Wester Denhead

also known as Larghan

This site was originally identified from the Air and trial trenched by J.K.St.Joseph it has been since interpreted on the basis of the lacking corners of the inner ditch as a square barrow, and hence Iron Age. The site did produce two fragments of Roman amphora from the ditches, which are, however, currently not traceable.

As a square barrow this is still one of the largest, if not the largest known. No grave has been found – or looked for during the trial trenching, so its interpretation is mainly maintained on the basis of the missing corners.

A record of the trial trenching of the site by J.K.St.Joseph’s is amongst the papers held by the RCAHMS and is currently being prepared for publication with the permission of G.Maxwell. Both a ditch section and a plan of the site survives and while the ditch section shows two substantial ditches surrounding the site, which are of similar size and build to the Roman defences surrounding the towers and fortlets on the Gask Ridge. The resulting plan shows clearly the corner of the inner ditch of the structure, as well as an inner palisade slot. While the size of the ditches does not necessarily rule out an interpretation as a square barrow, the existence of the corner would actually remove the argument for the interpretation as an Iron Age burial, and would and would re-open the possibility of its interpretation as a Roman fortlet.

A long term research project to study the Romans north of the Antonine Wall