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Hadrian's Wall between Walltown Quarry East and Walltown Quarry West in wall mile 45

A Scheduled Monument in Greenhead, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.9901 / 54°59'24"N

Longitude: -2.5128 / 2°30'46"W

OS Eastings: 367284.365441

OS Northings: 566287.280687

OS Grid: NY672662

Mapcode National: GBR BBWQ.SZ

Mapcode Global: WH90V.CTNW

Entry Name: Hadrian's Wall between Walltown Quarry East and Walltown Quarry West in wall mile 45

Scheduled Date: 12 December 1928

Last Amended: 14 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010977

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26067

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Greenhead

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Haltwhistle Holy Cross

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the section of Hadrian's Wall and its associated
features between the two quarries at Walltown in wall mile 45.
All the upstanding remains of Hadrian's Wall and the turrets in this
scheduling are Listed Grade I.
Hadrian's Wall follows the crest of Walltown Crags in this section with
commanding views in all directions. It survives well as an upstanding
feature, a 410m section being consolidated and in the care of the
Secretary of State. It stands to a maximum height of 2.2m. A number of
inscribed stones, indicating which section of the Roman army built this
stretch, were found fallen from the south face of the Wall during conservation
work in 1960. The short stretch of Wall not exposed east of turret 45a
survives as a low amorphous stony bank, 0.3m high.
The course of the Roman road known as the Military Way, which ran along the
corridor between the Wall and the vallum linking the turrets, milecastles and
forts, is known throughout this section. It is visible as a low causeway, 0.2m
high, or as a terrace, 5m wide, winding between rock outcrops to the south of
the Wall.
Turret 45a is situated on a high point on Walltown Crags with extensive views
in all directions. It survives as an upstanding exposed feature, which is
consolidated and in the care of the Secretary of State. The interior of the
turret was investigated in 1883 and partly excavated in 1913. Further
excavations in 1959 by Woodfield showed that it had originally been built as a
free standing tower and was then later incorporated into the Wall line as a
turret. It has a doorway in the south east side.
Turret 45b was situated further west along the Nine Nicks of Thirlwall, but it
has been completely destroyed by Walltown Quarry West which has removed the
line of the crags in this area. Consequently this area is not included in the
scheduling as no archaeological remains survive here. Excavations
in 1883 prior to the destruction of the turret showed that it measured 3.95m
north to south by 4.25m across internally. The walls were 1m thick and between
1m and 2m high.
All field boundaries, and English Heritage fixtures and fittings are excluded
from the scheduling, but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Hadrian's Wall marks one of the frontiers of the Roman Empire. The
international importance of the surviving remains has been recognised through
designation as a World Heritage Site.
The military importance of the Tyne-Solway route across the Pennines was
recognised by the Romans during their early campaigns through northern England
and into Scotland in the second half of the first century AD. At this time a
military road, the Stanegate, was constructed along with a series of forts.
Subsequently the Romans largely withdrew from Scotland and there is evidence
that the Tyne-Solway route was being recognised as a frontier by the start of
the second century AD. This position was consolidated in the early second
century by the construction of a substantial frontier work, Hadrian's Wall,
under the orders of the Emperor Hadrian. Hadrian's successor, Antoninus Pius,
subsequently attempted to establish the boundary further north, between the
Clyde and the Firth of Forth, but by c.AD 160 growing unrest amongst the
native populations of northern Britain and pressures elsewhere in the Empire
caused a retraction back to the Hadrianic line. Hadrian's Wall was then the
frontier of the Roman Empire in Britain until c.AD 400 when the Roman armies
withdrew from Britain.
Stretching over 70 miles from coast to coast, Hadrian's Wall was a continuous
barrier built of stone in the east and, initially, of turf in the west. The
stone wall was originally designed to be ten Roman feet wide and sections of
this width are termed broad wall. A change of plan shortly after construction
began led to a reduction in the width of the Wall to eight Roman feet, such
sections being termed narrow wall. Today, stretches of both wall types
survive, including some sections of narrow wall built on broad wall
foundations. For most of its length a substantial ditch on the northern side
provided additional defence. Where the Wall crossed rivers, bridges were
constructed to carry it across. Construction of the Wall was organised and
executed by legionary soldiers. From the beginning the barrier was planned to
comprise more than just a curtain wall. At regularly spaced intervals of about
a mile along its length lay small walled fortlets known as milecastles. These
were attached to the southern side of the Wall and most had a gateway through
the Wall to the north. Hence they controlled crossing points through the Wall
as well as affording space for a small stable garrison. Between the
milecastles were two equally spaced towers known as turrets. Together the
milecastles and turrets provided bases from which the curtain wall could be
watched and patrolled. Both the turrets and milecastles are thought to have
been higher than the Wall itself to provide suitable observation points. It is
often assumed that a platform existed on the Wall so that troops could
actually patrol along the wall top; it is however far from certain that this
was the case.
At the western end of the Wall a system of towers, small fortlets and palisade
fences extended the frontier system another 30 miles or so down the Cumbrian
coast and helped control shipping moving across the estuary of the Solway
Firth.
As originally planned, and apart from whatever space there was in the
milecastles, provision for the accommodation of garrison troops manning the
Wall was left with the line of forts which already lay along the Stanegate. At
some point a fundamental change of plan took place and forts were constructed
along the line of the Wall itself. There are now known to have been 16 forts
either attached to the Wall or in close association with it. Some overlay
earlier features such as turrets or milecastles. At this stage another linear
element, the vallum, was also added to the defensive system to the south of
the Wall. This was a broad flat-bottomed ditch flanked by a pair of linear
banks. It shadows the course of the Wall for almost all its length, sometimes
lying very close to it but sometimes up to a kilometre away from it. The
vallum's main function was to act as a barrier to restrict access to the Wall
from the south. It also had a function in linking the forts along the Wall
with a method of lateral communication. When the forts were placed along the
wall line no provision was made for a road to link them. This situation was
clearly found impracticable and a metalled track was therefore provided in
places along the vallum between the north mound and the ditch.
Later, after the withdrawal back to the Hadrianic line from the Antonine Wall,
various refurbishments were made throughout the frontier line. At this stage a
new linear feature was added: the `Military Way'. This was a road linking all
elements of the Wall defence, running from fort to fort within the area
bounded by the Wall and the vallum.
Throughout its long history the Wall was not always well maintained. It was
often neglected and sometimes overrun, but it remained in use until the late
fourth century when a weak and divided Roman Empire finally withdrew its
armies from the Wall and Britain.
It now survives in various states of preservation. In places, especially in
the central section, the Stone Wall still remains several courses high and the
attached forts, turrets and milecastles are also clearly indentifiable.
Earthwork features such as the ditch, vallum and Military Way also survive
well in places. Elsewhere the Stone Wall has been virtually robbed out and
only its foundations survive beneath the present ground surface. Similarly,
stretches of the earthwork remains, including sections of the Turf Wall, have
been levelled or infilled and now only survive as buried features. Although
some sections of the frontier system no longer survive visibly, sufficient
evidence does exist for its position to be fairly accurately identified
throughout most of its length.

Hadrian's Wall and its associated features between the two quarries at
Walltown survives well as a series of buried and upstanding remains.
Significant information on the development of the frontier system over time
will be preserved.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Bruce, J C, Handbook to the Roman wall, (1863), 186-7
Bruce, J C, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in An Exploratory Turret of the Roman Wall, , Vol. 9, (1883), 234

Source: Historic England

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