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11 February 2022

HES investigating incident of illegal metal detecting at Bar Hill Fort

Investigations are currently taking place into an incident of illegal metal detecting at Bar Hill Fort in East Dunbartonshire.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) are working with Police Scotland after reports that a large number of holes have been dug on site, suggesting metal detecting activity.

Many significant Roman artefacts have been discovered at Bar Hill Fort, which forms part of the Antonine Wall World Heritage site, and is a Property in Care of Historic Environment Scotland. The site is also protected as a scheduled monument, meaning that metal detecting and the removal of items from the site is illegal without prior consent and is subject to prosecution.

Metal detecting is only permitted at sites in the care of HES when part of an authorised archaeological research project under supervision of the organisation’s in-house archaeologists.

Stefan Sagrott, Senior Cultural Resources Advisor at HES, said:

“Such incidents of metal detecting, whether on our estate or in the wider historic environment, can cause irreparable damage to archaeological sites and impair investigation of them, potentially robbing us of our history. These incidents also divert resources away from vital conservation work to our sites and monuments.

Heritage crime is a serious matter, and we are committed to investigating incidents thoroughly and pursuing offenders to ensure that Scotland’s historic environment is protected."

“We would urge any members of the public with any information regarding this incident to get in touch with HES at hmenquiries@hes.scot; contact Police Scotland on 101; or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.”

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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For further information, please contact:

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962