Duntocher Roman Fort

If you’ve read my novel The Druid you’ll remember the hero Bellicus riding through a place called Dun Tochair. There was once a Roman fortlet there, along the Antonine Wall between Old Kilpatrick and Castlehill in Bearsden (I posted a short blog about that one HERE).

Here’s an extract from the novel:

So the druid tried to find the tracks left by the Saxons’ boots and, at first, it had been simple enough. They had followed the course of the massive old turf wall which the emperor Antoninus had ordered built years earlier. Despite its age, and the fact the legions had long-since deserted it, it was still an impressive feature that dominated the landscape. It also boasted a road running parallel to it and that was the route Catia’s captors had taken, at least as far as Dun Tochair, a few miles to the east.

That was when things became confused. Dun Tochair had boasted a small fort in Roman times and, although tumbled into ruins now, the road here retained most of its stones, rendering the Saxons’ tracks impossible to read.

Bellicus gazed out across the landscape – Dun Tochair sat on a hill which afforded fine views of the whole area he’d just ridden from – but, despite the lofty vantage point, there were no obvious signs of the raiding party.

Sighing irritably, knowing every second he wasted would take the princess further and further away from him, his eyes settled on a pair of low hovels not far from the road. Smoke rose from one of the buildings and the breeze brought the delicious smell of porridge to him.

Well, the local authorities have built a great new children’s playpark on the site, including a couple of massive centurions to guard it! I took my little boy there on Saturday and we had great fun. Check out the photos below.

Not exactly Uchaf the Raven…
Bellicus (lol) and Duro
Not sure even Catia could fit on this never mind Bellicus!
On the right, at the side of the houses, you actually see the next fort along the Antonine Wall, Castlehill. It was located at the stand of trees you can just make out a mile or two in the distance. A signal or beacon would be spotted easily on either of these sites if the Roman soldiers needed help from their comrades in the next fort.

This is a great place to take your kids if you’re nearby. I wish the authorities would do more to celebrate our rich heritage here in Scotland. Building a replica of one of these Roman forts along the Antonine Wall would be ideal and draw in the tourists I’m sure…

If you haven’t read my Warrior Druid of Britain books they include locations like this, Dunadd, Dumbarton Rock, Dunottar and even Stonehenge. Check them out HERE if you enjoy exciting historical fiction set in post-Roman Britain!

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