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Hadrian's Wall between Tarraby and Beech Grove, Knowefield in wall miles 64 and 65

A Scheduled Monument in Stanwix Urban, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.9104 / 54°54'37"N

Longitude: -2.9278 / 2°55'40"W

OS Eastings: 340613.011914

OS Northings: 557691.06529

OS Grid: NY406576

Mapcode National: GBR 7CZN.YK

Mapcode Global: WH7ZX.0V20

Entry Name: Hadrian's Wall between Tarraby and Beech Grove, Knowefield in wall miles 64 and 65

Scheduled Date: 12 December 1928

Last Amended: 23 November 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017946

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28482

County: Cumbria

Electoral Ward/Division: Stanwix Urban

Built-Up Area: Carlisle

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Carlisle Stanwix St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the section of Hadrian's Wall and its associated
features between the west side of Tarraby in the east and the west edge of
Beech Grove, Knowefield in the west. From the high point at Tarraby, the line
of the Wall runs downhill across open fields as far as the east end of Tarraby
Lane. From here Tarraby Lane follows the line of the Wall westwards as far as
the crest of Wall Knowe, where Tarraby Lane veers to the south while the line
of the Wall continues in a straight line to where it is crossed by Beech

Hadrian's Wall survives throughout this length solely as buried remains with
no visible remains of the Wall itself above ground. The ditch to the north of
the Wall is however visible as a broad shallow depression up to 10m wide and
0.3m deep. The remains of the Wall and ditch were confirmed to survive as
buried remains by excavations carried out by Smith in 1976. Up to two courses
of the foundations of the Wall together with core were found to survive. There
were no remains however of the preceding Turf Wall apart from dispersed turf
traces south of the Wall. The 1976 excavations established that there had been
pre-Roman cultivation at Wall Knowe, which was shown by a grid of drainage
ditches, one of which had been infilled where the Wall crossed it.

The position of Milecastle 65 has been confirmed by geophysical survey
followed by a trial excavation at its south west corner in 1976 by Smith and
Austen. It is situated on the westward-facing slope 150m west of Tarraby. At
least two courses of foundations were found to survive in situ, and the
geophysical survey indicated that internal floor or road cobbling survives as
buried remains. In plan the milecastle appears to be of `short axis' type,
where its length north-south is shorter than its width east-west. There are no
upstanding remains of the milecastle above ground and it survives wholly as a
buried feature. A Roman altar dedicated to the native god Cocidius who was
equated with the Roman god of war, Mars, was found in 1804 when a drain was
cut across the line of the Wall 50m east of Milecastle 65, and is now in the
Tullie House Museum.

The precise location of turret 65a has not yet been confirmed but on the basis
of the usual spacing it is anticipated that it will survive as a buried
feature near the crest of Wall Knowe, 250m east of Beech Grove. It is expected
to be a Turf Wall-type turret, with four walls, the southern one containing a
doorway built into the full width of the Turf Wall and later abutted at each
side by the replacement Stone Wall.

The course of the Roman road, known as the Military Way, which ran the length
of the Wall corridor connecting forts, milecastles and turrets has not been
confirmed in this section. However a metalled road up to 10m wide was
identified in the excavations by Smith in 1976 south of and close to the line
of the Wall. This road was in use in the medieval period and is shown on a map
of 1610, but it may have followed the line of the Roman Military Way,
spreading with continued use. This road survives as buried remains.

A dump of clay up to 0.6m deep, laid over an earlier ground surface and
sealing plough marks and a military ditch, extending across the dip in the
land immediately east of the fort at Stanwix has been interpreted as the
parade ground of the fort, which at the height of its use nominally contained
850 auxiliary cavalrymen. The parade ground, which was discovered during
excavations in 1992 and 1993 by Carlisle Archaeological Unit, had a cobbled
surface. The feature survives below the turf cover as buried remains except
for the small area removed in the 1992 excavations.

All field and property boundaries and road surfaces are excluded from the
scheduling, although 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 its associated features between Tarraby and Beech Grove,
Knowefield, survive well as buried remains and will contain significant
information on the development of the frontier system over time. The survival
of the parade ground is particularly unusual; this being the only one
identified along the Wall.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Collingwood, R J, Wright, R P, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, Volume 1 The Inscriptions on Stone, (1956), 619
Esmonde-Cleary, A S, 'Britannia' in Roman Britain in 1993, , Vol. 25, (1994), 263
Smith, G H, 'Britannia' in Excavations near Hadrian's Wall at Tarraby Lane, 1976, , Vol. 9, (1978), 19-57
Smith, G H, 'Britannia' in Excavations near Hadrian's Wall at Tarraby Lane, 1976, , Vol. 9, (1978), 19-57
Smith, G H, 'Britannia' in Excavations near Hadrian's Wall at Tarraby Lane, 1976, , Vol. 9, (1978), 35

Source: Historic England

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