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Latitude: 56.0165 / 56°0'59"N
Longitude: -3.5835 / 3°35'0"W
OS Eastings: 301380
OS Northings: 681523
OS Grid: NT013815
Mapcode National: GBR 1S.SYQY
Mapcode Global: WH5R2.X1QJ
Entry Name: Harbour Road, Plaque Including Boundary Wall
Listing Date: 23 March 2006
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 398563
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50489
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Bo'ness and Blackness
Traditional County: West Lothian
Later 19th century to earlier 20th century wall-mounted sandstone plaque with inset section copy of Roman distance slab. Short coursed rubble sandstone wall section with ashlar plaque with gabled coping with central semicircular detail. Inscribed (somewhat weathered), 'NEAR THIS SPOT ON 29TH APRIL 1868, A LEGIONARY TABLET WAS DISCOVERED, xxxx AT EACH SIDE GROUPS OF FIGURES IN RELIEF xxxx THE CENTRE THE FOLLOWING INSCRIPTION.'
Unearthed in 1868 and an important part of Bo'ness' local history, this copy of the plaque found serves as a reminder of the town's links with the Romans. The distance slab came from the nearby Antonine Wall and was erected around AD 142. It is the most decorative slab known from the wall. The plaque in Harbour Road shows the central inscription only, however, the original is flanked by two scenes, that on the right showing the pouring of a libation on an altar as a preliminary to animal sacrifice and on the left a cavalryman riding down native tribesmen. The inscription in Latin is a dedication from the army of their building work to the Emperor, and reads, 'IN HONOUR OF THE EMPEROR CAESAR TITUS AELIUS HADRIANUS ANTONIUS AUGUSTUS PIUS, FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY, THE SECOND LEGION, AUGUSTUS' OWN, EXECUTED THE WORK FOR 4652 PACES'. The original is now held in the National Museums of Scotland (Ref: X.FV 27). The discovery of the Roman slab was clearly recognised as being of importance to Bo'ness and was suitably commemorated in this plaque. The 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map notes the discovery of the plaque but dates its unearthing as 1869.
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