The Annexes (Vici)

The Annexes or Vici

During the occupation, settlements, perhaps military in origin but subsequently of Romanised natives, presumably with some form of their own local government, developed all round the fort – to the North (discovered in 1996) and not yet fully measured, but busy with trade and artisan activities; to the South (14 acres eventually; a market township astride two roads – one of the first century, one of the second – coming up to the South wall of the fort; an industrial estate; an agricultural area, leading to the outlying field system which had large U-shaped drainage ditches, as opposed to V-shaped protective ditches); to the East (20 acres; the main entertainment area for the troops; large residential houses for the merchant entrepreneurs; a bazaar for travellers along Dere Street, the later name for the main North-South Roman road, crossing the Tweed at Leaderfoot); and to the West, where the first bathhouse was built (later much extended) and the mansio, a huge half-timbered building, traditionally regarded as a motel for official travellers, and recently suggested to be (perhaps in addition) an official trading station placed outside the fort, where local dignitaries could make their council tax arrangements with the Revenue Department of the Roman State.

The annexes were defended by ramparts of piled-up earth, and by ditches, similar in dimensions to the fort ditch. The West, South and East annexes (and presumably the North also) seem to have had inter-connecting gateways