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Housesteads Roman Fort (Vercovicium), Hadrian's Wall

Friday, September 25, 2009

This evening I am posting my portfolio of videos following my visit to this iconic site which sits high on a ridge and links with the Wall. This fort covers two hectares and was an addition to Hadrian's Wall. The site was occupied for over 300 years and the complex series of remains reflect that extended time period. On site there is a museum which houses finds from the site and provides interpretation.

The site has many facets including:

  • Commanding Officer's House
  • Headquarters Building
  • Hospital
  • Granaries
  • Various Turrets and Entrance Gates.
  • Barrack Blocks
  • Latrine Block
  • Hypocaust Heating System
  • Views of the Wall which connects with the Fort.
One of the best and popular sites on the Wall. Be prepared for a 8-10 min walk up a track to access. Well worth the exercise!!

video video video video


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Corbridge (Coria) Roman Town, Hadrian's Wall

Thursday, September 24, 2009

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:

  • Museum filled with the rich harvest of excavated sculptures and inscriptions.
  • Granaries
  • Fountain, fed by an aqueduct linked to a great water tank.
  • Military courtyard building.
  • Compounds
  • Remains of a temple and fountains.
  • Ambiance-just wander round and reflect on life at the outer edge of the Roman world



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Vindolanda Roman Site, Hadrian's Wall

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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:
  • Letters from senior officers and their wives.
  • Reports of military activities and lists.
  • Communications concerning food, clothing and other supplies, building and transport.
  • Information on local place names.
  • Administration of justice.
The inherently wet and anaerobic conditions preserved not only the writing tablets but also textiles, leather and wooden objects from the Roman period, examples of which can be viewed in the on-site museum.

The site also includes a replica of a section of Hadrian's Wall.

Overall, well worth a visit. Allow minimum of one hour. There are refreshment facilities and a shop.

video video


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Corbridge Tour

Friday, February 08, 2008

This morning I am presenting some images of the Roman town of Corbridge (Coria) near Hadrian's Wall. This site has a long history of occupation. A fort was established in the 80s and continued through to 160s. Thereafter a town evolved on the site extending to 12 hectares.

This site is well worth a visit. It has a well endowed museum. The site includes granaries, the road knows as Stanegate, a fountain fed by an aquaduct, a courtyard building and compounds.

Here are some re-enactment legionaries at the site.

Strongroom in the headquarters building.


Contact Catswhiskerstours for a tour of Corbridge, Hadrian's Wall and other Roman sites


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Housesteads Roman Fort Tour Hadrian's Wall

Sunday, January 27, 2008

This afternoon I have collated some images of a previous re-enactment tour.

Housesteads (Vercovicium) was originally built to house a 1000 strong cohort, possibly Tungrians. The fort is substantial, covering 5 acres ( 2.02 ha) and measures 367 by 610ft (112 by 186 m). It was one of 12 permanent forts added to the new frontier by Hadrian in about AD 124.

Here are a couple of marchers with an eminent archaeologist who happened to be visiting at the same time.

Here is image of a local, Housesteads tour guide in full flow.

Hypocaust system (under floor heating)
General view of the fort which sits atop a hill/escarpment upon which Hadrian's Wall is built.

Here are images of some visiting re-enactment soldiers.

Housesteads is a must for visitors to Hadrian's Wall. Access is via an uphill walk which takes about 10 minutes.


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Vindolanda Tour

Thursday, January 24, 2008

For Roman Britain enthusiasts Vindolanda is a 'must'.

The site is close to the line of Hadrian's Wall but pre-dates it. There is evidence to indicate that the Roman military were there from at least AD85.

The first fort was founded about AD85 and abandoned in about AD 92. The visible fort today dates from early 3rd century, covers 1.46ha (3.6acres) and occupies a prominent platform. It sits on a complex sequence of earlier forts.

Apart from a wealth of 'conventional' archaeology, Vindolanda is best known for a unique collection of writing tablets which have been preserved in the anaerobic conditions and afford us a unique insight into military records and day-to-day life.These tablets are now in the British Museum and have been-deservedly- voted one of Britain's top ten historical treasures.

For those with an interest in Roman Britain a visit to Vindolanda must rank as a priority. There is a very good museum on site.

Below are pics of the current site

Here is a view of a replica temple
This is a representation of a piece of of Hadrian's Wall
Archaeologists at work in site.

Contact Catswhiskerstours for a visit to Vindolanda


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