NGRef: NN9919
OSMap: LR58
Type: Watch-tower, Camp
W (0.5) to Mvir O Favld (Tayside)
E (0.5) to Witch Knowe (Tayside)

The "Gask Ridge" Watch-Tower

The platform of the Gask House watch-tower is 45 feet in diameter and lies to the south of the military road. It was excavated in 1900. This watch-tower along with others spaced almost uniformly along the Roman military road into the north-east formed an early Roman frontier along the Gask Ridge in Tayside.

The Gask House Marching Camp

NN9919 450 x 370 ft
(c.137 x 113 m)
3¾ acres
(1.55 ha)
Crawford records an anonymous antiquarian report of 1789 which claimed that a "Roman Fort" lay to the immediate south of the Gask House watch-tower, 1,700 feet north-east of Gask House. "This records gateways protected by straight traverses on the east and west sides a little to the north of their middle points, and a similar gateway in the middle of the north side. Part of the west portion of the south side, including entrance and traverse (if any), is marked as missing" (Crawford, 1949). He estimated the measurements across the defences as 550 x 450 feet (c.168 x 137m), with internal dimensions of 450 x 370 feet (c.137 x 113m); the area enclosed would have been about 3¾ acres (c.1.55ha). He also records that Christison at the turn of the twentieth century claimed to have found the defences of this camp in a series of trenches, in which the ditch measured only 3 feet wide by 1½ feet deep (c.0.9 x 0.45m). His claim was not substantiated by a published report. Air photographs taken by J.K. St. Joseph in 1960 recorded the outline of most of the camp and established its axial dimensions as "almost 500 ft. from E. to W., by about 425 ft., over the ditch centres" (St. Joseph, 1965); the camp therefore covered an area a little in excess of 4¾ acres (1.97 ha).
See: Topography of Roman Scotland North of the Antonine Wall by O.G.S. Crawford (Cambridge 1949) p.53;
Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1961-64 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lv (1965) p.81;
Roman Britain in 1965 in JRS lvi (1966) p.199;
Roman Britain in 1966 in JRS lvii (1967) p.175.
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: GASK HOUSE"