Castra Exploratorum

AttestedCastra Exploratorum on iter 2 of the Antonine Itinerary.

Where:  Probably at Gretna, on the England/Scotland border, at about NY320683, located by its distances of 12 Roman miles from each of Carlisle and Burnswark.  This outranks the usual suggestion of lying under the 15th century Netherby Hall at NY396716.

Name origin:  Latin: plural (!) of castrum ‘military camp’ plus genitive plural of explorator ‘scout’.

Notes:  Nothing has been found archaeologically at Gretna, though remains of a Roman fort, city, and river port at Netherby were mentioned by early writers (see here), but have since been obliterated.  The course of the Esk there is strange and must surely have been altered deliberately in the past.  Selkirk (1995:229) suggested that what is now a mere ditch from Netherby Hall to Scaurbank downstream on the Esk may have been a Roman canal.  This site is in Arthuret, possibly to be linked with post-Roman fighting.

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Last edited 10 February 2022     To main Menu