I was working the day job in Duntocher recently, a place Bellicus travels through in The Druid (he speaks to a woman there and she finds a coin under her foot if you recall the scene). Obviously there’s a LOT of history in this area as it was on the Antonine Wall in Roman days and there was even a little fort here along with a bath-house. You can actually see Castlehill Roman Fort from here (the grove of trees in the distance on the far right).
So I was pleased to see on twitter that some work was going on in the park – I hoped they were finally going to make the most of the area’s rich heritage and build a replica Roman fort or something like that. Unfortunately not (I should have known). All they’re doing is making a kiddies playpark, BUT, they have included a couple of quite fantastic wooden, carved centurions (one of which is left-handed…).
It’s better than nothing I guess.
While I was about I spoke to an 80-year-old local lady who told me some of the folklore of the area. Apparently, when she was a child there was a place they called the “Roony Plantin” which, I assume, translates to something like “Round Plantation” – she seemed to think the place might have had Roman or other historical significance but I can’t find anything about it online. If you are from Clydebank and have any info on it, please get in touch!
She also told me there was something the children thought was a “Roman throne” either in the burn (stream) or on its bank. It might still be there, whatever it is, but again, I’m not sure where it might be located. Perhaps beneath the road bridge which was rebuilt in the 1950’s after a German bomb destroyed the original in WW2.
It’s a shame the authorities in Scotland won’t do more with our Roman heritage – it would be nice if some Time Team-style crew turned up and started digging as there must be some incredible stuff buried here. Maybe one day.
In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying Song of the Centurion – the first few reviews have certainly been hugely encouraging so that’s a relief! I am currently writing a brand new Friar Tuck/ Little John novella, in which they have a very disturbing mystery to solve. It’s based on a real life case from the 1970’s but, obviously, with a medieval flavour. I’m really enjoying writing it which is always a good sign. Look out for it in early 2020, after Lucia hits Audible this autumn!