Sunday, 26 May 2013

Roman Run

I turned up at the famous cafe at the auction mart to find that it was closed. The sign now read 'Closed Sundays'.
Mike was already there.
We went to Dobbies for coffee, leaving a sign for any late-comers. In the end no-one else arrived so we struck off in a small convoy of two.
I had planned a route around some Roman sites in the area, these were part of the first frontier of the Roman Empire, now known as the Gask Frontier
Our first stop was Doune Primary School, which was built on top of the southernmost fort in the system.
This fort would have been the base for c500 Auxiliary soldiers, comprising a mixed infantry/cavalry cohort or an all-cavalry unit.
Click all images to enlarge
 We travelled on the B 824, passing the statue of Col Stirling, founder of SAS, before travelling through Dunblane to Kinbuck B8033. We crossed the route of the Roman road running NE before the first Cromlix entrance.

Through Braco to the next fort known as Ardoch. The Auxiliary unit here was from Spain.
Ardoch Fort - No Parking Here
The fort was reused several times over many decades, which explains the multiple ditches. It is the best-preserved turf site in Europe.
We stopped at Kaims Castle Fortlet, this sits in the garden of a private house but the convention is that people let themselves in. So we did.
Through Muthill (admiring the old church etc) towards Creiff before turning on to the B8062 for Kinkell Bridge.
We passed Innerpeffray chapel. This was almost certainly the site of a watch-tower for the Roman fort at Strageath, which is on the opposite side of the River Earn.

Turning left before Kinkell Bridge, up onto the Gask Ridge. We could see the Roman road off to the left, there’s a good watch-tower base just a few yards down the path.

On our journey we kept encountering vintage Bentleys and Rolls Royces. There was obviously a big event in progress.
Since there were only two cars in our Roman adventure, I took the chance to park and walk down a track to one of the watchtowers, most are harder to find than Muir o' Faulds, which sits in a clearing, passed by a straight track, all that remains of the Roman road.
Mike looking about at the watchtower:

The Roman road runs for several miles in a series of straight sections, here it is being used by two of the expensive vintage cars:
We passed other watchtowers and the Midgate fortlet before heading to Dunning for lunch, good quality.
Anita knew that we were coming and left her MGTF outside but I forgot to take a photograph. The journey back to Stirling was uneventful and sunny.

We are planning another  run for the last Sunday in June, get in touch if you'd like to come.
Oh, and we'll meet at Dobbies from now on.

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