Some of the action in my new Warrior Druid of Britain novel, Wrath of the Picts, takes place in and around Barr Hill Roman Fort, which is located along the Antonine Wall (check out my older posts about other sites along the Wall, at Castlehill and Duntocher). This place made an appearance in The Northern Throne too but I’d never actually been there, despite the fact it’s not that far from where I live and, back when I was installing data loggers to gas meters, I worked in this area sometimes. I’d been describing the fort and surrounding lands from photos and maps but then I realised – I’m a full-time writer now, I have plenty of time to make a research trip to somewhere like this!
So, last Thursday, that’s what I did. I even took my little dog along. I was happy to find that my descriptions of the hill fitted just fine with what I’ve got in the books, although the walk up to the fort was rather steeper than I expected. Made even harder by the fact Pippi wouldn’t walk (she’s really nervous) so I had to carry her practically the whole way!
She was happy enough to walk around once we got to the top, thankfully, and the views are great. It’s clear why the Romans chose this location for a fort.
Honestly, there’s very little left of the original buildings/walls, but it’s still well worth a visit if you’re nearby . We had a picnic and wandered about soaking in the atmosphere, watched by a couple of ravens (there always seems to be a raven or two at the top of these old sites, and I included one called Uchaf in the books that Bellicus has taught to speak). We had the whole place to ourselves, right up until we decided to leave for the 40 minute drive back home through one of my favourite places, Milngavie.
Check out the pics (click on them to see bigger versions), and see what you think of my description of the place in Wrath of the Picts when it comes out. The action in this location is pretty intense, featuring a couple of scenes which I think readers will remember for a long time. One was fun to write, the other not so much…
I really hope you’ll check out the new book when it’s published (hopefully within the next month or so), and enjoy it. Catia gets herself involved in some more scrapes, and Bellicus, Duro and Eburus all feature heavily as they try to untangle the mess that’s been left in Dun Breatann and beyond after the princess’s departure. Sometimes an author feels uncertain about a book they’ve written, but I think Wrath of the Picts will be a good addition to the series!