The Bridgeness Slab

Romans & Bo'ness

Romans in Scotland

At the Unveiling of the Slab

Romans in Bo'ness

Emperor Antoninus Pius

Romans and Bo'ness

Although Bo'ness has never been recognised as the scene of any major battles, legend has it that a great battle did take place between the local natives and the Romans on Erngath Hill

Some evidence to support a conflict having taken place was found when a number of old weapons were unearthed near the supposed scene of the battle, well over 100 years ago.

Romans and Bo'ness

Emperor Antoninus Pius

Although Bo'ness has never been recognised as the scene of any major battles, legend has it that a great battle did take place between the local natives and the Romans on Erngath Hill

Some evidence to support a conflict having taken place was found when a number of old weapons were unearthed near the supposed scene of the battle, well over 100 years ago.

Grahamsdyke 

Grahamsdyke takes its name from the local connection with Antonine Wall, but it is not quite clear why.

One theory is that Celtic for a place of strength was Greim, and Doig meant a mound or rampart hence the modern name Grahamsdyke. 

Local, early 19th century historian, Thomas Salmon suggested that an alternative translation for Grim could be "Bogy Man". 

However, there is a more romantic version that it is named after a Pictish leader. 

His name being Grime (or Graham). He led many attacks on the wall, or dyke as it may have been known locally, and thus became a hero of the native population who inhabited the area giving the area and road its name.

Grahamsdyke Road is also acknowledged as running along the line of the Antonine Wall designated a World Heritage Site in July 2008.

Bridgeness

The Bridgeness Slab, a carved stone tablet was unearthed in 1868. 

Slab Inscription

It's centre panel inscription when translated reads,

"To the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadriannus Antonoius Pius, Father of his Country, the Second Augustan Legion dedicates this, having completed 4652 paces of the Wall" 

The original tablet, now housed in the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, Edinburgh, forms part of the new Roman interpretation display where its significance and importance is shown in a Roman Scotland, UK and European context.

Existing plaque at Harbour Road

The existing replica, now in a poor state and barely readable, which can be seen near the bottom of Harbour Road in Bo'ness was a major reason for the project to return a proper replica this site was setup to explain. Other finds in this area include Roman coins and pottery.

When miners were levelling the ground to build Bridgeness Miners Welfare Club and bowling green, about 1919, a Roman graveyard was uncovered. 

When the graves were opened to expose the skeletons of Roman soldier's, officials of the National Museum recovered a number of coins and other articles.

The coffins being made out of 2" thick slabs of stone were too heavy to transport and still lie beneath Bridgeness Miners Welfare Club where they were found.

Kinneil Fortlet, Kinneil Estate, Bo'ness

In 1978 excavations at Kinneil Estate uncovered a small Roman fortlet. The fortlet was attached to the rear of the Antonine Wall, built AD 142, and would have housed about 20 soldiers. 

A gravel road ran from the south to north through the fortlet with gateways at either end, the positions of which are now marked by timber posts. 

Within the fortlet, timber posts also mark the positions of original Roman posts, which were found during the 1981 excavation. Mnay of the finds are on display in Kinneil Museum in the estate.

Museums to Visit Include:

Glasgow Art Gallery & Museum; Hunterian Museum ; Clydebank Museum; Falkirk Museum & Kinneil Museum, Bo'ness.