Roman “establishments” in modern day Angus, Aberdeen and Moray were of variable size from Durno at 141 acres to Strageath at 5 acres. They are difficult to label – hence referring to them as “establishments”. They were, from the dictionary definition, places of “residence”. At each location, use by the Roman Army could have been of variable duration. Their design, construction, size and location would have been determined by their purpose.
There were 4 types of Roman military establishment:-
- Marching Camp – single narrow ditch, interior rampart, generally rectangular, entrenchment of a single army unit for an overnight stop in field conditions, size of the unit on the march would dictate the size of the camp.
- Auxiliary or Campaign Fort – several ditches, substantial rampart, rectangular or square, mainly timber but later stone, built to last at least one campaign season, housed troops of allied and Romanised nations.
- Legionary Fortress – permanent strategic encampment, occupied for tens of years or centuries, generally stone, around 50 acres.
- Vexellation Fortress – large encampment for either single summer campaign or a number of seasons.
This PDF Locations of Roman Army Establishments in Pictland records the size, initial purpose and later re-use of such establishments and their year dates.