He came, he saw, he conquered!
Last week the Cumbernauld News and Kilsyth Chronicle introduced our readers to an imposing new addition to Nethercroy – which proves that Cumbernauld's silver lady Arria has a bit of competition.
And that's because Roman Soldier Silvanus is fast reaching the status of an icon, if the comments on our Facebook page were anything to go by!
This proud nod to our Roman heritage has already picked up a legion of fans, who we have to say, are predominately female. Some kindly submitted their own photographs of the statue and are so enamoured of Silvanus, they are referring to him by names they have given him themselves! These include 'The Big Heed', 'Big Sexy' and ''Sidney'' – by one reader who thinks that's easier to remember.
Of course Silvanus was named after the god of the woods who has a special role in guarding farmland, and his appearance would certainly suggest he is keeping a very watchful eye. It's especially apt too, as an altar to this very god was recovered at Barr Hill.
More details too have emerged about the process which brought him to Nethercroy, which is ideal for walkers as it boasts easy access to the Forth & Clyde Canal and the John Muir Way. Silvanus was commissioned as part of The Rediscovering the Antonine Wall project, a partnership of five local authorities and Historic Environment Scotland, led by West Dunbartonshire Council.
The aim of the £2.1m project is to raise awareness of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site among local communities to help them explore Roman history in an accessible way.
Patricia Weeks, Antonine Wall World Heritage Site Co-ordinator at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “This is a modern response to this ancient site, something that was designed to capture the imagination of locals and visitors alike. They offer a wonderful surprise to those who weren’t expecting them while others are beginning to actively seek them out and head to Croy Hill and nearby to learn more, which is just what we were hoping for."
Emma McMullen, Antonine Wall Project Manager at WDC, said: “The sculpture is already proving to be a draw to the local area, putting the Antonine Wall at Croy Hill firmly on the map.”