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WODEN LAW Roxburghshire, Scotland.

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.


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