Roman Vindolanda

Roman Vindolanda

This evening, I am posting a summary of today’s touring activities which commenced Durham and finished in York.

York, England

York, England

We departed our Durham lodgings after breakfast and drove north for about 45 mins to arrive at Corbridge Roman Site  (‘Coria’)  the key features of which are:

  •  Sits at intersection of two Roman roads.
  • Established around AD 80 and lies a few miles south of Hadrian’s Wall.
  • Principal role was probably a supply base for the military presence on the Wall.
  • The site witnessed a series of Roman forts spanning the period  from AD 80 to middle of second century. From around AD 165 a new garrison town developed which continued through to the 5th century AD.
  • Little is known about Corbridge during 3rd and 4th centuries. This is because most of the site remains unexcavated under surrounding fields.

    Corbridge Roman Site

    Corbridge Roman Site.

Corbridge Roman Site

Corbridge Roman Site

Next, we drive to nearby Vindolanda, key features of which are:

  • Started as a military presence in late first century.
  • From a succession of wooden forts the military sites were replaced by stone constructions around which grew up a civilian settlement.
  • Pre-dates the Wall and is situated a few miles south if it.
  • A very rich site which is subject to on-going archaeological excavation.
  • Here have been over 3000 items from the Roman era including boots, shoes, sandals, slippers, clogs, textiles, wooded objects, combs, pottery, weapons, armour, utensils, jewellery, ear rings, bones, bronze and other metal items.
  • Key find on this site are the the ‘Vindolanda Tablets’ which comprise various communications inscribed on thin pieces of wood and preserved in wet pits due to anaerobic conditions. Approximately 1400 separate texts have been discovered affording us a unique insight into Roman life on the frontier.
  • The structural remains include a military bath house, HQ building, Christian Church and Guard Chambers.
  • The site includes a visitor centre with excellent museum.

    Hypocaust at Vindolanda

    Hypocaust at Vindolanda.

VIndolanda Roman Site

VIndolanda Roman Site.

Colourful Fungi at Vindolanda

Colourful Fungi at Vindolanda

After concluding our visit to Vindolanda we moved on to nearby Twice Brewed pub for lunch.

Next, we moved on to Housesteads Roman Fort  which sits on a ridge and connects with Hadrian’s Wall. Our visit here coincided with wet and windy weather and hence was reletaivly short. Key aspects of the site are:

  • One of sixteen forts on the Wall and dates from around AD 122-132.
  • Was home to a complement of between 500 to 1000 men depending on composition.
  • Extends to two hectares and complies with standard ‘playing card’ design of Roman forts.
  • The fort comprises a C.O. house, H.Q. building, workshop, bath house, hospital, granaries, barack blocks, storeroom and latrine.  There is a sophisticated water supply system to feed the baths and latrine.
    Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads

    Hadrian’s Wall at Housesteads

    Granary at Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads concluded our visit to Hadrian’s Wall and the Roman era. We next moved on by driving south to York and lodgings for the night.

We had dinner together before fond farewells at conclusion of tour.

Dinner at York

Dinner at York.

Be Sociable, Share!