Historic Scotland

Opening times

Seabegs Wood is open year-round.

 

History

A field of finds 

A Roman fortlet was discovered in 1977 on the farm of Dalnair, at the west end of Seabegs Wood. Numerous fragments of Roman pottery had also been found on this field over the years. The fortlet indicated that the Antonine Wall deviated to the north, to cover the high ground of the plateau. 

Frontier of an empire 

The Antonine Wall was the Roman Empire’s north-western frontier. Built on the orders of Emperor Antoninus Pius in the years following AD 140, it ran for 37 miles (60km) across Scotland’s central belt, from modern Bo’ness on the Firth of Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde. 

Rather than a stone wall, the Antonine Wall consisted of a turf rampart 34 m high on a stone base, possibly topped with a timber palisade. It was fronted by a wide and deep ditch, much of which is still visible today. Forts along the wall provided accommodation for the troops and acted as secure crossing points. All forts were linked by a road called the Military Way, which ran behind the rampart. 

When it was completed, the Antonine Wall was the most complex frontier ever built by the Roman Army. It was the Romans’ last linear frontier, and was only occupied for about 20 years before it was abandoned in the AD 160s.