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Hadrian's Wall and vallum between Baron's Dike and Birky Lane at Walby, in wall miles 60, 61 and 62.

A Scheduled Monument in Stanwix Rural, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.9375 / 54°56'14"N

Longitude: -2.8612 / 2°51'40"W

OS Eastings: 344922.055899

OS Northings: 560652.183476

OS Grid: NY449606

Mapcode National: GBR 8CGB.CV

Mapcode Global: WH7ZY.05T5

Entry Name: Hadrian's Wall and vallum between Baron's Dike and Birky Lane at Walby, in wall miles 60, 61 and 62.

Scheduled Date: 12 December 1928

Last Amended: 14 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010979

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26087

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Stanwix Rural

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Crosby-on-Eden St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the section of Hadrian's Wall and vallum and their
associated features between Baron's Dike in the east and the west side of
Birky Lane at Walby in the west.
Hadrian's Wall survives as a buried feature throughout this section. Its
course is depicted on MacLauchlan's survey of the 1850s, but this course has
not been confirmed in modern times. The Wall and its ditch were located during
an excavation in advance of pipe laying east of Walby. The wall ditch survives
as an intermittent earthwork visible on the ground in the east half of this
section, which also serves as a reliable guide to the course of the Wall here.
Where visible the partly silted ditch averages 0.3m-0.8m deep with a modern
drain cut into its base. Elsewhere the ditch is visible as a broad and shallow
depression in the fields averaging 0.2m deep, also with a drain cut into its
base. Its course has been confirmed in places through geophysical survey in
1981. In this section the ditch upcast mound, usually referred to as the
glacis, survives as a feature faintly visible on the ground; elsewhere it
survives as a buried feature.
The exact location of milecastle 61 has not yet been confirmed. On the basis
of the usual spacing it is expected to be located near Wallhead. A geophysical
survey in 1981 located the probable remains of the milecastle.
The locations of milecastle 62 and turrets 61a and 61b have not yet been
confirmed. On the basis of the usual spacing milecastle 62 is expected to be
situated approximately 300m east of Walby Grange. Turrets 61a and 61b are
expected to be situated at the usual distances between milecastles 61 and 62.
The course of the Roman road known as the Military Way, which ran along the
corridor linking turrets, milecastles and forts, has been identified for a
short distance to the east of Wallhead. There are no remains visible on the
surface except for a short section of a turf covered mound, 4m-5m wide and up
to 0.4m high. Its course was confirmed during excavation in 1894 by
Haverfield. The road consisted of a gravel layer laid over larger stones with
a stone kerb and central spine. Its survival here was confirmed by geophysical
survey in 1981. However, the unusual survival of this section suggests the
possibility that it was reused in the medieval period serving as access to
Bleatarn Quarry.
South east of Wallhead the vallum survives as a slight earthwork visible on
the ground as four parallel mounds, the most prominent ones being up to 1.2m
high. Excavations by Hodgson took place here in 1894-5. Elsewhere the vallum
survives as a buried feature with no remains visible on the ground except for
a slight depression over the vallum ditch in a field 600m east of Walby
Grange. However, the course shown on the Ordnance Survey map has been
confirmed throughout this section by geophysical survey carried out in 1981.
With the exception of the area to the east and south of Walby where three
geophysical transects south of Walby Grange and Walby Croft showed the line of
the vallum running about 40m north of the position given on Ordnance Survey
maps. An excavation cut about 750m east of Walby Grange at the same time as
the survey confirmed that the features picked up on the geophysical survey
were those of the vallum.
The buildings of South Wallhead farm and the associated grounds are totally
excluded from the scheduling. All field boundaries and road and track
surfaces within the area of the monument are excluded from the scheduling, but
the ground beneath them is included.

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
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 vallum and their associated features between Baron's Dike
and Birky Lane at Walby, survive well as a series of buried and visible
remains. Significant information on the development of the frontier system
over time will be preserved.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Geophysical Surveys of Bradford, , Report on Geophysical Survey: Hadrian's Wall, (1991)
MacLauchlan, H, The Roman Wall and Illustrations of the Principal Vestiges of..., (1857), 71
Haverfield, F, 'TCWAAS' in Report of the Cumberland Excavation Committee 1894, , Vol. 1 ser,13, (1895), 453-462
Hodgson, , 'TCWAAS' in Notes on Excavations on the Line of the Roman Wall in Cumberland, , Vol. 1 ser,14, (1897), 390-407
Geophysics 24/1981 unpublished, Gater, J, Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report 3508, (1981)
Geophysics 24/1981 unpublished, Gater, J, Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report 3508, (1981)

Source: Historic England

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