Aberdeenshire volume 52

Page List of names as written Various modes of spelling Authorities for spelling Situation Description remarks Continued entries/extra info Transcriber's notes
OS1/1/52/1 [Page] 1 Aberdeenshire Deer's Den ROMAN CAMP (Remains of) [Diagrams of Camp outlines] Sheets 64 & 65 This Camp is situated immediately to the west of the Village of Kintore, and supplies the missing link between the two Roman Camps of Peterculter (or Normandykes) on the River Dee, and of Raedykes at Glenmailen on the River Ythan, both of which have been known to Antiquaries for years. This one however has never been traced out previously, although tradition had pointed to this District for some time as having contained a Roman Camp. The fact that a small Roman fort existed at Pitcaple on the River Ury (a little further north,) may have been the reason why no regular search was made for an intrenchment which could hold the same army numerically as either of the 2 above-mentioned Camps which lie to the South and North of it, respectively. After a little trouble and after visits to the ground at all seasons of the year, I am satisfied that all that can now been traced has been identified of this very interesting object. When I first saw it in Novr [November] 1867, some * 200 yards of its west face (situate on the moor ground) were in existence showing the profile of the vallium & ditch, though of course of much smaller dimensions than those it originally possessed. From thence southwards the swell of the ground plainly showed the remainder of the west face to the South-west angle, which is very plain indeed. Thence (going East) about [Continued on page 2] *Note - This was being levelled by cultivation in a subsequent visit I paid it. [initialed] E.H.C.
OS1/1/52/1A [Page] 1a O.S.O. [Ordnance Survey Office] Macclesfield 23/4/70 [1870] Capt. [Captain] Parsons. As I was able to identify nearly the whole of the Roman Camp (for it undoubtedly is one) at Kintore, Aberdeen- shire, prior to my leaving Scotland, I think it would be as well for me to supply it for [Continued p. 1b] O.S.O. [Ordnance Survey Office] Southton [Southampton] 26.4.70 [1870] Captain Courtney Impressions of Sheets 64 & 65 Aberdeenshire 6 inch scales have been forwarded to you by post this day. [signed] R M Parsons Captain RE [Royal Engineers]
OS1/1/52/1B [Page] 1b [Continued from p.1a] the Plans of the Ordnance Survey before I leave. If you will send the six-inch Sheets 64 & 65, Aberdeen shire (surveyed by Capt [Captain] Pratt, RE [Royal Engineers]) I will insert the Camp on them, before they are published. EH Courtney Capt RE [Captain Royal Engineers] Captn [Captain] Parsons Sheets 64 & 65 six-inch Scale of Aberdeenshire are now returned to you herewith, with the Roman Camp inserted. The red-tinted portion is all that cannot be traced at all on the ground. I will send a short account of the matter in a [Continued on p.1c]
OS1/1/52/1C [Page] 1c Coll. [Colonel] Cameron, Forwarded to you for engraving that portion which has been traced upon the ground if you approve R.M. Parsons Cp RE [Captain Royal Engineers] 24-5-70 [1870] Captain Jones. Captain Courtney's report was sent to the MS [Manuscript] Store on 21 inst R.M. Parsons Capt RE [Captain Royal Engineers] 4.6.70 [1870] day or two on a Name Sheet. EH Courtney Capt RE [Captain Royal Engineers] O.S.O. [Ordnance Survey Office] Macclesfield 20 May 70 [1870] Capt [Captain] Parsons Have you received this account yet? R. O Jones 2L [2nd Lieutenant] ??? 2/6/70 [1870] Mr Gordon I should like to see this Report R. O Jones Cap. [Captain]
OS1/1/52/1D [Page] 1b Capt. [Captain] Stewart Can you let Lt [Lieutenant] A James have a pamphlet by Alexander Watt on a supposed Roman Camp at Kintore in Aberdeenshire referred to by Capt[Captain] Courtney in his account of the remains of the Camp. Cameron, Conl [Colonel] 13/6 [1870 Col [Colonel] Cameron Capt. [Captain] Courtney states that the pamphlet by Watts was sent to him, and has been since returned that only a few copies were printed & that he is unable to say how a copy can be got now. R. W Stewart Capt R.E. [Captain Royal Engineers] 17.6.70 [1870]
OS1/1/52/1D Lt A James (line 3) is at best a guess. I cannot even offer a guess for the final signature. -john, I Think is is Stewart...R W Stewart.
OS1/1/52/2 [Page] 2 [Continued from page 1] 300 yards of the South face can be distinctly followed, and then more faintly for some further distance, but no remains at all exist of the S.E. [South East] angle. Part of the North face was also to be traced on this occasion at the point where the Roman Road leaves the Camp, but as it could not then be followed throughout, & as no remains could then be found of the N.E. [North East] angle, or of the East face, I revisited the ground during the Summer of 1868, when the crops were up, and then traced with [the] greatest ease all the North face (Except just at the N.W. [North West] angle), the N.E. [North East] angle, and 330 yards of the East face. From these discoveries the form of this Camp can be drawn almost with certainty (as shown) and it encloses a space amounting to 110 Acres, 1 Rood, an area which accords so wonderfully with that of the 2 Camps on either side of it, that-all doubt as to its also being of Roman construction is entirely removed. The bend which occurs in the West face to the N.W. [North West] angle I cannot positively identify, but it has been adopted on the testimony of two independent witnesses. James Rennie, aged 60, who lives alongside this bend, first pointed it out to me in 1867, and said that he himself has assisted in demolishing this part of the defences. Thomas Peter, aged 62 (who has lived all his days in the small House through which the North face runs) also pointed it out to me on a different occasion in exactly the same line: he also pointed out to me the general run of the north face, before I was able to trace it out for myself on the ground, & very correctly too, on the whole. [Continued on page 3]
OS1/1/52/3 [Page] 3 [Continued from page 2] *get this form to Div [Division] + Alexander Watt, who has given a description of this object in a small pamphlet* he wrote about Kintore, had unfortunately died only a short time before my attention was drawn to it, so I missed his valuable aid altogether during my search. He calls it (in his work) by the name of the "Deer's Den" and states it's dimensions etc. as follows Vizt. (this was at the beginning of this century, about the year 1804):- "The remains showed that it could not have been less than 18 feet wide at the base, leaving it still some 6 or 8 feet high in some places with a ditch 8 to 10 feet wide, & contrived so as the greater part, if not the whole, could have been filled with water. This wonderful Deer's Den was of an oblong square form taking in a great part of the upper, or west, part of the town, & would have "contained some 80 acres" (Scottish apparently) of land by measurement". He adds "only a very small portion of that wonderful place of defence is now to be seen: the inroads of plough and spade have done their work of demolition". At another part of his work Watt says that the Deer's Den "consisted until very lately almost entirely of moor land". He excepts the East-face, which he says "had disappeared (if it ever existed) long before the recollection of any one I ever communicated with on the subject. The early cultivation of these lands will account for its total disappearance". That the track of over 300 yards of this East face is still to be made out when the crops are up, is therefore rather remarkable, to say [Continued on page 4] + Note. Alexander Watt was a Kintore man, but possessed of more than the ordinary intelligence of men in his station of life. By his means some sculptured stones were saved from destruction at Kintore.
OS1/1/52/4 [Page] 4 [Continued from page 3] nothing of the distinct appearance which the N.E. [North East] angle then also presents. Within the enceinte of the Camp several stone & bronze implements of war have been found from time to time, while about a mile to the South-east of it the Hill of Boghead which is mostly uncultivated is still covered with rings, which probably denote the old British town at this part: Similar remains existed near the Normandykes Camp which led to the supposition that they were the remains of the ancient town "Devana". To sum up, I would point out the following circumstances in confirmation of this really being a Roman Camp: vizt. The rectangular nature of the object, and its general profile; its dimensions (as stated by Watt,) its proportion, and acreage; the table land in which it stands; and the previous discovery by an independent person of the Roman Road leading out of the North face of the very Rampart itself as also the necessity for a Roman Camp to have existed somewhere in this District. Apart from the above, collateral evidence is afforded by the discovery of the various remains in this neighbourhood. [Signed] E.H Courtney Capt R.E. [Captain Royal Engineers] 21st May 1870 6 inch Impression 64, 65 were sent to the Div [Divisional] office to have this Camp inserted - inserted in the Country - These impressions did not go from, nor come to this Ex.[Examiners] office- A.W Lachlan 1 June 1870
OS1/1/52/5 [Page] 5 [Volume] 52 Description of ROMAN CAMP KINTORE ABERDEENSHIRE [Stamped] Ordnance Survey M.S. Store Southampton 14 Mar. 1899