28. What is the Broad Wall?

The earliest version of the stone curtain wall of Hadrian’s Wall was built to what is known as the broad gauge, about 10 Roman feet (3m) wide. It was set on a foundation about 3.2m wide, with offset courses stepped in above it, either one course (known as standard A) or three or four (standard B). This was the form of the foundations from Newcastle to the River Irthing, but there is reason to doubt that much of the broad curtain wall was ever completed to its full height.

Further reading: Breeze 2006; Symonds and Mason 2009