Section of Hadrian’s Wall found in Newcastle

A new ten-foot section of Hadrian’s Wall has been discovered in Newcastle, northeastern England. The section was found during routing water main replacement works under West Road, just outside Newcastle’s city center.

What is now Newcastle was founded as a Roman fort and small associated settlement on the north bank of the River Tyne in the 2nd century A.D. It was to be the eastern terminus of Hadrian’s defensive wall and the fort was built to defend the important bridge crossing the River Tyne. The bridge was dubbed the Pons Aelius (Aelian Bridge) after the family name of the emperor who had visited the area in 122 A.D. and conceived of a continuous wall crossing the breadth of northern England.

Construction of the wall began at the Pons Aelius and moved westward. It had reached the fort at what is now Chesters 30 miles west when the decision was made to build an eastward extension to Wallsend, three miles away. Newcastle was no longer the easternmost point of the wall, but it does boast the oldest remaining wall sections from the first phase of its construction.

The newly-discovered section is from the earliest phases of construction, as attested by its large blocks of stone. Smaller stones were used in later construction and repairs.

Philippa Hunter from Archaeological Research Services Ltd said: “Despite the route of Hadrian’s Wall being fairly well documented in this area of the city, it is always exciting when we encounter the wall’s remains and have the opportunity to learn more about this internationally significant site.

“This is particularly true in this instance where we believe that we uncovered part of the wall’s earliest phase.

The wall will remain in situ and Northumbrian Water will work around it. The water main route will be redesigned and angled so that it avoids the wall entirely and leaves a cushion of space around the excavation trench.

4 thoughts on “Section of Hadrian’s Wall found in Newcastle

  1. Its a hell up there :ohnoes: – from the correspondence of Flavius Cerialis, prefect of the ninth cohort of Batavians, stationed at Vindolanda, late 1st century AD.

    According to Masculus’ postscriptum, his fellow soldiers (commilitones) ran out of beer (non habunt cervesam!!!), and therefore –as time is of the essence– he asks Flavius to send it asap:

    Vindolanda Tablet III 628:

    “Masculus Ceriali regi suọ salụtem. Cras quid velis nos fecissẹ rogó dómine p̣rạẹc̣ịp̣iás utrumṇẹ cum vexsilló · omnes rediemus an alterni coṃp̣ịṭum · aeque […] Felicisṣiṃ[u]ṣ et sis mihi propitius. Vạḷe. cervesam commilitones non habunt quam rogó iubeas mitti. F̣lạvịọ C̣ẹṛạḷi, praef(ecto).”

  2. It is interesting that the present road is sitting right on top of the wall, which appears to run off down Newminster Road.

  3. So, there was no record of exactly where the wall was located? Since the “modern” road is directly above it ( apparently by mere inches) I am surprised that there was no inkling that it was there… surely through the years the road had been replaced or repaired…
    This is not meant as criticism of any sort, just speculation. 😗

  4. —-

    Apparently, there were different “phases”.

    Could “Newminster Road” –or what is beneath– have been part of the presumably western bit of the auxiliary fort and settlement on Hadrian’s Wall (“Vallum Aelium”)?’s_Wall#Forts

    Arguably, that Newcastle fort is said to have been..

    “…located on a hill overlooking the north bank of the river, today covered by buildings of the city centre –the Norman castle, tower castle keep and the remains of an Anglo-Saxon church, partly built from stones in the rampart. The bridge and fort stood at the northern end of what is now Cade’s Road, which lies over a former Roman road, thought to have led from Brough-on-Humber, via Eboracum/York to Concangis. There were also a number of small streams adjacent to the fort, which flowed into the Tyne.”

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