Roman Fort, Newstead, Melrose

Canmore – Newstead Roman Fort – ….. This season’s work has given no confirmation at all to Richmond’s hypothesis that this part of the Fort housed a cavalry unit in the early Antonine period. The field work and excavation have however revealed substantial 2nd century industrial activities in the SW quarter of the Fort, including probable tile/brick making and iron smelting, as well as lead working and iron smithing.

Elliot, W. (1992) Animal footprints on Roman bricks from Newstead’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 121, 1991. Page(s): 223-6

Site information – It is accepted that Roman bricks and tiles were made using removable mouldboards and allowed to dry in a roofed area which was open at the sides. After drying to ‘leather-hardness’, they were then fired; this made permanent any marks which the brick had acquired in its earlier and softer state (Brodribb 1987, 125). Various animals left their marks on the clay of the ‘green’ bricks and tiles at Newstead. Obviously the softer the clay and the heavier the animal, the deeper the imprint. All finds recorded below have been recovered by a systematic pattern of field-walking.

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