Antonine Wall

Antonine Wall Romans Constructed Early 140s near Strathclyde Scotland

The Antoinine Wall near Strathclyde was constructed in the early Roman Period around 140/142 AD. This was on the occupation of the Scottish Lowlands under the orders of Emperor Antonius Pius (138-162.)There is more left at this site than you might imagine and it is part of a World Heritage Site that is actually made-up of three sites across the UK and Germany. You will find in here our work in progress  Custom Google Map and Google Earth files to download in KML file format.  These map gives you the overview and aerial perspective on these two important and unique British artefacts.

The three sites that make-up the World Heritage Site include its lower and better known cousin Hadrian’s Wall and the northern border of the the Roman Empire site known asThe Limes which stretched more than 550 km in northern Germany.  Dating back nearly 2.000 years these three lines mark the most northern border of the Roman Empire.

The wall was approximately 60 km or 37 miles long, constructed of Turf on a stone base about 4 m wide. fronted by a ditch about 12 m wide and 3 m deep. Forts and intermediate stations were built on the same pattern of Hadrian’s Wall. The wall was only briefly occupied as it would appear that by the 160s the Romans had given up trying to defend their Lowland Occupation against the Scots due to the pressure it placed on their men and resources.

Antonine mentioned quite late in written history by the Venerable Bede according to UNESCO

It seems difficult to believe that this can be the case but on the World Heritage Site this quote states that the Antonine is first mentioned as late as circa 730 by the Venerable Bede, but there are earlier references as well:

“The Antonine Wall was mentioned first by the Venerable Bede (c. 730), but it is not sure whether he actually saw it. The first representation of the Antonine Wall was drawn in the 13th century on Matthew Paris’ map of Britain. In 1755 William Roy drew the wall with its Military Way from one end to the other.”

“‘For he [the emperor Antoninus Pius] conquered the Britons through the governor Lollius Urbicus, after driving back the barbarians and building a second wall, of turf’. This laconic entry in a fourth century biography records the reoccupation of Scotland under Antoninus Pius and the building of a frontier between the Forth and the Clyde. An inscription at Corbridge indicates that preparations for the invasion were under way by 139, and victory coins issued in 142-3 suggest that by then a satisfactory outcome could be celebrated.” but in the excellent references on SCRAN you will see this reference

Somewhere the facts will no doubt bes established but it shows the neeed to check, check and check again the earliest sources we all can.

Antonine and Hadrians Roman Walls Interactive Google Map

There has been some good work done on the mapping of the individual walls as a starter and you will find links to the related works in More resources below. Whilst ourcombined map is a work in progress we will at some point look to combine it with the German Limes as its quite a good way to see the scale of that border and its limits as well. If you want to take a look at the timeline perspective of these walls within Roman Britain then take a look here at our Roman Britain Timeline Summary. An interactive version is in the works for publishing before Christmas. Hopefully this Christmas, 2014.

Antonine and Hadrians Wall Map

We have made the map public, so please feel free (subject to links and a kind shout-out for Intriguing History project) to use for your own projects. Ideally copy and save the map rather than edit our work in progress version. But we will keep a backup secure. The map is being cobbled together using a variety of sources and those are acknowledged below. Google Maps and Google Earth Supported.  Map data is geocoded as KML file formats, that just means that if you download the source file, we link to in our Resources below you can easily just point, click and run, if you have Google Earth installed. Google has ceased enabling Earth being embedded in web pages so you will need to download ad then you get even more useful information., to give you an idea we will add a couple of Earth Screenshots after the map. But whether it is for a school project or your own interest its a great way to get a birdseye view and use the fabulous ool that Google Earth is. Its free to use and free to download he data. Just please be aware the map will change and be updated as and when our time permits. It will also features on our Roman Period Page along with our normal integrated maps and we will pick-out the pins along the way and post on the specifics of each sub-site in due course.

The site has been studied in great detail and on the main website you can find some great resources as bulleted below.

More information on the Antonine Wall

  1. Here on the Antonine Wall website you see the full interactive version of this Map, it is interactive and expands on the archaeological remains across the landscape.
  2. You can also inspect and search the Finds database here.
  3. SCRAN Reference to Antonine Wall


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