Raith – possible tower

Report of excavations in 1900

The full text can be found in D.J.Christison “The Roman Road and Adjoining works from Ardoch to the Earn”, PSAS, 35, 1901.

We now come to the one already referred to, as having been completely ploughed down on the surface. My information about it is entirely due to the kindness of Mr A.G. Reid, F.S.A. Scot., of Auchterarder, and Mr Benjamin Carruthers, farmer, of Shearerston. The buried remains were unearthed in March 1901, in the course of sinking a pit for holding a water tank on the farm of Raith. The position is 2 1/4 miles west of No. 2, 300′ above sea-level, on the highest laid for five miles round about, but not on a knoll, 200 yds south of the Roman Road, as measured by Mr Carruthers, at a greater distance therefore than the other posts, but this may be explained by the wide view commanded at that point in every direction. Mr Reid is informed that it can be seen from the supposed Roman Camp at Fendoch, in Glen Almond. At a depth of 3′ or 4′ four post-holes about a foot in diameter were discovered, going down about a foot into the ‘rotten rag’ rock. They were set square, and 9′ apart. A quantity of black loam and decayed or charred wood lay in and about them. A few yards outside them, a red sandstone flag, 5′ by 3 1/2′ in length and breadth and 7″ to 9″ thick, rested upon two ‘rough rubble’ stones, and under it was a large quantity of black loam and wood remains. Some broken pieces of red pottery were also found, but not of a well defined character. No signs of an enclosing trench and mound were observed, but either the excavations may have been too limited to disclose them, or they may have been entirely obliterated, as the ground has long been under cultivation.

The decayed wood examined by Mr Tagg consisted of oak, willow, and hazel. The pieces of oak were rather large, and the annual rings showed that the timber must have been of considerable size, but the hazel and willow seemed to have been from small branches. Fragments, numerous but small, taken from a post-hole, were of oak, hazel, and willow. Amidst the woody black soil under the large slab a few grains, one of which could be identified as barley, were found.

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