Today, I visited one of the best preserved forts on Hadrian’s Wall which is located at Chollerford close to the River North Tyne. In terms of archaeology, this is possibly the richest site on the Wall although most of the buildings remain to be excavated. The Roman name for the site was Cilurnam which may mean ‘cauldron-pool’ or relate to Cilurnigi people of Northern Spain from whom the Asturian cavalry unit, which was based at the fort, was recruited. This unit was based at Chesters for 200 years.

Chesters dates from the Hadrianic period and covers an area of 5.82 acres (2.33ha). The key facets of the site which have been uncovered comprise:

  • North gate.
  • Barracks
  • Headquarters (Principia)
  • Commanding Officer’s House (Praetorium).
  • East Gate
  • Baths
  • Lesser east gate.
  • South gate.
  • Interval towers
  • West gate.

There is an adjacent civilian settlement ( vicus) which has to be excavated.

Almost half the fort and three of its gates are positioned north of the Wall which the fort straddles.

 

Barracks at Chesters Roman Fort
Barracks at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

 

Barracks at Chesters Roman Fort
Barracks at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

 

Hypacaust Underfloor Heating System
Hypacaust Underfloor Heating System, Chesters Roman Fort

 

Bathhouse at Chesters Roman Fort
Bathhouse at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

 

Museum at Chesters Roman Fort
Museum at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

 

This is  an important site which I will include in future tours of Hadrian’s Wall  and Roman Britain.

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