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This afternoon, I am posting images and information on Corbridge, a site on Hadrian’s Wall which experienced along period of occupation. A fort was established prior to construction of the Wall in the 80s (AD). The site had both a military and civilian role with the civilian settlement extending to some 12 hectares. Corbridge was important because of its strategic location at the junction of the Stanegate Road (east-west) and Dere Street leading south.

Corbridge offers the following:

Read more on Corbridge (Coria) Roman Town, Hadrian’s Wall…

This afternoon I am posting images and information on this site which lies just to the south of Hadrian’s Wall with history dating back to around AD 85 and which experienced the longest period of occupation on the line of Hadrian’s Wall.

The site combines both military and civilian occupation during the Roman era. There is a cemetery, shops and houses (civilian), bath houses, and the military fort with usual complement of facilities, e.g.HQ building and commanding officer’s residence. There remains much to excavate with teams working away for about 6 months of each year (see video).

The archaeology is impressive enough but the site is perhaps best known for the cache of some 2000 preserved wooden writing tablets which afford us a unique insight into everyday life on the Roman frontier and include:

Read more on Vindolanda Roman Site, Hadrian’s Wall…

Today was fine for touring. Whilst cloudy and overcast there was no rain and little wind.By pure chance I had selected our overnight at the three star Angus Hotel in Carlisle which actually sits on the line of Hadrian’s Wall and on top of the fort named Petriana.First tour stop was Birdoswald which was a major fort, housing perhaps 1000 soldiers on Hadrian’s Wall. There is a good visitor information and interpretation centre with audio-visual. After exploring the site we walked across a field to observe an archaeological dig in process at a Roman burial site connected with the fort.Next we moved on to Vindolanda, a combined civilian and military site, the establishment of which pre-dates the Wall. This is one of my favourite sites, incorporating not only hundreds of years of Roman archaeology but also a replica section of the Wall and -most importantly-the famous Vindolanda Tablets. The latter were voted one of Britain’s top 10 historical treasures. They comprise hundreds of routine personal and military communications which were discarded in a waterlogged pit and thereby preserved and affording us a unique insight into daily life in the Roman era.Next we visited the nearby Housesteads fort which is an integral part of the Wall. This is in reasonable condition and affords classic views of Hadrian’s Wall as it snakes across the landscape (see image below). The site includes granaries, Commanding Officer’s residence with hypocaust, latrines , complex water supply and drainage system and barracks for the soldiers. Location affords superb views over the local landscape.Next and final stop was Corbridge, which like Vindolanda had a history of occupation by both the military and civilians. I always describe this as a ‘Mini Pompeii’, an exageration but not wildy inaccurate.The site includes granaries, civic buildings and even a safe for the military. Alongside is a very good museum and interpretation centre run by English Heritage.With our tour concluded we moved on to our lodgings for the night at Newcastle upon Tyne.Overall, a very satisfying day. I obtained a good supply of images and videos for future use.
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