29. What is the Narrow Wall?

There are actually several types of Narrow Wall, ranging between 1.8m and 2.3m in width. The significance of the variations is disputed, but the important point is that the curtain wall was significantly reduced in width from the broad gauge. It was used for those sections east of the Irthing that had not already been built to the broad gauge and to replace part of the Turf Wall (between the Irthing and Milecastle 54) before the Wall was abandoned to move up to the Antonine Wall.

Further reading: Breeze 2006; Symonds and Mason 2009

2 thoughts on “29. What is the Narrow Wall?

  1. Enjoying these posts very much. I don’t know if you plan to touch on other details of the Wall, but one detail that struck us when we lived nearby was this: guides (written and human) remark on the deep ruts in the stone showing the volume of traffic that must have entered the gates. We, however, formed the view that those ruts were deliberately placed in the stone so as to guide wagon wheels through narrow gates with the least possible damage to either. Interested to hear your own views. With best wishes, L Buckland

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  2. If that were the case then they would presumably be present even in the gate portals that were subsequently blocked, although so far as I’m aware, they’re not (but I could be wrong on that!). Interesting point, though, as some of the so-called quarry roads in Europe have pre-cut tracks like that.

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