June 9, 2021
By Lauren Crooks
The Rediscovering the Antonine Wall Project has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
The Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI) selected the project work undertaken at the Arniebog distance stone and Silvanus sculpture at Nethercroy in North Lanarkshire as a finalist in their Engaging People Awards.
The replica stone and towering Roman head sculpture were installed at the site as part of a heritage project being led by West Dunbartonshire Council on behalf of four other local authorities and Historic Environment Scotland, which aims to raise awareness of the Roman UNESCO World Heritage Site and attract local community and visitors to understand its significance.
It comes after the £2.1million project was held up as an example of best practice in cultural heritage throughout Europe by being included in the European Guide for Cultural Heritage in Action.
Emma McMullen, Antonine Wall Project Manager at West Dunbartonshire Council, said: “This is another fantastic piece of news which highlights the amazing work going on through the Rediscovering the Antonine Wall Project to bring local Roman heritage back to life.
“We were delighted to launch the replica distance stone and sculpture to raise awareness of the area’s heritage among the local community and visitors to Croy Hill at the start of May, and it is already providing to be a big draw to the local area.
“To be recognised as a finalist in the Outdoor Category of the AHI awards is testament to the impact of the project so far.”
Distance stones are highly decorated stone sculptures offering a dedication to a Roman Emperor and marking the distance of the wall completed. The original distance stone was found at nearby Arniebog, by Westerwood Fort in 1868 and is now in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. The replica was produced in partnership with City of Glasgow College which gave stonemasonry students the opportunity to carve a replica based on the original.
The site at Nethercroy was designed by Martin Tabor of Land Use Consultants who came up with the concept for the sculpture. The metal Roman soldier’s head sculpture was created by artist Svetlana Kondakova and Big Red Blacksmiths and it looks out from the line of the Antonine Wall across the Kelvin Valley towards what the Romans considered ‘barbarian’ territory, beyond the edge of the Roman Empire.
The Antonine wall marked the most northerly point of the Roman Empire and Council areas it passes through – West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and Falkirk – joined forces with Historic Environment Scotland to bring its fascinating story back to life.
The project is being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Kelvin Valley & Falkirk LEADER, FCC Communities Foundation, Falkirk Environment Trust, and Falkirk Community Trust alongside the local authorities and Historic Environment Scotland.