Wall Mile 73

Wall Mile 73 [HB 357–8]

Wall Miles 73 to 75 are problematical. It probably crossed Burgh Marsh, more or less directly between Milecastles 73 and 76, but antiquarians and archaeologists alike have puzzled over this stretch. Nothing of the curtain wall or its associated components has ever been found and some writers have suggested it never existed in this area (an approach adopted by the English Heritage map of the Wall, with its unapologetic gap) but this makes no sense strategically or tactically and begs the question of why the Cumbrian Coast defences should have been constructed if the Roman military were happy to leave a big inviting hole in their frontier. After all, anybody who could cross an estuary could cross a marsh (as Edward I was intending to do before he met his timely – or untimely, according to your point of view – death. Moreover, the Romans were quite capable of building across marshy areas, as numerous ‘floating’ roads demonstrate (a fine example exists in Britain crossing the floodplain of the River Idle near Bawtry in Nottinghamshire) whilst wooden pile foundations were used for the 3rd century AD frontier wall in Raetia (now part of Germany).

Milecastle 74 (Burgh Marsh) [HB 358; haiku]

The Solway Firth and the possible location of Milecastle 74

The Solway Firth and the possible location of Milecastle 74

Not found; see Wall Mile 73.