadrian's Wall the northern frontier of Roman Britain was marked by a series of forts and watchtowers along the Gask Ridge, a ridge of high ground running between Dunblane and Perth. Ardoch fort is one of those early Gask system forts - possibly constructed at the time of the battle of Mons Grapius. When it was reoccupied in the 140's it was one of the largest Roman stations in Britain. Although there are no visible buildings, the defensive earthworks that remain make this a most impressive location to visit.

Ardoch was a two period fort of 1.7ha and later 3.2ha. After the abandonment of Inchtothill in the mid 80's ad, it formed part of the Gask Ridge frontier until that was abandoned in the late 80's AD. At some stage during the Flavian period the garrison was Cohors 1 Hispanorum equitata, 9th Legion. In the Antonine period the fort was an outpost for the Wall, 3.2ha but later reduced to 2.3ha.

Bertha

Flavian fort abandoned after Inchtothill in the late 80's AD. The site was reoccupied in the Antonine period and was the most northerly outpost fort for the Antonine Wall.

Inchtothill

Flavian legionary fortress, just south of Spittafield between Carputy and Meiklour, 21.7ha of construction stared circa 83AD and abandoned circa *7AD. Garrisoned by Legion XX Valeria Victrix. Two construction camps and a stores compound plus the fortress.

Fendoch (Sma Glen)

The term, Glen blocking fort, sometimes also called the Highland Line fort, is used to describe members of a line of Roman forts along the Highland Line in Scotland. The forts all share the common characteristics, that they are close to the mouth of a glen, a narrow valley or strath, a broad valley allowing the supervision of traffic. Fendoch was a Watchtower and covered about 2ha.

Dalgiross (Comrie)

Another Glen blocking fort. In fact there were two forts at Dalginross, one set within the defences of the other, located on the south bank of the river Earn and the east bank of the Ruchill, both camps were on the west side of the Braco road as you leave Comrie. Part of the site lies beneath the modern village, but the two marching camps are situated in fields to the south OS ref NN7720 There are three stones on the east side of the straight part of the road to Braco, one nearest the road is called Roman Stone, the most easterly has Cup Marks.

It is possible that a Roman military supply road led from here eastward along the valley of the Earn towards the Gask Ridge fort at Strageath. One of the forts was most likely eastablished by the governor Sallustius Lucullus sometime during 85AD, only to be demolished after a short period of occupation, perhaps the following campaign season. The site was one of a series of Roman military camps established at the same time and dubbed by modern archaeologists as Glen Forts (Glenblockers).

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