Roman Sites and English Heritage


Walltown Crags, Hadrian’s Wall © David Gill

Hadrian’s Wall and Stanegate


Roman Forts

Saxon Shore Forts

Roman Towns

Roman Villas

Roman Temples

Other features

The path to Threave Castle


Threave Castle © David Gill

Threave Castle, in the care of Historic Scotland (HES), lies in the National Trust for Scotland Threave Estate. It was subjected to flooding as a result of ‘Storm Desmond’. The path through the estate is clearly marked by Ministry signs directing visitors to the ferry.


Threave Castle © David Gill

The castle lies on an island in the middle of the river Dee and is reached by the official ferry.


Threave Castle © David Gill


Threave Castle © David Gill

Ministry Guidebooks for Heritage Sites in Scotland



The 1954 list of Official Guides for Ministry of Works sites in Scotland reflects the range of locations. (For evolving design of the guidebooks see here.) Many were prepared by James S. Richardson.

This list can be ordered by the former county designations:


  • Deer, Abbey of
  • Huntly Castle
  • Tolquhon Castle


  • Affleck Castle
  • Arbroath Abbey
  • Edzell Castle
  • Restenneth Priory


  • Balvenie Castle


  • Dryburgh Abbey


  • Rothesay Castle


  • Castle Campbell, Dollar

1975 (8th impression)


East Lothian

  • Dirleton Castle
  • Hailes Castle
  • Tantallon Castle

Fourth edition 1953 (2nd impression 1954)


  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Edinburgh Castle, Scottish United Services Museum
  • Holyroodhouse


  • Inchcolm Abbey
  • St Andrews Castle
  • St Andrews Cathedral





  • Bothwell Castle


  • Craigmillar Castle


  • Duffus Castle and Church
  • Elgin Cathedral
Skara Brae



  • Broch of Gurness, Aikerness
  • Click Mill, Dounby
  • Earl’s Palace, Kirkwall
  • Maes Howe, Mainland
  • Noltland Castle, Westray
  • Orkney, Ancient Monuments in
  • Skara Brae


  • Dunkeld Cathedral
  • Huntingtower Castle
  • Inchmahome Priory


  • Melrose Abbey



  • Jarlshof, Sumburgh, Mainland
  • Mousa and Clickhimin Brochs
  • Scalloway Castle

Second edition 1948, 7th impression 1967


  • Cambuskenneth Abbey
  • Stirling Castle

West Lothian

  • Cairnpaple Hill
  • Linlithgow Palace


  • Whithorn and Kirkmadrine

Rievaulx Abbey: Cellarer’s Building


Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

The Laybrothers’ Range at Rievaulx Abbey lies on the north side of the cloister, to the west of the north end of the abbey church, and adjacent to the Galilee Porch. This forms part of the earliest part of the foundation linked to Abbot William.

The current English Heritage guidebook describes this block of buildings as the ‘West Range’ (remembering that the church is orientated north-south). Sir Charles Peers’ guide described it as the Laybrothers’ Range (‘singularly small and inadequate’).

The dormitory (dorter) for the lay brothers was located on the first floor. It was linked to to the church by a night stair. (For the dorter on the opposite side of the cloister see here.)

The building was reorganised around 1300, and the dormitory became a granary.


Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

Taktikopolis: Greek War of Independence


Taktikopolis © David Gill

The fort guarding the isthmus leading to the Methana peninsula marks the site of Taktikopolis, established during the Greek War of Independence. It served as the base of the Frenchman Colonel Fabvier, and was probably constructed in 1826-27. Fabvier considered the base to be ‘the Cadiz of Greece’.

The fort appears to have been designed to contain artillery, with two towers facing the approach from the south.

Immediately to the north of the fort, and slightly overlapping with it, is a classical or hellenistic elliptical defence work.


Taktikopolis © David Gill


Taktikopolis from the Methana peninsula © David Gill

Mind Your Head at Brougham Castle


Brougham Castle © David Gill

Original Ministry of Works warning signs can be found inside the 13th century gatehouse at Brougham Castle, Cumbria.


Inner Gatehouse, Brougham Castle © David Gill

The castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1928. It is now in the care of English Heritage.


Gatehouse and keep, Brougham Castle © David Gill

The Brough Stone


The Brough Stone, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge © David Gill

The ‘Brough Stone’ (RIB 758) was found in 1879 during the restoration of the south porch of St Michael’s parish church at Brough under Stainmore, Cumbria (formerly Westmorland). It was acquired through subscription by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge in 1884 (inv. GR.1.1884).

The Roman fort at Verterae lies on the road over the Pennines linking the legionary base at York with the town at Luguvalium (Carlisle).

The Brough stone is the tombstone of Hermes of Commagene (Syria), aged 16: the text is in Greek, although at first it was thought to be ‘runic’ (and dated to the 6th century). The inscription is dated to the 3rd century.

The church lies to the south-east of the Roman fort. Subsequent excavations have shown the civilian cemetery to lie in this area.


The Roman fort at Brough, Cumbria © David Gill

  • Further information and bibliography from Historic England
  • English Heritage
  • Fitzwilliam Museum: Object in Focus
  • Stephens, G. 1884. Handbook of the Old-Northern Runic Monuments. London, Edinburgh, Copenhagen. Pp. 116-17. [Digital]
  • Clark, E.C. 1886. The Brough Stone. Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, Transactions of 1st Ser. 8: 205-219. [ADS]
  • Anon. 1886. The Brough Inscription. From the Athenaeum of Nov. 22, 1884. The Brough Stone. Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, Transactions of 1st Ser. 8: 171-73. [ADS]
  • Collingwood, R.G. 1931.Objects from Brough-under-Stainmore in the Craven Museum, Skipton. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society, NS, Vol 31: 81-86. [ADS]
  • Birley, E. 1958.The Roman fort at Brough-under-Stainmore. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society NS, Vol 58: 31-56.
  • Jones, M.J. et al. 1977.Archaeological work at Brough-under-Stainmore 1971-77: I. The Roman Discoveries, Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society NS, Vol 77: 17-45. [ADS]