Roman On The Moor

Link of easy route to fort HERE (Google Earth KML file)

Corlic with a twist this weekend…

A perfect day for out walking so off I headed Greenock way and took the ‘Old Largs Road’ where I got dropped off at the start of the track into Corlic, regular readers know of a good tarmac then slightly rough track to the base of the hill with a sharp 150ft rise to the summit, this takes me slightly less than 40 mins walking in. The weather was sunny with a lot of white cloud scurrying over as the breeze was fairly brisk but got stronger as I neared the top. I found a different nook from usual as wind was coming SW and sat down to wait on Iain WJZ who was due to appear on Beinn Narnain in the Arrochar area. Another alert was posted for Ben Lawers but an earlier text from Roddy IOB had told me this was taken down.

After a quick scran, for once a healthy option, I heard Iain call. I only took the 2m handie with me but the signal was still strong and after a quick chat with Iain, I left him to work other stations but had a listen to see who I could hear. I later had a look around the 2m band but nothing so decision time, which way off today ?

Four options…

return the way I had come in

Head down the usual route via the ruined Harelaw farmstead

Head towards the Gryffe reservoirs then over the Green Rd(also known as Devol Rd on OS maps) home

The choice this time was to head north towards a specific fence then turn eastwards and visit the area of the Roman fortlet on Lurg Moor. I had partly finished a blog post which required photos and more to the point, a panorama of the excellent view that the Roman soldiers had.

The going was the usual knee-deep heather intermingled with wet boggy sections and with the recent weather, the boggy bits lived up to their name as I found out later in the walk. It is amazing what rubbish you find in the middle of nowhere, empty plastic containers, beer bottles and cans etc.

I followed the fence line which I met at NS291736, in hindsight it would have been a better idea to have backtracked and descended the hill the way I had come up and then to head northwards along the track at the base until I met a fence at NS288736 and then head eastwards along the fence line until you reach the fortlet area at NS295737. There is an excellent satellite view on Google Earth

The entrance and fort area

The entrance and fort area

I had a walk around the site which I have visited on previous occasions, I remember the first time I looked for the site, it was a misty early start I had come from the east via the Lurg Moor trig point which some wag had painted with satanic symbols which looked quite creepy in the mist and the ‘All Seeing Eye’ facing you. (This trig had also been painted with a red background to the symbols)

I followed the fence and it was when I was upon the site I noticed the 3/4 ditch around the site, the entrance was from the south and is clearly visible from which a road ran towards other fortlets in the defence line. It is almost 1900 years since the Roman army manned this outpost, I wonder what they would have made of the midge population in the summer and autumn months.

A quick resume….

The Lurg Moor Fortlet is long thought to be a continuation of the Roman small fort system which extended from the end of the Antonine Wall which then crossed the river at Dumbuck and from Whitemoss Fort near Bishopton it then extended westwards above Langbank until the known fortlet on Lurg Moor (video link) above Greenock. The Roman road which leaves the Lurg Moor Fortlet runs towards the north end of Loch Thom and onwards to Dunrod Hill ( Dunrod means Fort Hill or Fort Road).The Roman road ran to Outerwards and towards a reputed anchorage at Largs although more likely Irvine,  I’ve included these links HERE HERE to a more possible site for the Roman landing point.

I cobbled this together from varying places on the internet so fact and fiction may mix along the way.

I now headed towards home passing what may have been a  Damondii ‘Hut Circle’ at NS 297737 as you will in the image sadly misused for a twin electricity pole base.



I then had to pass through the boggiest part of the journey with diversions to avoid the wettest parts apart from one where Bob got mucky. My next port of call was the Lurg Moor trig point which the OS has as being on Knocknairs Moor, I used to come up here years ago and sit watch all the ship traffic moving up and down from Glasgow and around the docks at Greenock. It would be a good place to play radio from. I worked 11m from here in the mid 80s.Roddy IOB had let me know that Beinn Chaorach was to be activated later in the afternoon, it would have good to hang about but I decided just to have my handie at the ready on the way home.

Time to head back home, I soon arrived at the roadside and headed along the back road to home but took a short path which takes me to the edge of the golf course and I finally dropped down and arrived home five hours and 8 kms later.

A good day weather wise and an excellent change of route.

Links of interest

Roman Fortlet at Lurg Moor

Roman Fortlet at Outerwards

1970 Outerwards and related excavation ( pages 12-14 document pages not pdf pages !)

Lurg Moor – Largs road info

NS 2973 images ( courtesy of Geograph)

3D reconstruction of Lurg Moor Fortlet ( © uploader)

This is only a few noted pages etc, Google is your friend for further reading.

My thanks go to Wikipedia, Canmore and Geograph, these well run sites deserve your support. My thanks to the authors of the linked articles and video.

Videos can be watched in HD if wanted…


About gm7something

64, married, three kids......overweight, unfit, folically challenged, need I go on ?
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