Probus Club hears of Roman visitors

President Jim Ramsay welcomed 36 members to the meeting of the Arbroath Probus Club on Tuesday in the British Legion Hall, Green Street.

The speaker, Ronald Baird, took members back 2,000 years to when the Romans came to Britain. They had a sophisticated navy and it would have been relatively easy for them to sail from Gibraltar. Although they arrived around 55BC they did not reach Scotland (Caledonia) till 100AD. Roman maps showed not only Britannia but also Caledonia and even Iceland.

First they built roads with signalling towers and marching camps every so often, then sophisticated forts, all to a strict pattern. The ditches surrounding these would be completed in a few hours and it was difficult to comprehend this short time scale, until you remember the thousands of bodies involved.

Battledykes near Forfar was the site of one of these camps and there were sites near Stracathro, Kirkbuddo, Braco, Invergowrie and Longforgan.

The Romans retreated South again and there are no records of activities after 250AD so either we were too good for them or there was nothing in Tayside to warrant further effort.

Maurice Napier proposed thanks.

The next meeting will be at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday April 14. The speaker will be Jim Brown on ‘The History of Highland Games’.