I'm wondering if anyone knows where someone has recorded the 'average' height of a Roman fortlet in Britain (Scotland specifically), or some information on the ranges to which they were built?

I'm asking as I'm currently creating a model that uses visibility, as so I need to know the height that the observer would be at.



That's a really good question, and the answer is that nobody knows. We know a great deal about the plan of Roman forts and fortlets, but none of them actually survive beyond a couple of metres or so above ground level, so any figures given for the heights of fortlets is just guesswork.

There are lists available online of Roman forts and fortlets in England, Scotland and Wales.

One of the best preserved fortlets in Scotland is the Lurg Moor Roman Fortlet at Greenock which was located at the western end of the Antonine Wall. This short video gives an idea of what the remains look like today.

This video gives a 3D visualisation of a Milecastle on Hadrian's Wall. The video forms part of an online course offered by Newcastle University on the FutureLearn platform. It might help you estimate a figure for your model.

  • Thanks for replying. Yeah, I thought as much. I've come across that the fortlets in Gask Ridge are estimated to have been 10 metres. Do you think that would be a 'good' baseline to use for other areas, such as the forts on Stanegate? – tikeshe Jul 7 '17 at 9:23
  • 1
    I've seen various estimates from 5 - 10 metres, based on the size of the foundations. Personally, I think 10 metres is possible, but may be pushing it a bit. Just because the foundations would have supported a 10 metre structure doesn't necessarily mean they actually built it that high. I'd be a bit more cautious and say 20 - 25 feet (7 - 7.5 metres). – sempaiscuba Jul 7 '17 at 10:03
  • 1
    Thank you! I will use multiple heights and compare them. – tikeshe Jul 7 '17 at 10:05
  • 2
    @sempaiscuba - The smaller figure makes sense to me too. Romans weren't as tall as modern men. That does leave the model-builder with the quandary of whether to depict the height accurately, or to scale with modern people. – T.E.D. Jul 7 '17 at 13:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.