Wall Mile 14

Wall Mile 14 [HB 172–3]

Leaving the location of Milecastle 14 and heading westwards, we soon have to take an 800m detour in order to cover 300m of wall. Such are the occasional inanities of the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. We must perforce turn south and follow the path downhill, then turn right, bringing us to another of the notorious rat-runs for motorists linking the A69 with the Military Road. We shall turn right uphill and exercise extreme caution as there is no pavement here for the best part of 280m, forcing us to walk on the road: good for the preservation of the monument, but bad for the preservation of us!

Reaching the junction with the Military Road, the farm to our right is the old Iron Sign Inn, which serviced travellers on the turnpike road. We turn left to head westwards once more, rejoining the company of the wall. Before very long we reach a crest and this is Eppies Hill.

Looking towards Eppies Hill from near the site of Milecastle 15

Looking back towards Eppies Hill from near the site of Milecastle 15

Eppies Hill was chosen as a point to realign the course of the Wall by 15 degrees and, as has recently been pointed out, the fact that in both cases the change was made immediately west of the crest is indicative of surveying and laying-out (but not necessarily construction) being carried out along here from east to west. This change of course was almost completely ignored by the Vallum, however, which ploughed on regardless with just a 2.5 degree wiggle: barely perceptible, in fact. Ahead of us now we can see the die-straight length of road (and under it wall) running to Harlow Hill.

We now head downhill until we reach a crossing point. Yes, we have to cross the Military Road again (and will have to do so several times more). As usual, care is need to avoid the pedal-to-the-metal motorists who, despite signs warning them of pedestrians crossing, seem disinclined to brook any laggards. Safely on the other side, we continue our descent to the west.

We are now on the line of the ditch, the curtain wall is under the southern carriageway of the road, and after a short walk, Milecastle 15 is on the other side of the road.

Milecastle 15 (Whitchester) [HB 173; haiku]

Milecastle 15 from the air

Milecastle 15 from the air

We cannot see it, as most of it is on the other side of the road (or under it), but the position of Milecastle 15 is known, although it has never been excavated.