NGRef: NN8309
OSMap: LR57/58
Type: Camp
None identified
Ardoch Camp 1
NN8309 450 x 400+ ft
(137 x 122+ m)
>4¼ acres
(>1.7 ha)
This camp was discovered on aerial photographs taken during the late-1940's on uneven terrain to NE of the fort. Its broad ditch defines a parallelogram-shaped enclosure. The N side is completely known, 450 feet long, with attached 400 feet lengths of the both the adjacent W and E sides. It has been suggested that this was the labour camp for the force engaged in re-building the fort during Antonine times.
Ardoch Camp 2
NN838106 875 x 700 ft
(267 x 213 m)
14 acres
(5.7 ha)
A new camp was discovered on A.P.'s in the late-1940's overlying the southern parts of the larger Camps 4 and 6. The entire N and E sides along with parts of the S and W sides were recorded.
Ardoch Camp 3 (annexe)
NN838106 875 x c.800 ft
(267 x c.250 m)
16 acres
(6.5 ha)
A.P.'s taken in the early-1950's showed that the original rectangular Camp #3 was later doubled in size by the addition of a trapezoidal annexe on its W side. This annexe was probably to accommodate a build-up of troops moving in from the south before attempting a push north.
Ardoch Camp 4 (West)
NN8309 1,540? x 985 ft
(470? x 300 m)
33½ acres?
(c.13.6 ha?)
Only the north-east defences of this camp are completely traced, with the complete east corner-angle and around 950 feet (c.290m) of the adjoining south-east side. Part of the north corner-angle survives, but not enough to ascertain the direction in which the north-western defences led. There are three gateways discernable, all protected by titulum outworks, one set more-or-less centrally in the north-east side but off-set noticably to the south-east, the others set in the south-east defences, one about 295 feet (c.90m) from the east angle and the other close to the southern end of the traceable remains. If we assume that the camp faced north-east, the direction in which the Roman road led, and that the south corner angle lay a corresponding distance from the southern-most gateway in the south-eastern defences, then this entire side could concieveably measure 1,540 feet (470m), but this also assumes that the missing north-west and south-west sides lay at right-angles to the known defences and that the camp was built in the standard tertiata pattern. The defences of this camp overlie those of Camp #6, and is therefore the later of the two camps described by Roy (Crawford 1949).
Ardoch Camp 5 (annexe)
NN8309 c.425 x 280 ft
(130 x 85 m)
2¾ acres
(1.1 ha)
This camp forms an 'annexe' attached to the north-east side of the "63-acre" Camp #4, north of the gateway. It very likely held a 'caretaker' force to watch over the larger camp while the rest of the army group was away "on business".
Ardoch Camp 6 (East)
NN8309 c.2,500 x (1,610-1,740) ft
(c.760 x (490-530) m)
c.96 acres?
(c.38.8 ha?)
This large camp is aligned ssw-nne beside the Roman road leading into north-east Scotland. Almost the entire perimeter is recorded, and that which cannot be traced may be inferred. The E-W measurement of this "great camp" varies between about 1,610 and 1,740 feet, while the N-S measurement is a fairly consistent 2,500 feet. The NE, NW and SW corner angles are all present, along with the whole of the N side about ¾ of the E, and similar proportions of the S and W sides. There are two obvious gateways, each protected by titulus outworks, one set in the middle of the visible W defences, the other set in the N side, noticeably off-set towards the W. There is another gap in the N part of the E defences which opens upon the road so no outworks are visible. The ditches and ramparts at this gateway are slightly staggered, and the S defences overlie a small, square enclosure just south of the camp's gateway. Camp 2 partly overlies this large camp's W defences, so the inferred sequence must be: (i) signal-station (ii) Camp 1 (iii) Camp 2. The so-called procestrium annexe to the fort was seen by Roy to overlie the eastern part of the south defences of this camp (Crawford 1949).
See: Topography of Roman Scotland North of the Antonine Wall by O.G.S. Crawford (Cambridge 1949) pp.30-39 & figs.5-9;
Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) p.62;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1951-5 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xlv (1955) p.87;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1961-64 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lv (1965) p.81;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1965-1968 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lix (1969) p.115, fig.4;
The Camps at Ardoch, Stracathro and Ythan Wells: Recent Excavations by J.K. St. Joseph in Britannia i (1970) pp.163-178;
Britannia ii (1971) p.248;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1973-76 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lxvii (1977) p.135-138 & figs.7-9;
Britannia ix (1978) p.410.

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Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: ARDOCH CAMPS"