Thursday, 5 November 2009

Back To The Wall

Kinneil Fortlet (c) The SkinnyAfter winning recognition as a World Heritage Site over a year ago, the Antonine Wall seemed to slip back into obscurity. So it was nice to see a story about the wall this week in The Skinny, a Scottish culture and listings web site.

In the article, Keir Roper-Caldbeck cycles along "Scotland's most engimatic (sic!) World Heritage Site", painting a wonderfully evocative picture of the countryside across the Central Belt, the author's "back yard".

Armed with a guidebook (unnamed) and map (similarly unnamed), he travels from Old Kilpatrick in the west, through Duntocher and Bearsden, to the picturesque site of Bar Hill. Continuing east, he passes through Croy and Bonnybridge, "munching a desultory [so hot that it leapt about?!] sausage roll", and pays a visit to the "surprisingly small" fort of Rough Castle, before rushing past Watling Lodge and concluding his tour at Carriden.

He has been misled into thinking that the wall was manned by legionaries. Not a serious fault. But what a pity he didn't visit Kinneil (pictured above), the site of a fortlet laid out with timber posts to aid the visitor's imagination. And if the sections exposed in New Kilpatrick cemetery were the author's "first trace of the wall", he must have skimped on his visit to Duntocher, where a smaller section of the stone base can still be seen. Perhaps his (unnamed) guidebook let him down.

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