Lying immediately to the east of Newstead in the Scottish Borders is the remains of the Roman fort of Trimontium. Occupied in two main periods between 80 and 105 AD and again between 140 and 185 AD, the fort was build by Gnaeus Julius Agricola. Lying close to where Dere Street crossed the River Tweed, Trimontium provided facilities for travellers as they navigated this pre-eminent highway north and south through Britain, as well as serving as a major administrative centre and military headquarters for the South of Scotland.
Discovered in 1904 by the local archaeologist James Curle (1862 - 1944), the entire complex extends to 131 ha (320 acres) and acted, at various times, both as a major supply and industrial complex, and a front-line fighting base. The locations of several substantial buildings have been identified within the perimeter of the fort, including a bath-house and the most northerly amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and the first to be discovered in Scotland. A multitude of artefacts were extracted during the excavation and some of the finest were displayed to King George V and Queen Mary at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, who "displayed great interest and asked many questions."
Despite detailed interpretative panels along the road which extends east northeast from Newstead, the majority of the fort now lies within cultivated fields and little remains to be seen by visitors. There is also a substantial memorial stone (unveiled 1928) and to the west at Melrose is the Trimontium Museum, which contains interpretative displays and artefacts from the site.