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Ancient Roman road found in Stirling garden

A 2,000-year-old Roman road has been uncovered during an archaeological dig in a garden near Stirling.

It has been described as the most important road in Scottish history and was built by the Roman armies of general Julius Agricola in the 1st century AD.

The road would have connected to a ford that crossed the river Forth and was used during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

The dig was in the garden of a cottage that is a few miles outside the city centre and next to the 18th century Old Drip Bridge.

The road would have been used by Roman legions to launch Scottish invasions under the emperors Antonine and Severan.

It would have had strategic importance throughout history as a crossing for the river Forth and due to its proximity to Stirling – Scotland’s former capital city.

The person who led the dig, Stirling Council archaeologist Murray Cook, said: “It is the most important road in Scottish history so it’s an amazing discovery.

"To literally walk where Wallace and Bruce went, let alone the Romans, Picts and Vikings is astonishing."

Dr Cook undertook the work as part of a training dig with local volunteers and students.

He said: “The road ceased to be maintained after the Romans left so it became an eroded hollow and what we have found is the eroded surface of the road."

The dig took place in the garden of the Old Inn Cottage

The dig happened in the garden of a 17th century cottage called the Old Cottage Inn which was a former drover inn.

Jennifer Ure, who lives in the cottage with her husband and two children, said: “It’s amazing to think the likes of William the Conqueror and King Henry VIII had walked through where our garden is now – not many people can say that."

Stirling Council leader Councillor Chris Kane said that next year marks the 900th anniversary of the city.

He said: “Stirling’s place at the heart of Scotland and the heart of Scottish history is something we are very proud of.

"Understanding more about the route of the Roman Road adds another chapter to share with the many visitors who come from around the world to experience all that Stirling has to offer.”

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