Ythan Wells

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This article is about the Roman archaeological site. For the village, see Ythanwells. For the source of the River Ythan, known as Wells of Ythan, see River Ythan.
Glenmailen, Ythan Wells
Glenmailen, Ythan Wells is located in Scotland
Glenmailen, Ythan Wells
Glenmailen, Ythan Wells
Glenmailen, Ythan Wells shown within Scotland
OS grid reference NJ655382
Coordinates 57°25′57″N 2°34′34″W / 57.432432°N 2.576164°W / 57.432432; -2.576164Coordinates: 57°25′57″N 2°34′34″W / 57.432432°N 2.576164°W / 57.432432; -2.576164
List of places
Public footpath to Wells of Ythan

Ythan Wells, also known as Glenmailen, is the site of a Roman military camp, near the farm of Glenmellan, 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi) east of the village of Ythanwells in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Traces of two marching camps have been found at the site.[1] The larger camp, covering some 42 hectares (100 acres)[2] was discovered in 1785 by Col. Alex Shand. A smaller camp, extending to 13 hectares (32 acres)[3] and partially overlapping the area of the first, was discovered by J. K. St Joseph in 1968.[4] This smaller camp predates the larger and has been dated to the campaigns of Agricola.[5]

The site is situated at the headwaters of the River Ythan, where a series of natural springs supplies potable water, that was convenient for the large marching camp installed here by the Romans in the first few centuries AD.

The Roman legions established a chain of very large forts at Ardoch, Strageath, Inchtuthil, Battledykes, Stracathro and Raedykes, taking the Elsick Mounth on the way to Normandykes, thence proceeding to the northerly camps of Deers Den and Glenmailen.[6]


See also[edit]