About 3.2 km N of the Border the Roman road from
York to the Forth swings round the shoulder of a prominent hill, Woden Law, at the start of its descent to the
Kale Water. On the summit of the hill is a small multi-vallate native fort partially enclosed by a series of Roman investing works. Excavations in 1950 showed that the fort was erected in the Early Iron Age and had a
single rampart; subsequently further ramparts were
added, but during the Roman occupation of the district
the fort was abandoned.
The investing works are of more than one period, and
were presumably constructed by troops quartered in the
neighboring temporary camps at Pennymuir. They consist of straight or curving banks built in short sectors
with upcast from accompanying ditches. Two of the
banks are built round the E half of the fort at an even
distance of 21 m from the defenses, just beyond the range
of hand-thrown missiles; the others are farther out, on
the S and E faces of the hill. The inner pair of banks
incorporate ballasted platforms designed as emplacements
for siege engines, and there is a similar, isolated platform
S of the fort. The fact that the works are unfinished, and
only partly invest the fort, implies that they were constructed by troops in the course of training exercises and not during active operations.
Inventory of the Ancient & Historical
Monuments of Roxburghshire
1 (1956) 169-72.
K. A. STEER