Roman presence in Bo’ness set in stone

060912 Unveiling of roman plaque at harbour road , boness.
060912 Unveiling of roman plaque at harbour road , boness.
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FRIENDS, ‘Romans’ and Bo’nessians gathered last Friday at Kinningars Park for the official unveiling of a nine foot long replica of prized Roman relic, the Bridgeness distance slab.

The latest technology was used in the £70,000 project, such as electronic tools which were unimaginable to the original carvers whose ornate slab was set into the Antonine Wall at Bridgeness.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the wall - stretching for 60km from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick - was built around 142AD in Emperor Antoninus Pius’ reign and marked the north-western frontier of the Roman Empire.

The original slab, discovered in 1868, is displayed in the National Museum of Scotland due to its importance as one of Britain’s best Roman artefacts. It is hoped visitors will flock to admire the intricate replica, as well as locals.

The installation - with seating and panels deciphering the Roman artwork and Latin inscription, plus wall and local tourist attraction information - was funded by Falkirk Council and Avondale Environmental via Falkirk Environment Trust.

Friday marked the culmination of a 10 year project, instigated by Rob Willox and Ken Wright and taken up by the council and community council.

Community council convener Madelene Hunt thanked everyone involved.

Leisure, tourism and community convener, Bo’ness councillor Adrian Mahoney, declared the replica ‘absolutely spectacular’ and Angus MacDonald MSP congratulated the feat in a parliamentary motion.