Wall Mile 59

Wall Mile 59 [HB 336]

After a while, continuing on from the site of Milecastle 59, we pass through a gate and reach Old Wall (a no-nonsense giveaway name, if ever there was one). The older buildings on the farm are, of course, built from Wall stones, as is the revetment for the small ditch to the right of the path. The Trail continues on the far side of a minor road (exercise care, as ever), where we find ourselves back in open countryside, with the line of the wall marked by the hedgerow and the ditch visible beyond it.

The hedgeline following the curtain wall.

The hedgeline following the curtain wall.

Just before we reach the site of Milecastle 60, the hedgeline changes onto the line of the ditch and the ploughed-out curtain wall continues, once again invisible, across the field ahead of us.

About 1.5km to our south, partly beneath runway 07 at Carlisle Airport, lies Watch Cross (sometimes known as Watchclose) temporary camp, right next to the line of the Stanegate. This was so prominent in the 18th and 19th centuries that it was thought that it must be a Wall fort and so it was included by Horsley in the listing of fort names as Aballava. Sadly, excavation in 1935 showed it to be only a temporary camp, but even before then scholars had dismissed the notion as fanciful and all the fort names had been reshuffled.

Milecastle 60 (High Strand) [HB 336; haiku]

Looking from Milecastle 60 back toward the dog-leg in the hedgeline

Looking from Milecastle 60 back toward the dog-leg in the hedgeline

Although this milecastle has never been excavated, the site has provided another altar to Cocidius, confirming the popularity of this deity on the western side of the Wall.

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