Wall Mile 3

Wall Mile 3 [HB 142–50]

Now, situated as we are at the east end of Byker Bridge, we can either choose to follow the approximate course of the Wall across the Ouseburn, or get an aerial perspective from the bridge. Wall Mile 3 is almost unique in having virtually no influence on later structures or layout in the city, which helps explain the upcoming uncertainties over its course.

Wall Mile 3

If you decide to follow the Wall, go to the left of the building at the end of the bridge and down Back Stephen Street.Then take the steps ahead and proceed down the east bank of the burn to arrive at Leighton Street. Turn right then immediately left onto Foundry Lane, then fork right onto the footpath gradually inclined up towards the viaduct, passing Ouseburn Farm on the right (which is on the posited line of the Wall). Keep on up Stepney Bank, keeping the Ship Inn and viaduct to your right. Turn right onto Coquet Street, which bends right, then left, then right again, repeatedly crossing the line of the curtain wall. We are finally reunited at the crossroads on Crawhall Road, where you will turn left.

We, on the other hand, are going to seek an aerial perspective, crossing the bridge (keeping to the southern walkway) before turning left onto Crawhall Road and being reunited with you at that crossroads.

An aerial perspective on the Ouseburn valley

An aerial perspective on the Ouseburn valley

We shall proceed down to another crossroads and turn right onto Howard Street (the Wall is now to our north). At a crossroads with Gibson Street Howards Street turns into Buxton Street and then again into Melnourne Street. Near here, excavation has identified the curtain wall with the by-now-familiar pits on the berm. Attempting to trace the course of the Wall between Melbourne Street and the Mining Institute is (and has long been) fraught with difficulties and peppered with speculation. We shall boldly continue along Melbourne Street (we are close to the line of the wall, which now runs slightly to the south of us) until we pass the 17th century Holy Jesus Hospital on our right. We now need to use the subway ahead to get across the gargantuan Swan House roundabout (passing the blue Metroradio building as we do so). On the far (west) side of the roundabout, having crossed the road to get to the south-western corner of Mosley Street, we head southwards, making for the tall building with the NHS Business Services Authority sign (‘Why?’ you ask; be patient and you will see).

The road north from the Pons Aelii, which gave Newcastle its Roman name, must have passed through the Wall near here, so some form of gateway with flanking towers is to be anticipated (we shall see an example later at Knag Burn). We turn right into a pedestrian precinct and down some steps and here we are encountering Newcastle’s ancient topography. We are descending onto Dean Street which lies on the (now subterranean) course of the Lort Burn. Crossing the street carefully we head up another set of stairs into the churchyard east of the cathedral.

Some antiquaries claimed the curtain wall passed through the cathedral, whilst others advocated that its course took it nearby, but we shall head westwards, through Amen Corner, and then turn left and make for the castle.

Newcastle fort (PONS AELII) [HB 144–8]

Newcastle fort plan

Newcastle fort plan

Newcastle was the original eastern terminus of the Wall and yet no fort was built here until the Antonine period, which was probably when the bridge across the Tyne was constructed. The fort is mostly situated underneath the castle (medieval castles frequently used the site of Roman forts) but we known it was originally 0.64ha (1.53 acres) in area. The garrison included the cohors I Ulpia Traiana Cugernorum in the 3rd century and cohors I Cornoviorum in the 4th. A stone recording the cohors I Thracum may refer to another garrison from Newcastle, or possibly from an as-yet-undiscovered fort in Gateshead. The fort does not seem to have been attached to the curtain wall (there was evidence of buildings to the north of it) and it was, rather unusually, polygonal in form.

Newcastle HQ building marked out on the pavement

Newcastle HQ building marked out on the pavement

Marked out on that piece of pavement are parts of the headquarters building (principia) and the commanding officer’s house (praetorium). The orientation of these fragments begins to allow an understanding of how the fort sat above the river. There is more to see, however. Head round to the north side of the keep, next to the railway arches, and you’ll see parts of two granaries marked out, one of them partly under the viaduct itself.

Newcastle granary marked out on the pavement

Newcastle granary marked out on the pavement

The eponymous bridge at Pons Aelii has yet to be located (dendrochronological dating of timbers supposed to have come from it proved to be medieval) but it must have been situated close to where the Swing Bridge is now situated. Recent work in Gateshead has suggested that there may have been a military base there, too (elsewhere in the empire, many bridges over major rivers had military bases at either end).

Finishing with the fort site, we must walk to the Black Gate and cross the road using the pedestrian traffic island onto Westgate Road, and proceed, keeping the railway arches to our left, until we arrive at the Mining Institute building, where the curtain wall is marked in rather faded pink concrete, accompanied by a plaque giving details..

Course of the wall outside the Mining Institute

Course of the wall outside the Mining Institute

Now it is time for a detour, before we continue following the line of the curtain wall as best we can, so head towards the railway station and look for the entrance to the Metro. We shall be making our way up to the Great North Museum – Hancock (it is worth it, trust me).

Great North Museum – Hancock

For many years, some of the best finds from the Wall were held in the Museum of Antiquities in Newcastle University (to which you will still find references in guide books), but the building has now gone (bizarrely, photographs of its flattened site are apparently discouraged!) and the contents have been transferred to the new Great North Museum just over the road. The easiest way to get to the GNM is to take the Metro (entrances both inside and outwith the railway station) up to the Haymarket station (second stop when proceeding northwards from Central Station) and then following pedestrian signs for the Great North Museum. The enthusiastic walker, or those who dislike underground travel, may choose to walk, but allow 20 minutes from Central Station to get there (via Grainger Street, Newgate Street, and Percy Street).

Inscriptions in the Great North Museum

Inscriptions in the Great North Museum

Entrance to the museum is free, photography is allowed, and the Hadrian’s Wall gallery is straight through the main entrance, on through a brief natural history interlude, before passing a couple of trees with loitering stuffed wolves (no, I don’t know what they’re doing there either). We are confronted by a huge video presentation that allows you to insert your initials on a stone block and a rather disinterested Roman soldier maunders around through a variety of weathers. Great for the kids but perhaps overkill for the rest of us. All around you will find artefacts, inscriptions, and models to explain the story of the Wall. Dive in, press some buttons, and enjoy.

When finished, we should retrace our steps (with or without the Metro) to the Central Station. The course of the Wall continued from the Mining Institute across Neville Street (which runs in front of the railway station), under the statue of Stephenson on the triangular traffic island, and then up Westgate Road, where the shop frontages follow its line, with the road itself running on the ditch (remember Fossway and Shields Road?). We now need only walk as far as the Newcastle Arts Centre.

This is also an appropriate moment to greet the Vallum, of which there is nothing to see here, but which once very clearly began near the later fort at Newcastle, lying c.150m to the south of, and parallel with, the curtain wall. We shall have more to say about it at Benwell, when we can see something tangible.

Milecastle 4 (Westgate Road) [HB 150; haiku]

The site of Milecastle 4

The site of Milecastle 4

Scholarly calculations had long been baffled by the location of this (as it turns out) long-axis milecastle, not least because of the uncertainties we have just encountered over the course of Wall Mile 3. In 1985, its discovery in the backyard of the Newcastle Arts Centre during the digging of a drain led to Milecastles 5 and 6 being shuffled along a bit from their old hypothetical locations to new hypothetical locations, and all was better. Its position is marked in the Black Swan Yard behind the Arts Centre.

CGHad

Advertisements

Hadrian’s Wall inscriptions (Newcastle to Benwell)

Introduction

The inscriptions come from four disparate locations, three of them close to the line of the Wall, one 6km to the north (but assumed to come from the Wall).

Inventory

RIB 1323

RIB 1323

RIB 1323: coh(ors) I Th/racum (‘First Cohort of Thracians (built this)’). Building stone found 1864 in Clavering Place. Source: RIB II p.438

RIB 1324: coh(ors) VII / […] (‘Seventh Cohort …’). Building stone found 1826 in North Gosforth Chapel. Source: RIB II p.438

RIB 1325: …II O / F[E]IIIIOI (‘?’). Found 1932 Express Hotel outbuilding. Source: RIB II p.438

RIB 1326: VIII (‘8’). Building stone found 1890 at Rye Hill. Source: RIB II p.438

Analysis

RIB 1323 comes from close to the likely line of the Vallum; elsewhere, building stones recording work by auxiliaries have been associated with that component of the Wall system. RIB 1324 has travelled some way in order to be built into the medieval chapel in Gosforth. Although there is no guarantee it comes from the Wall, there are few other convenient sources in the area. RIB 1325 is now lost but on the line of the curtain wall, whilst the enigmatic RIB 1326 again comes from close to the Vallum.

Hadrian’s Wall inscriptions (Newcastle)

Introduction

The inscriptions come from six locations, two of them being excavations within the area of the fort, three reused as spolia prior to deposition, and one apparently in situ from the site of the Roman bridge.

Inventory

RIB 1316: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / pro salu/te et victor/ia Augusti (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest, for the health and victory of the Emperor’). Altar found in 1932 in extending the old county council offices. Source: RIB II p.435

RIB 1317: [I(ovi] O(ptimo) M(aximo) et / [Nu]mini [… / … / D]is Hospital(ibus) / …] S{…]AE / [… (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest and for the Deity [of the Emperor…] and to the gods of hospitality…’). Altar found 1929 in the fort. Source: RIB II p.435

RIB 1318

RIB 1318

RIB 1318: Dea(bus) / Matribus Tramarinis / Patri(i)s Aurelius Iuvenalis / s(acrum) (‘For the mother goddesses of his native land across the sea, Aurelius Iuvenalis offered this’). Dedication found 1858 in Mitchell’s printers, cathedral churchyard. Source: RIB II p.436

RIB 1319

RIB 1319

RIB 1319: Neptuno le(gio) / VI Vi(ctrix) / P(ia) F(idelis) (‘For Neptune, the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis (set this up)’). Altar found 1875 in north channel of Tyne during construction of the Swing Bridge. Source: RIB II p.436

RIB 1320

RIB 1320

RIB 1320: Ociano leg(io) / VI Vi(ctrix) / P(ia) F(idelis) (‘For Ocianus, the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis (set this up)’). Altar found 1875 in north channel of Tyne during construction of the Swing Bridge. Source: RIB II pp.436–7

RIB 1321

RIB 1321

RIB 1321: D(e)o / Silvano / G(aius) Val(erius) / [… (‘For the god Silvanus, Gaius Valerius (set this up) …’). Altar found in 1843 in the Whitefriars Tower of the city wall. Source: RIB II p.437

RIB 1322

RIB 1322

RIB 1322: Imp(erator) Antoni/no Aug(usto) Pio p(atri) / pat(riae) vexil(l)atio / leg(ioni) II Aug(ustae) et leg(ioni) / VI Vic(trici) et leg(ioni) / XX V(aleriae) V(ictrici) con(t)r(i)/buti ex Ger(maniis) du/obus sub Iulio Ve/ro leg(ato) Aug(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore) (‘For the Emperor Antoninus Augustus Pius, father of the country, the vexillation contributed from the two Germanies under Iulius Verus, propraetorian legate of the Emperor, for the Second Legion Augusta, Sixth Legion Victrix, and Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix, (set this up)’). Dedication found 1903 dredging the north channel of the Tyne by the Swing Bridge. Source: RIB II p.437

RIB 3282: Matribus / [B]uc[c]io / [mi]les leg(ionis) / [XX V(aleriae) V(ictricis) / [… (‘For the mother goddesses, Buccio, soldier of the Twentieth Legion Valera Victrix…’). Altar found 1977 in excavations at the Castle. Source: RIB III p.282

RIB 3283: […]/cto ar[a]m / fecit [S]atu/rninus v(oto) s(oluto) / pro [se et suis] (‘…]cto Saturninus made the altar, fulfilling his vow for himself and his kin’). Altar found 1977 in excavations at the Castle. Source: RIB III p.283

RIB 3284: Iulia[e Aug(ustae)] / no[strae matri] / [Aug(usti) nostri M(arci) Au]/reli Anto[nini ac] / cas[tr(orum) ac sen(atus)] / ac pat(riae) [pro pietate] / ac dev[otione] / [curante G(aio) Iul(io) Marco] / leg(ato) Aug(usti) pr(o) [pr(aetore) coh(ors) I Ulpia] / Traiana C[ugernorum] / c(ivium) R(omanorum) [posuit] (‘For our Iulia Augusta, mother of our Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and of the camps and senate and country, from duty and loyalty, under [Gaius Iulius Marcus], the Emperor’s prpraetorian legate, the First Cohort of Cugerni Ulpia Traiana, Roman citizens, [(set this up)]’). Statue base found in 1979 in excavations in the Castle. Source: RIB III p.284

Analysis

Only one inscription (RIB 3284) relates to the likely garrison of the fort at Newcastle during the early 3rd century AD, the cohors I Ulpia Traiana Cugernorum c. R. (which differs from the unit mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum, the cohors I Cornoviorum). Of greater interest are the two altars (RIB 1319–20) recording the arrival by sea (dedications to Neptune and Ocean and reliefs of anchors and tridents give the game away) of part (or perhaps all) of legio VI Victrix, possibly around the time of Hadrian’s arrival in the province, and presumably to help build the Wall. These, together with the slab (RIB 1322) recording the arrival of reinforcements for the British legions in the 150s, all come from the Tyne near the likely site of the Roman bridge and suggest dedications fittingly set up over water and the fact that Newcastle (and not South Shields) was being used as a port of disembarkation for troops. Aurelius Iuvenalis’ wistful altar inscription (RIB 1318) may also hint at a sea crossing and it is tempting to see the legionary soldier [B]uc[c]io’s dedication (RIB 3282) in the same light (remembering RIB 1322), but a legionary garrison or detachment on the site at some point cannot be completely ruled out. Why that draft of legionaries should be brought into Newcastle, rather than further north (e.g. Cramond) or south (e.g. York), is anybody’s guess.

Hadrian’s Wall inscriptions (Wallsend to Newcastle)

Introduction


The inscriptions come from four locations, with all again having moved as spolia prior to deposition.

Inventory

The first four inscriptions were seen by Horsley at Cousin’s House (later Carville Hall), which has subsequently been built over.

RIB 1309

RIB 1309

RIB 1309: c(o)ho(rtis) I / c(enturia) Flori (‘First cohort, century of Florus’). Centurial stone seen in 1732 at Cousin’s House (Carville Hall), Wallsend. Source: RIB II p.433

RIB 1310: coh(ortis) II / c(enturia) Vari Celeri[s] (‘Second cohort, century of Varius Celer’). Centurial stone seen in 1732 at Cousin’s House (Carville Hall), Wallsend, now lost. Source: RIB II p.433

RIB 1311: coh(ortis) III / c(enturia) Senti / Prisci (‘Third cohort, century of Sentius Priscus’). Centurial stone seen in 1732 at Cousin’s House (Carville Hall), Wallsend. Source: RIB II p.433

RIB 1312: coh(ortis) X / c(enturia) Iustini / Secundi (‘Tenth cohort, century of Iustinus Secundus’). Centurial stone seen in 1732 at Cousin’s House (Carville Hall), Wallsend, now lost. Source: RIB II p.434

The next piece was seen built into an outbuilding at Stott’s House Farm.

RIB 1313: Imp… …co (?). Fragment seen in 1783 at Stott’s House Farm, Walker, now lost. Source: RIB II p.434

The only altar in this group comes from the likely site of Milecastle 3, on the eastern lip of the Ouse Burn valley.

RIB 1314

RIB 1314

RIB 1314: Iul(ius) Max/imus sac(erdos) / d(ei) I[…] / O[…] / pe[c{unia) sua] / cu[ravit] / […] (‘Iulius Maximus, priest of the god I[…] undertook from his own money…’). Altar found 1884 at the east end of Byker Bridge (probably from Milecastle 3). Source: RIB II p.434

The final building inscription comes from the valley of the Ouse Burn itself, re-used in the flint mill.

RIB 1315

RIB 1315

RIB 1315: c(enturia) Iuli Numisia/ni Ulpius Can/alius / et L(ucius) Goutius (‘century of Iulius Numisianus, Ulpius Canalius and Lucius Goutius (made this?)’). Building stone found in or before 1807 at Heaton flint mill. Source: RIB II pp.434–5

Analysis

These are almost exclusively centurial stones, originally built into the fabric of the curtain wall to mark the stints completed by various work gangs (the thinking is that a stone would be placed at either end of a stint). It is generally thought that these were only ever put into the south face of the wall, but a number are known in the north face (some quite low down), so the matter is still open for debate. In each case they usually record the name of the centurion, sometimes the number of the legionary cohort to which they belonged. Exceptionally, some (like RIB 1315) even mention names of those who erected them.

The altar from Milecastle 3 mentions a priest (sacerdos) and we know of  other examples in the Roman army, including priests of Jupiter Dolichenus. Altars are quite common finds at milecastles (we shall encounter several to Cocidius further to the west).

The Milecastle Haiku (Week 1)

The idea for a milecastle haiku (just one, initially) came in 2011, whilst walking the Wall from west to east with a group from Andante Travels. I make it a regular treat to stop off at Vallum Farm ice cream parlour and, in conversation, for some reason the subject of writing a haiku about it came up as we reached Matfen Piers, the site of Milecastle 19. I set to seeing if I could do it and, by the time we had reached the location of Milecastle 18 (at Vallum Farm), I was amazed to find I had made a passable stab at it. Later, as I was deciding how to follow on from my initial tweeting and blogging of a west to east Wall walk, one of the many ideas I came up with was writing haiku for each of the milecastles, this time going east to west. I am no poet (prose is my weapon of choice) but the idea intrigued me enough to lodge firmly in one of the less dusty corners of my brain. Each, I felt, should hint at the account already blogged, but each would also tie in with a further project I am currently working on which, when put together, will produce something rather special. The blog will be posted in a sort of omnibus edition once a week, containing the past seven haiku and at the end of it all will conclude with a competition, so pay careful attention. The prize is undecided as yet, but you will be relieved to know it will probably not be a book of my awful haiku!

Milecastle 0

Milecastle 0 Mystery Zero.
Autumnal mist shrouds the Tyne’s
Paddling milecastle.

Milecastle 1

Milecastle 1Stott’s Pow‘s easterly
Wind scours across deserted
Frontier soccer pitch.

Milecastle 2

Milecastle 2Walker was moved from
A pub to a greyhound track.
Empty road. Snow soon.

Milecastle 3

Milecastle 3We glimpse a priest here.
Sketched in haste, hazy Ouseburn
Above its valley.

Milecastle 4

Milecastle 4Found by a potter,
Westgate Road (not where it should
Be) hides artfully.

Milecastle 5

Milecastle 5Quarry House, Big Lamp:
A junction above a hill;
Leafless bikers’ grove.

Milecastle 6

Milecastle 6Old windmill long gone,
Benwell Grove, concealed by shops,
Neither found nor glimpsed.

Wall Mile 3

Wall Mile 3 [HB 142–50]

The line of the Wall is continued along Westgate Road, across the triangular traffic island, where it ran under the statue of Stephenson, then across Neville Street (which runs in front of the railway station), to be found again on the same line outside the Mining Institute building, where its course is marked in rather faded pink concrete, accompanied by a plaque giving details.

The line of the curtain wall outside the Mining Institute

The line of the curtain wall outside the Mining Institute

Now it is time for a couple of detours before we continue following the line of the curtain wall as best we can. Before we depart the line, however, we must bid farewell to the Vallum, of which there is nothing to see here, but which once very clearly terminated at Newcastle. First we will head up to the Great North Museum – Hancock (it is worth it, trust me) and then come back and have a brief look at the remains of Newcastle fort.

Great North Museum – Hancock

Inscription from Milecastle 38 in the Great North Museum

Inscription from Milecastle 38 in the Great North Museum

For many years, some of the best finds from the Wall were held in the Museum of Antiquities in Newcastle University (to which you will still find references in guide books), but the building has now gone and the contents have been transferred to the new Great North Museum just over the road. The easiest way to get to the GNM is to take the Metro (entrances both inside and outwith the railway station) up to the Haymarket station (second stop when proceeding northwards from Central Station) and then following pedestrian signs for the Great North Museum. The enthusiastic walker, or those who dislike underground travel, may choose to walk, but allow 20 minutes from Central Station to get there (via Grainger Street, Newgate Street, and Percy Street).

Entrance to the museum is free, photography is allowed, and the Hadrian’s Wall gallery is straight through the main entrance, on through a brief natural history interlude, before passing a couple of trees with loitering stuffed wolves (no, I don’t know what they’re doing there either). We are confronted by a huge video presentation that allows you to insert your initials on a stone block and a rather disinterested Roman soldier maunders around through a variety of weathers. Great for the kids but perhaps overkill for the rest of us. All around you will find artefacts, inscriptions, and models to explain the story of the Wall. Dive in, press some buttons, and enjoy.

Altar to Mithras in the Great North Museum

Altar to Mithras in the Great North Museum

When you are finished, retrace your steps (with or without the Metro) to the Central Station. Go on past the Mining Institute down towards the High Level Bridge, and you will see the Black Gate (part of the castle) opposite a pedestrian crossing at a set of traffic lights. Cross over and head towards the viaduct arches and, on the other side, the pavement outside the west side of the keep (you can’t miss it; it looks like… a castle keep!).

Newcastle fort (PONS AELII)

Newcastle was the original eastern terminus of the Wall and yet no fort was built here until the Antonine period, which was probably when the bridge across the Tyne was constructed. The fort is mostly situated underneath the castle but it was originally 0.64ha (1.53 acres) in area. The garrison included the cohors I Ulpia Traiana Cugernorum in the 3rd century and cohors I Cornoviorum in the 4th. A stone recording the cohors I Thracum may refer to another garrison from Newcastle, or possibly from an as-yet-undiscovered fort in Gateshead. The fort does not seem to have been attached to the curtain wall (there seem to have been buildings to the north of it) and it was, rather unusually, polygonal in form.

HQ & CO's house of Newcastle fort marked out

HQ & CO’s house of Newcastle fort marked out

Marked out on that piece of pavement are parts of the headquarters building (principia) and the commanding officer’s house (praetorium). The orientation of these fragments begins to allow an understanding of how the fort sat above the river. There is more to see, however. Head round to the north side of the keep, next to the railway arches, and you’ll see parts of two granaries marked out, one of them partly under the viaduct itself.

Granary marked out next to castle keep

Granary marked out next to castle keep

The eponymous bridge at Pons Aelii has yet to be located (dendro-chronological dating of timbers supposed to have come from it proved to be medieval) but it must have been situated close to where the Swing Bridge is now located. Recent work in Gateshead has suggested that there may have been a military base there, too (elsewhere in the empire, many bridges over major rivers had military bases at either end).

The likely site of the Roman bridge from the air

The likely site of the Roman bridge from the air

When we return to tracing the course of the wall, we enter into a realm of uncertainty and speculation between the Mining Institute and Melbourne Street, where it has recently been recorded by excavation. We must now head up to the cathedral to get our bearings. Some antiquaries claimed the curtain wall passed through the cathedral, whilst others others advocated that its course took it nearby, but we shall turn right into the churchyard, through Amen Corner, just to its south, and down the steps at the eastern end of it, which bring us down to Dean Street. This street lies on the line of the now subterranean Lort Burn, originally crossed by Nether Dean Bridge, leading from the churchyard to Pilgrim Street, and it is generally held that the Wall must have bridged the burn in this vicinity. We cross the road and up the steps (now called Low Bridge), through the pedestrian precinct, and end up confronting the monstrous Swan House roundabout. The Roman road up from the Pons Aelii must have passed through the Wall near here, so another gateway like those at Stanwix and Portgate is to be anticipated.

Use the subway to get across the roundabout, aiming for the 17th century Holy Jesus Hospital. Arriving on Melbourne Street, with the Hospital to our left, we are close to the line of the wall, which runs slightly to the south of us. Further along Melbourne Street, near the point where it is crossed by Gibson Street, excavation identified the curtain wall with the by-now-familiar pits on the berm. Carry on to Howard Street (the Wall is now to our north) and turn left at the junction with Crawhall Road and head north. At the junction with Coquet Street, we have a choice: follow the approximate course of the Wall across the Ouseburn, or get an aerial perspective from Byker Bridge.

Byker Bridge, the Ouseburn, and the site of Milecastle 3

Byker Bridge, the Ouseburn, and the site of Milecastle 3

If you decide to follow the Wall, turn right down Coquet Street, which almost coincides with the line of the Wall, and head east. Follow the road round (we cross the likely line of the Wall again on the way) until it meets Stepney Bank and turn right down the hill. When we reach Ouseburn Farm (again on the posited line of the Wall) we can take the footpath to the right of it to get down to Foundry Lane. At its junction with Leighton Street, we take the steps to our left and head up the east bank of the burn. This takes us up to Back Stephen Street and ultimately up to the main road next to the buildings located close to the position of Milecastle 3.

If on the other hand you want to get the aerial perspective, carry on up Crawhall Road and then turn right at the junction with the main road (A193, New Bridge Street) to walk along the southern pavement of Byker Bridge. From here you can look down and see how the Wall had to cross this small valley, probably passing under Ouseburn Farm, to reach the location of Milecastle 3 at its eastern end.

Milecastle 3 (Ouseburn) [HB 142; haiku]

Etching from Stukeley showing the location of Milecastle 3

Etching from Stukeley showing the location of Milecastle 3

Some confusion arises over the precise position of Milecastle 3 (Ouseburn), but it is very clearly shown on the near (east) side of the valley on an etching published by Stukeley, so quibbles of this nature need not detain us for too long. Although the physical remains of the milecastle have never been seen, an altar set up by a priest (sacerdos) called Iulius Maximus almost certainly comes from it (we have several times noted the association of altars with milecastles, so this may well be the nearest thing to a smoking gun we are going to get).

PLVad2