Getting to grips with the Glory that was Rome

Roman legionaries on the march ... possibly scouting out a suitable site for a new aqueduct.
Roman legionaries on the march ... possibly scouting out a suitable site for a new aqueduct.

A special drop-in session about plans to make more of the area’s Antonine Wall heritage is being staged at Croy’s Holy Cross Church tomorrow (Monday, November 27).

Although only made of turf, the Clyde-Forth frontier wall is reckoned to have been the biggest and most awe-inspiring building project the people of what would eventually become “Scotland” had ever seen.

It was built exclusively by Roman legionaries - they left memorials to commemorate their work on the project - but the wall itself was manned by auxiliary troops from places as diverse as North Africa and Gaul (modern France).

Now, after receiving a first round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £1.6million project, planners want to here what local people think about new community features to celebrate the area’s fascinating Roman Empire heritage.

Drop-in sessions also include Roman dress-up and board games, a chance to see replica Roman artefacts, and also the opportunity to make your own Roman helmet and swords.

For the grown-ups, plans currently under discussion (but needing local comment) include an Antonine Wall-inspired play park at Croy Quarry, Auchinstarry, and a setting for a replica Roman distance slab near Nethercroy Woods.

The scheme could also include multimedia projects linked to sites along the course of the Wall - and community ventures ranging from exhibition to local research projects or even Roman-style community gardens.

The Rediscovering the Antonine Wall project also aims to recruit a “21st century volunteer legion that would help to raise awareness of the Wall.

Tomorrow’s session runs from 2pm to 8pm, but if you can’t make that there’s another at the Kilsyth Christmas lights switch-on on Friday, from 3pm to 5pm.