Wall Mile 19

Wall Mile 19 [HB 175–7]

After 145m we have to cross the road again (we haven’t finished dodging traffic yet, unfortunately) but before we do we can have a peep over the wall and see the ditch lurking to the north of the Military Road. We carry on to a junction. After we cross that, a rather flamboyant stile takes us over to a length of the Trail that runs to the south of the road, separated by a wall and hedgerow which is, on a nice day, one of the most pleasant stretches of the wall walk and usually a good place to see butterflies. The traffic is almost unnoticeable here, strangely.

The ditch east of Halton Shields

The ditch east of Halton Shields

To our right, the Vallum is a very shallow (almost imperceptible) ripple in the arable fields, still visible from the air, but nigh on vanished at ground level. This then, more or less sums up the rest of this stretch. The curtain wall is to the north of us, beneath the southern carriageway of the Military Road; the ditch is beyond the road, amongst the trees; and the Vallum is sneaking across the fields to our south. In this fashion, we arrive at the site of Milecastle 19.

Wall Mile 19 from the air

Wall Mile 19 from the air

Milecastle 19 (Matfen Piers) [HB 175–6; haiku]

Milecastle 19 (Matfen Piers), located opposite the eponymous estate-guarding piers on the north side of the road, has been examined in 1932 and 1999. An altar to the Matres was found, dedicated by cohors I Vardullorum, who we know were at Corbridge during the mid-2nd century AD.

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