Wall Mile 69

Wall Mile 69 [HB 348]

Next to the possible site of Milecastle 69, and before we cross Sourmilk Bridge, the path mirrors the Wall in making a 50° change in course from slightly north westerly to south-westerly.

A rather interesting inscription comes from nearby, recording successful military action under the magnificently named legate of legio VI Victrix, L. Iunius Victorinus Flavius Caelianus. It probably dates to the latter part of the 2nd century AD, after the return from the Antonine Wall, and – as we have already discussed – significantly includes the phrase ‘trans Vallum’ – ‘across the Wall’.

The scarp with the wall near Kirkandrews

The scarp with the wall near Kirkandrews

We are led along the line of the Wall, trying to ignore an architectural eyesore off to our left (how did that get planning permission in a World Heritage Site?). The curtain wall finally quits the riverside (but keeps to the high ground) at the northern end of Kirkandrews village, its line being reflected in property boundaries through the village. The Trail leaves it and drops down to the floodplain, at the base of the scarp, and then after a while climbs back up again, rejoining the line of the curtain wall near the western end of the village. The river sweeps back round and, once again, the wall resumes its sole guard of the frontier, for the ditch is discontinued yet again. In this manner, we arrive at the likely site of Milecastle 70.

Milecastle 70 (Braelees) [HB 348; haiku]

Looking towards the site of Milecastle 70

Looking towards the site of Milecastle 70

The position of Milecastle 70 is perched on the edge of the cliff above the Eden and, since it has never been examined (or even found), it is not known whether the builders bothered with a north gate for it.

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