Plumb bob from Mumrills, Stirlingshire

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Postcard of Plumb bob from Mumrills, Stirlingshire.
© National Museums Scotland

Plumb bob from Mumrills, Stirlingshire

A plumb bob is the weight at the end of a line, used to test the depth of water or that something is vertical. This stone example was found at the site of the Roman fort at Mumrills in Stirlingshire. It was used for building work sometime between 140 and 165 AD.

The plumb bob is conical in shape, and resembles modern examples. The holes for attaching the line are visible on the top.

In the ranks of the Roman army there were specialist stonemasons. They did various work, mainly building within the forts and producing monumental sculpture. Their tools were similar to those in use today, including plumb bobs, pick-adzes, axe-hammers and chisels.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-136-615-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0035: Early Scottish Shelter - Life in the Prehistoric Home (multimedia essay)
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRB 592
Date: Between 140 and 165 AD
Material: Sandstone
Dimensions: 3.20" D
What: Plumb bob
Where: Mumrills, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland, EUROPE
Description: Plumb bob of grey sandstone, conical with a modern string, excavated at the Roman fort at Mumrills, Stirlingshire, 140 - 165 AD
  • Clarke, D.V., Breeze, D.J., and Mackay, G. The Romans in Scotland. An introduction to the collections of the National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, 1980, pp 65-6. 
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