NGRef: NO0220
OSMap: LR52/53/58
Type: Watch-tower
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The Thornyhill Signal Station
viewed from the Gask Ridge to the west
Roads
WSW (0.5) to Mossside (Tayside)
ENE (0.5) to Westmvir (Tayside)

The View North
The View North from Thornyhill

This signal station lies a short walk along the Gask Ridge eastwards from the Trinity Gask minor road. The site is cleared of trees and is protected by a gated chain-link fence enclosure just south of the Roman road. Its appearance, aside from different blanketing flora, mirrors that at Parkneuk, but here, the central platform, rampart, ditch, causeway and counterscarp are all readily visible.

The watch-tower lies on the west end of a naturally-formed oblong outcrop of igneous rock measuring some 500 x 200 feet (c.152 x 61m) situated just to the north of the Roman military road. The defences of this signal-station are some 42 feet in diameter measured from the centre of the ditch. A rectangular central area delineated by kerb-stones and measuring some 7 x 4 feet (c.2.13 x 1.22m) was noted by Christison at the beginning of the 20th-century. 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.

There is a fortlet or small fort just over 40 ft. (13 m) from the Thorny Hill watch-tower at Midgate.

See: Topography of Roman Scotland North of the Antonine Wall by O.G.S. Crawford (Cambridge 1949).