Moray HER - NJ36SE0007 - BELLIE

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ36SE0007
NRHE Card No.NJ36SE8
NRHE Numlink 16947
Site Form Crop Mark (Includes Soil Mark)
Site Condition AP visible Only
Details Part of a possible Roman camp is visible on aerial photographs. The probable camp was first recorded in 1726 and reported on in 1799. On visiting the area Crawford reported that nothing was visible on the ground and, while he voiced some doubts about the site as a Roman camp, he recorded that the site had been observed from the air in 1943. Crawford placed the camp crentred at about NJ 3573 6170, just over 100 m south west of where the fosse of the camp had been placed by the Ordnance Survey. The area was subject to excavation in 1967 by St Joseph who confirmed a probable Roman camp with a centre at about NJ 355 613, some 400 m south of where the camp had been placed by Crawford. Fragments of a glass bottle from about 1770-80 were found at the top of the ditch, suggesting that it had lain open until the later part of the 18th century, which broadly fitted in with the antiquarian accounts. Keillar reported to the Ordnance Survey archaeology branch that the ditch St Joseph excavated ran south from NJ 3555 6113 and that three of St Joseph trenches across it were still open at the time of his visit indicating that the ditch he excavated was farther north, and ran north east to south west from NJ 3569 6134 to NJ 3548 6112. The two trenches did not demonstrate a particularly v-shaped profile, although he recorded that the ditch was about 2.1 m in width and over 0.9 m in depth. In 1984 Jones and Keiller recorded the well rounded northern corner of a camp at NJ355 611, together with a long linear cropmark running in the same field. It is presumably the cropmark of this possible camp recorded by Jones and Keiller that was subject to excavation by Daniels in 1986, who intersected the ditch in five places. The only published report of this excavation indicated that the location of the camp was at NJ 354 610. In addition the ditch traced by St Joseph in 1967 probably related to an 18th century road. The aerial photographs taken by Cambridge University and AAS reveal a linear cropmark at NJ 3551 6103. The cropmarks to the east of Bellie Church, run south were to north east for about 160m and turn in a rounded angle to the south east, before running into the Lion's Den plantation. This provisionally has the characteristics of a Roman camp. The level of confusion surrounding this site suggests that it should be regarded as a probable camp, rather than given the accolade of the most northerly camp known in the Roman Empire. The possibility has been noted that there may be two separate sites and two distinct locations. Firstly where Crawford and the OS recorded the camp and secondly the site visible on air photographs. Whether any or all of these features are Roman in date awaits further investigation.
Last Update08/12/2022
Updated Bycpalmer
Date of Compilation04/06/1980

Google Map for NJ36SE0007

National Grid Reference: NJ 3554 6135

Event Details

Excavations and Surveys

Artefact and Ecofact


Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability