Black Hill is one of several marching camps built by Romans marching north during the re-conquest of Scotland between AD 208 and 211.
Emperor Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla led an army of over 30,000 men north of Hadrian’s wall to conquer the Caledonian tribes. It was the largest army ever to invade Scotland.
Caracalla called off the war on the Caledonians after Severus died in 211. It was the last time the Romans would campaign deep within Caledonia.
The 53-hectare site at Black Hill was a temporary camp built to provide shelter for the army. There are several other Roman remnants in the area, including:
- remains of several smaller camps
- a watchtower
- one of the best preserved Roman earthwork forts at nearby Ardoch (not in our care)
The marching camps were probably completed in as little as a single afternoon, testament to the efficiency of the Roman troops. Within a few days, having stripped the surrounding area of resources, the army moved on.