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FENDOCH Perthshire, Scotland.

The Roman auxiliary fort at Fendoch, 8 km NE of Crieff, lies at the mouth of the Sma' Glen, guarding an important natural route to the upper Tay valley. It was one of a series of forts built by Agricola, probably in A.D. 83, to protect Strathearn and Strathmore from invasion by the Highland tribes, but it was evacuated and systematically demolished after only a few years' occupation.

Today there are virtually no surface traces of the fort, but excavation in 1936-38 showed that it was defended by a turf rampart 5.1 m thick, and one or two ditches; internally it measured 169.2 by 88.5 m, its proportions adapted to the site. The four gateways were all of timber. Three of them had twin towers flanking a carriageway 31.5 m wide, while the S gate, which led to an annex, had a single tower over the gateway passage. The internal buildings were also of timber, and the complete plan was recovered by tracing the foundation trenches and post-holes. In the center was the principia (24 x 30 m, including a front portico). It comprised a colonnaded forecourt flanked by long rooms, probably armamentaria; a cross-hall; and, at the back, the regimental chapel and four other rooms. On the left of the principia was the praetorium (20.4 x 30 m externally), consisting of a series of rooms ranged around an open court. The side wings were occupied by service quarters and bedrooms, while the dining room was at the rear. On the right of the principia was a pair of granaries (each 16.8 x 9 m). The floors were carried on cross-beams at intervals of 0.9-1.5 m, thus allowing ample space for the circulation of air. It is thought that each granary contained 10 bins, one for each of the 10 cohorts in the garrison, and that altogether they held more than a year's supply of corn.

Behind the principal buildings, and fronting on the via quintana, were a hospital and several smaller buildings, probably workshops or cart sheds. The hospital (31.8 x 12 m) consisted of a long central corridor with eight rooms on one side, and a ward or reception hall flanked by offices on the other. The rest of the space within the fort was occupied by 10 barracks for a cohors milliaria, and by two long sheds, one on either side of the via praetoria. The barracks were of uniform design, a typical example measuring 46.2 by 9.6 m. At one end the centurion's quarters occupied the whole width of the building for 10.2 m, and the remaining 51 m were devoted to 10 mess units with a verandah in front. A longitudinal partition divided the mess units into vestibules for kit, and inner rooms for living quarters.

No angle towers or interval towers were found, but five ovens were discovered at the back of the rampart, and their disposition in relation to the barracks makes it evident that each century originally had one oven. Since it was not practicable to dig wells, water was brought to the fort by a wooden pipeline, using a siphon system to overcome the rise in the ground as the pipe approached the defenses; once inside the fort, the water was distributed in pipes or open wooden gutters to tanks installed below ground level. The finds are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland.

On the S side of the road to Amulree, 1.2 km W of the fort, a small signal station, commanded the view up the Sma' Glen.


Proc. Soc. Ant. Scotland 73 (1939) 110-54P.


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