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The Romans in Northen Britain – August 1995

THE ROMANS IN NORTHERN BRITAIN. 

 

AUGUST 1995

 

Il tempio di Mitra, Carrawburgh.

The temple of Mithras, Carrawburgh.


ROY JOHNSON                      I ROMANI A BRITANNIA NORD            THE ROMANS IN NORTHERN BRITAIN


5 Agosto, 1995

Il nostro giro; seguendo i romani da York alla frontiera più a nord dell’impero; è cominciato a mezzogiorno alla stazione di York.

York era una città romana molto importante e la capitale della Britannica nord. Aveva una fortezza, ma aveva anche una città civile con delle costruzioni importanti, compreso un palazzo imperiale dove due imperatori sono morti.

Primo, abbiamo visitato il museo di Yorkshire per vedere gli artefatti romani trovati a York e nelle vicinanze. Ci erano molte illustrazioni e modelli per aiutare a capire la storia e l’uso degli artefatti. Il modello del centurione romano era molto notevole.

Abbiamo visitato anche i resti della abbazia benedettina di Santa Maria che è vicina al museo. Una parte del muro della fortezza legionaria i ancora intatto, ma la città romana antica; al di là del fiume; è ora seppellita sotto la città nuova.

Abbiamo pranzato al pub che si chiamava ‘Il Bagno Romano” e abbiamo visitato le rovine del bagno nel seminterrato. Abbiamo visto Stanwick, una località romana, dove c’era una comunità dell’età del ferro che sarebbe state usato per incontrare altra gente, mercati, ecc. I terrapieni erano vasti e tutto compreso circa 425 ettari.

Piercebridge era dove la traversata romana del fiume Tees e nella sponda nord c’erano le rovine del forte romano.

Siamo arrivati a Durham alle sei per due notti.

5th August, 1995.

Our tour; following the Romans from York to the furthest northern reaches of the Empire; began at 12 o’clock from York railway station.

York was a very important Roman City and the capital of the northern part of Britain. It was a fortress, but also a civilian city with some imposing buildings, including an Imperial Palace where at least two Emperors died.

We first visited the Yorkshire Museum to see the Roman artefacts found in and around York. There are many illustrations and models to help one understand the history and use of the finds. The model Roman centurion was most impressive.

We also visited the remains of the Benedictine Abbey, St. Mary’s, which is near the museum. Part of the wall of the legionary fortress is still standing, but the old Roman town across the river is now completely buried. We had lunch at a pub called “The Roman Bath” and visited the remains of the bath house in the basement.

We saw the Roman site at Stanwick, where there was an Iron Age settlement thought to have been used as a meeting ground for inter-tribal meetings, markets etc. The earthworks are extensive and the whole site covers about 850 acres.

At Piercebridge there is the site of a Roman crossing of the river Tees and on the north bank are the ruins of a late Roman fort.

We arrived in Durham, where we spent two nights, at 6 o’clock.

Il percorso del muro d’Adriano.

The route of Hadrian’s Wall.

 

 

L’abbazia della Santa Maria, York.

St. Mary’s Abbey, York.

 

 

 

 

La cattedrale, York.

York Minster.

 

 

 

 

Vicino la cattedrale, York.

 

Near York Minsiter.

 

 

Il villaggio di Stanwick.

The village of Stanwick

 

 

 

 

I terrapieni, Stanwick.

 

The earthworks, Stanwick.

 

 

 

La casa da bagno, Piercebridge.

The bath house changing room, Piercebridge.

 

 

 

 

Il troppopieno, Piercebridge.

The overflow from the cold plunge, Piercebridge.

 

 

 

 

 

Il fiume Tyne, Piercebridge

The River Tyne, Piercebridge.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


6 Agosto, 1995.

Il muro di Adriano era un sistema difensivo; dal nord prima, gli invasori avrebbero incontrato un argine e un fosso profondo, poi il muro, seguito poi della strada dei militari e il Vallum. Il Vallum era un fosso fra due terrapieni, qualche volta era vicino al muro, ma di solito sarebbe stato a circa settanta metri a sud del muro. Il muro aveva un castello a ogni miglio romano con due torri in mezzo; a sud del muro c’erano una serie di forti usati per alloggiamento d’inverno e magazzini di approvvigionamento.

Dopo la ribellione del 1745; quando si trovava molto difficile muovere la guarnigione di Newcastle per arrestare gli Scots a Carlisle; si decideva di costruire una strada nuova, dall’est all’ovest, per difendere la frontiera. L’esercito trovava più facile distruggere il muro di Adriano e costruire la strada nuova sulle fondamenta. In certi posti si vede ancora il fosso al nord e il vallum a sud della strada nuova.

La prima visita questa mattina era a Chesters per vedere il forte romano della cavalleria e la casa da bagno. Questo forte fu costrutto subito dopo il muro; parte del muro fu distrutto per costruire il forte che era di fronte e dietro del muro nord e sud. Siamo entrati nel porto ovest e abbiamo visto dove il muro di Adriano terminava al forte. Si vedono ancora le rovine di un acquedotto e un forno . Il forno è come un forno tipico per fare la pizza ma più piccolo.

Nel quartiere generale abbiamo visto la piccola volta dove si tentavano le cose preziose del forte, i soldi per pagare i soldati, ecc; questo era un seminterrato e molto insolito, il tetto è ancora intatto.

La casa del comandante era piuttosto grande, e lì ci abitava anche !a sua famiglia, i domestici e gli schiavi. La maggiore delle stanze era scaldatane da un ipocausto; aria calda sotto il pavimento.

La casa da bagno, era piuttosto grande e si vedeva come avrebbero funzionato le stanze. Vicino al bagno freddo, il troppopieno andava nel canale sotto il gabinelto per pulire sciacquare lo spreco fuori del forte e nel fiume.

Dopo pranzo a Corby, siamo andati a South Shields per vedere una ricostruzione della porta del forte; era alta circa otto metri e molto notevoli. Il muro di Adriano era lungo cinquanta chilometri e alti circa cinque metri con un fosso grande al nord, i castelli di miglio erano alti circa sette metri. La popolazione che abitava non avrebbe visto un grande edificio e era intimidita dal questo muro.

Il forte è stato radicalmente modificato nel 208 dC quando è diventato un magazzino di provviste per l’invasione della Scozia da porte Antoninus Pius; quasi tutta la maggior delle costruzioni è stato ricostruita come granai.

Il nostro giorno è finito al duomo di Durham. Un giorno molto pieno e faticoso.

6th August, 1995.

Hadrian’s Wall was a defensive system; from the north, invaders would first have encountered a bank and a deep ditch, then the wall itself, followed by the military road and the Vallum. The Vallum consists of two mounds with a deep ditch between them, in places it was very close to the wall, but usually it seems to have been about 200 feet south of the wall. The wall had a castle every Roman mile with two turrets between them, south of the wall were a series of forts used as winter quarters and supply depots.

After the 1745 rebellion; when it was found to be very difficult to move the garrison at Newcastle to stop the Scots at Carlisle; it was decided to build a new east-west road for defensive purposes. The army found that it was easier to destroy Hadrian’s Wall and build the new road on its foundations. In places one can still see the ditch to the north and the Vallum to the south of the modern road. It is still called The Military Road.

Our first visit this morning was to Chesters to see the Roman cavalry fort and bath house. This fort was built shortly after the wall; part of the wall was destroyed to build the fort which extends beyond the line of the wall both north and south. We entered by the west gate and could see where Hadrian’s Wall had been terminated to accommodate the fort. The remains of an aqueduct and an oven can still be seen. The oven, though small, was the same as a typical pizza oven; the fire was lit inside it and when it has ceased to burn the ashes are removed and the bread put in to bake.

In the headquarters building we saw the small vault where the valuables of the fort would be kept, money to pay the soldiers etc; this was a semi-basement and, most unusual, still had its roof intact.

The commanding officer’s house was quite impressive and would have also housed his family, servants and slaves. Most of the rooms were heated by a hypocaust; under-floor hot air heating.

The bath house was quite large and one could see how the rooms would have functioned. Near the cold plunge bath the overflow ran in a channel under the latrine which flushed any waste out of the fort and into the North Tyne.

We briefly visited another short section of the wall, to see the remains of Brunton turret, number 26B which is west of mile castle number 26.

After lunch in Corby we went to South Shields to see a reconstruction of the fort gate; which was about 25 feet high, and most impressive. Hadrian’s Wall was 80 miles long and about 15 feet high with a substantial ditch on the north side; the mile castles would have been about 20 feet high. The native population would not have seen a stone building on this scale; a chief’s house would have been a large hut, turf or thatch roofed; and they must have been quite overawed by it.

The fort was extensively altered in 208 AD when it became a supply base for the Antonine invasion of Scotland; most of the buildings within the fort were rebuilt as granaries.

We finished our day by visiting Durham Cathedral which has the earliest groin vaulting and internal flying buttresses.

A very full and tiring day.

Lo spaccato del muro d’Adriano.

Cross section of Hadrian’s Wall.

 

 

 

 

 

L’acquedotto e il forno, Chesters.

The acqueduct and oven, Chesters.

 

 

 

 

 

La volta nel quartiere generale, Chesters.

The headquarters building showing the vault, Chesters.

 

 

 

 

 

La casa del comandante, Chesters.

The commanding officer’s house, Chesters.

 

 

 

 

Il muro d’Adriano, Steel Rig.

Hadrian’s Wall, Steel Rig.

 

 

 

 

Una ricostruzione della porta del forte, South Shields.

A reconstruction of a gate of a fort, South Shields.

 

 

 

 

Il granaio, South Shields.

The Granary, South Shields.

 

 

 

 

Il solidus d’oro dell’Imperatore Magnus Maximus (383 – 388 dC), South Shields.

Gold Solidus of the Emperor Magnus Maximus (383 – 388 AD). South Shields.

 

 

Una ricostruzione dell’altare e una meridiana, South Shields.

Reconstruction of an altar and a sundial, South Shields.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I dirupi precipizio, Steel Rig.

 

The wall goes over the crags, Steel Rig.

 

 

 

Il muro d’Adriano, Steel Rig.

 

Hadrian’s Wall, Steel Rig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


7 Agosto, 1995.

Questa mattina abbiamo camminato lungo una parte del muro di Adriano che segue la cima dei dirupi a precipizio per una certa distanza. Perché sia stato costruito qui non ha senso; solo un celta molto stupido ha desiderato salire questi dirupi e attaccare 1’esercito romano; ma ha senso impressionare gli indigeni.

Una parte del muro fu costruita prima da zolle erbose con una palizzata di legno; questo fu subito smantellato e ricostruito di pietra. Il castello di Cawfields fu costruito; alla distanza regolamentare; su una collina, non c’erano edifici dentro il castello; ma solo quaranta metri a ovest la terra era uniforme e ideale per un castello. L’esercito romano era come un altro esercito, faceva quello che gli ordinavano; “I castelli saranno costruiti a un miglio.” e lo furono.

Abbiamo visitato il forte, a Birdoswald, costruito sul muro di zolle erbose; il muro di pietra fu costruito a qualche piede di distanza al nord. In alcuni posti non fu costruito sul terreno più alto e fu necessario includere alcuni scarichi per far scolare 1’acqua nel fosso. A Birdoswald c’era una bella vista del fiume Irving.

Siamo andati a Vindolanda; uno dei forti più famosi perché avevano tutti oggetti di legno, pelle e stoffa.

I romani scrivevano su un blocco di legno e cera, scrivevano sulla cera e, dopo aver letto la lettera, la cera si usava ancora. Ma scrivevano anche sul legno con inchiostro, e hanno trovato del legno a Vindolanda. A Vindolanda e una casa da bagno a fino a due cento anni fa il tetto era intatto. E scritto “ha visto la fuliggine nel soffitto” dalla caldaia, che usavano per scaldare il bagno. Molto materiale e stato rimosso nel diciannovesimo secolo e usato per costruire case, fattorie, granai e muri.

7th August, 1995.

This morning we walked along part of Hadrian’s Wall which follows the top of precipitous crags for some distance. Why it was built in this place makes very little sense; only a very stupid Celt would wish to climb these crags in order to attack the Roman army; but it does make sense as a means of impressing the natives.

Part of the wall was originally built of turf topped by a timber palisade; this was very quickly dismantled and rebuilt in stone. Cawfields mile castle was built at the regulation distance from the previous one and is on quite a steep slope; there were no buildings inside this castle; but only about 100 yards further west the ground is flat and would have been ideal for a castle. It would seem that the Roman army was no different from any other army, you did as you were ordered; “Mile castles will be built one mile apart.” and they were.

At Birdoswald we visited the Roman fort built across the old turf wall; the stone wall was built a few hundred feet further north. In some places it was not built on the highest ground and it was necessary to include small culverts to allow the water to drain away down the slope and into the ditch. At Birdoswald we had a very fine view of the river Irving.

We finally went to Vindolanda, one of the most famous forts in this part of the country. It is here that many wood and leather objects were found along with some scraps of cloth.

Writing tablets were also found which contained a block of wax; one wrote on the wax and after the letter had been read the wax was smoothed over and the writing tablet reused. But they also wrote in ink on thin sheets of wood; which were unknown until they were found at Vindolanda and they continue to yield valuable information about life in the Roman army. Vindolanda also has a fine bath house which until the 18th century must have been largely intact. It is recorded that one could still see the soot on the ceiling, from the furnace which was used to heat the baths. A lot of material was taken away in the 19th century and used to build houses, farms, barns and walls.

Il muro d’Adriano, Gaw Gap.

Hadrian’s Wall, Gaw Gap.

 

 

 

 

Il muro d’Adriano, Gaw Gap.

Hadrian’s Wall, Gaw Gap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

La porta dell’est, Birdoswald.

The east gate, Birdoswald.

 

 

 

 

La vista al sud, Birdoswald.

The view south, Birdoswald.

 

 

 

 

 

 

La casa da bagno, Vindolanda.

 

The bath house, Vindolanda.

 

 

 


8 Agosto, 1995.

La nostra mattina e cominciata al forte di Housesteads, che nel sedicesimo secolo era un posto molto pericoloso; era occupato da una famiglia di briganti e aveva una reputazione molto cattiva. Questa ha aiutato preservare le fondazioni. La pietra che e stato rimosso nel diciottesimo e diciannovesimo secolo.

Le porte del forte erano sempre doppie porte, e anche la porta sud a Housesteads era doppia, ma la porta a destra non si usava molto. Gli edifici della comunità civile erano di fronte a questa porta; si vede che la porta a sinistra e molto consumata e ha avuto molte riparazioni frequenti.

Il gabinetto era molto interessante; si vede dove gli uomini si sono seduti e dove si sono lavati le mani, ecc.

Siamo andati sul muro ovest per una breve distanza, per una bella vista del muro sui dirupi. Il castello qui ha una porta al nord, ma questa era molto pericolosa da usare.

A Carrawburgh abbiamo visto il tempio di Mitra e dopo abbiamo visto al museo a Newcastle gli articoli trovati. Il museo ha una ricostruzione del tempio che era molto interessante.

Siamo andati al nord seguendo la strada romana di Agricola verso Edinburgh, e siamo arrivati a Falkirk ben tardi, per starci due notti.

8th August, 1995.

Our morning began at Housesteads fort, which in the 16th century was a very dangerous place; it was occupied by a family of robbers and had a very evil reputation. This helped to preserve the foundations in a good state. The stone which has been removed was taken in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Fort gates were always double gates, and the South gate at Housesteads was no exception; but the right hand gate was blocked at an early date. The civil settlement buildings are directly in front of this gate; the left hand gate shows extensive ware and frequent repair.

The latrine was very interesting; one could clearly visualise where the men would have sat and where they would have washed their hands and the sponges which were used instead of toilet paper.

We walked along the wall to the west for a short distance where we had a very good view of the wall where it is built over the crags. The mile castle has a gate in the north wall, as was normal, but in this case it would have been a difficult climb down to level ground and impossible on horseback. The military mind again; “Mile castles will have gates in the north and south walls”; the fact that the north gate is practically useless doesn’t enter the argument.

At Carrawburgh we saw the ruins of the temple of Mithras and later saw some of the finds in the Museum of Antiquities at Newcastle. The museum houses a full scale reconstruction of the temple which was very interesting.

We then went north, following the old Roman road of Agricola towards Edinburgh. We arrived quite late in Falkirk where we will stay for two nights.

Il forte, Housteads.

The fort, Housteads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Il gabinelto, Housteads.

The latrine, Housteads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sinistra e centro – La testa di bronzo e il busto dell’Imperatore Adriano, Destra – l’Imperatore Antoninus Pius.

Left & centre – Bronze head and bust of the Emperor Hadrian, Right – the Emperor Antoninus Pius.

 

 

 

 

 

La frontiera verso la Scozia.

 

The frontier looking toward Scotland.

 

 

 

Il fosso profondo del muro di Antoninus Pius, Watling Lodge.

 

The ditch of the Antonine Wall, Watling Lodge.

 

 

 

 

La vista al nord, Rough Castle.

 

The view north, Rough Castle.

 

 


9 Agosto, 1995.

Antoninus Pius, il figlio adottivo di Adriano, fu imperatore quando Adriano e morto. Viveva una vita insolita e non si associava con l’esercito. Per garantire fama e popolarità, decise che voleva una guerra breve e un trionfo a Roma. Le frontiere erano molto pericolose; il nemico non vorrebbe cessare il combattimento contemporaneamente all’imperatore; ma la frontiera al nord, il muro di Adriano, era scarsamente popolati e, cosi, ideale per una vittoria facile e veloce. Questa era la ragione per l’invasione della Scozia.

Perché Adriano aveva ordinato la costruzione di un muro, cosi Antoninus ordinava un alto muro. Il nuovo muro era esattamente meta della lunghezza del muro di Adriano; quaranta miglia romane; e costruita su terreno più piatto. La località e anche una frontiera più naturale perché e il punto più stretto dell’isola. Fu progettato e costruito di erba e legno, con un fondamento di massi del fiume; le chiaviche furono costruite a intervalli regolari per portare via l`acqua. Al nord un fosso profondo e un argine fu costruito. Nel muro stesso c’era il forte di legno e le torri a intervalli regolari.

Watling Lodge ha la parte del fosso bene conservata. Il muro non seguiva la terra più alta ma la rotta più facile. Ci sono belle viste al nord.

Abbiamo continuato a Rough Castle per vedere il forte romano, Il museo, Hunterian, a Glasgow ha le inscrizioni del muro di Antoninus.

Il nostro giorno e finito alla collezione di Burrell a Glasgow. Fui sorpreso nel trovare il vaso di Warwick qui; questo e un’urna dal secondo secolo che e stato veduta all’asta l’anno scorso. Ci sono sculture di Rodin e una collezione di quadri, le ceramiche cinesi, i manufatti dalla Grecia antica e dal vecchio Egitto, e anche i mobili.

Sir William Burrell ha cominciato la collezione dopo la prima guerra e la ha regalata a Glasgow nel 1944; e una collezione interessante con qualcosa per tutti.

9th August, 1995.

Antoninus Pius, the adopted son of Hadrian, became emperor on the death of Hadrian. He had led a rather dull life and was not connected with the army. To ensure a little fame and popularity, he decided that what he needed was a very short campaign against the barbarians and a triumph in Rome. The frontiers were dangerous places; the enemy would probably not wish to cease fighting at the same time as the Emperor; but the very northern frontier, Hadrian’s Wall, was quite sparsely populated and so an ideal place to gain a nice, quick, easy victory. This was the reason for the Antonine invasion of Scotland

As Hadrian had ordered a wall to be built, so Antoninus ordered another wall. The new wall was exactly half the length of Hadrian’s Wall; 40 Roman miles; and built on much flatter terrain. This site is also a more natural frontier being the narrowest point on the whole island. It was planned and built of turf and timber, with a firm foundation of river boulders; culverts were included at regular intervals to drain away any water. To the north a deep ditch and bank was constructed. On the wall were timber forts and turrets at regular intervals.

Watling Lodge has the best preserved section of the ditch. It is noticeable that the wall does not follow the highest ground but rather the easiest route. There are very good views to the north.

We continued to the Roman fort at Rough Castle where part of the wall, with its ditch and bank, is still visible, and the outline of the fort can be seen on the ground. The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow has some stone inscriptions which provide a lot of information about the Antonine Wall.

We finished our day at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow. I was surprised to find the Warwick Vase there; this is vast second century AD urn which was auctioned last year. There are Rodin sculptures and a small collection of paintings, along side Chinese ceramics, ancient Egyptian and Greek artefacts, and a collection of furniture.

Sir William Burrell began his collection after the First World War and left it to the City of Glasgow in 1944. It is a very interesting collection with something for everyone.

I fossi di quattro forti romani, Ardock.

The ditches of four Roman forts, Ardock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


10 Agosto, 1995.

A Andoch abbiamo trovato i vasti fossi di quattro forti romani. I due forti di Antoninus furono costruiti dentro i due forti di Flavio e; perché abbiamo visitato la mattina presto e il sole era basso; cosi era facile vedere i fossi. Questo era certo il tempo migliore per vedere la località.

Era molto difficile vedere il forte a Fendoch perchè era coperto da felci; e gli alberi piantati recentemente circondano la località. Ci sarebbero state vaste vedute al nord e a nordest. Sul Cask Ridge c’era una torre per segnali; niente rimane ora eccetto un fosso basso. Questa era una torre di legno e solo le buche dei pilastri, ai quattro angoli, sono stato trovare. La vista al nord e spettacolare ci sono anche vasti vedute all’est e al sudest; inclusa la località dell’un forte. Questo forte non era permanente e forse e stato usato solo una volta.

Nel pomeriggio siamo andati a Edimburgo per vedere la parte romana del museo nazionale. Hanno delle inscrizioni molto interessanti, la più grande dal muro di Antoninus. Molte inscrizioni che sono state trovate lodavano questa o quella legione “leale”, questo suggerirebbe che si erano ribellate, e si sono pentite, la loro lealtà era annotato.

Dal museo abbiamo camminato a Charlotte Square e il nostro hotel.

10th August, 1995.

At Ardoch we found the extensive ditches of 4 Roman forts. The earliest two are Flavian and two later ones are Antonine. The Antonine forts had been constructed inside the Flavian fort ditches and, because we visited the site early in the morning, the sun was quite low, making it easy to see the ditches. This was certainly the best time of day to see this site.

The fort at Fendoch was not as easily seen as the site is rather overgrown with bracken and the later planting of trees hems in the site. There would have been extensive views to the north and north east.

Cask Ridge is the site of a signal tower; nothing now remains except a shallow ditch. This was a wooden tower and only the post holes at the four corners have been found. The view to the north up the glen is quite spectacular and there are wide views to the east and south east, including the site of a fort. None of these forts were permanent and may only have been used during one campaigning season. Very little datable material is found.

In the afternoon we drove to Edinburgh to see the Roman section of the National Museum of Antiquities. They have a number of inscriptions which have proved very interesting, the largest being from the Antonine Wall. This must have had a stone foundation as the wall was turf.

Many inscriptions have been found, in various places, praising this or that “loyal” legion; this tends to suggest that they had rebelled, and having been brought to order again, then had their “loyalty” recorded.

From the museum we strolled back to Charlotte Square to our hotel.

Il castello e il fossato, Edimburgo.

 

The castle and moat, Edinburgh.

 

 

 

 

 


11 Agosto, 1995.

L’abbazia di Melrose, che abbiamo visitato questa mattina, era una fondazione cistercense in uso fino al sedicesimo secolo. Le rovine della chiesa si vedono ancora. E stata costruita in uno stile perpendicolare con una forte influenza francese. Dopo, a una parte della navata e stato dato un nuovo tetto per formare una piccola chiesa. Il contorno di edifici della abbazia e ancora rintracciabile nella terra.

Abbiamo continuato a Corbridge per pranzo e visitare la località romana fuori della città. La chiesa ha le pietre di là e sono state usate nella costruzione circa nel mille DC. La località romana era abbastanza confusa. Era prima un forte, e le fondamenta dei granai e la accanto ad un acquedotto sottile, ma la strada, est e ovest, e ora più alta e risale al quattro secolo. La città e stata usata per circa tre cento anni e il forte e stato coperto dopo dalla città civile. C’e una combinazione insolita di uso civile e militare insieme. Di solito c’era il forte con il muro, con la comunità civile fuori, due parti separate e distinte. La comunità era vasta e solo una piccola parte e stata scavata.

La strada romana vecchia era “Staingate” che attraversava l’Inghilterra del nord dal est all’ovest. “Stain” e la parola inglese vecchio, e la pietra in italiano; “gate” e la strada; le prime persone a costruire una strada di pietra sono stati i romani.

Il nostro giro e finito a York circa alle quattro e mezzo del pomeriggio; è  stato molto soddisfacente e piacevole.

11th August, 1995.

Melrose Abbey, which we visited this morning, was a 12th century Cistercian foundation in use until the late 16th century. The remains of the church can still be seen. It was built in a perpendicular style, with a very strong French influence. At a later stage part of the nave was re-roofed to create a small church. The outline of the Abbey buildings is still traceable on the ground.

We continued to Corbridge for lunch and to visit the Roman site outside the town. The church in Corbridge had stones taken from the Roman site used in its construction in about 1000 AD.

The Roman site is rather confused. It was originally a fort, and the granaries can still be traced beside a fine aqueduct, but the east west road, Staingate, is now at a much higher level and dates from the 4th century. The site was in use for at least 300 years and the fort was later covered by the civil settlement. Here is a rather unusual combination of civil and military use together. Usually there was a walled fort with the civil settlement outside; two quite distinct and separate districts. The later settlement would have been quite extensive and only a small part has been excavated.

Staingate is the old Roman road which crossed northern England from east to west. The name is old English “Stain” meaning stone and “gate” meaning road; the first people to build a stone road were the Romans.

The tour finished at about 4.30 pm at York station; it had been most satisfying and enjoyable.

Il ponte romano, Corbridge.

The Roman bridge, Corbridge.

 

 

 

 

 

Il granaio, Corbridge.

A granary, Corbridge.

 

 

 

 

Il vassoio d’argento del quattro secolo dC, trovato a Corbridge nel 1735, Museo Britannico.

 

The 4th century AD Corbridge silver tray found at Corbridge in 1735, British Museum.

 

 

 

 

L’abbazia, Melrose.

 

The abbey, Melrose.

 

 

 

 

 

L’abbazia, Melrose.

The abbey, Melrose.

 

 

 

 

Il bassorilievo dal forte a Benwell, Il muro d’Adriano, Museo Britannico.

 

Stone relief from Benwell fort, Hadrian’s Wall, British Museum.

 

 

 

Il bassorilievo dal forte a Croy Hill, Il muro d’ Antoninus Pius, Museo Britannico.

 

Stone relief from Croy Hill fort, Antonine Wall, British Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

I soldati romani.

Roman soldiers.

 

 

 

 

 

 


PARTICIPANTS

  • Miss Terri Costain
  • Mr. Peter Hussey
  • Mr. Roy Johnson
  • Miss Bettina Kloetzl
  • Miss Olive Nelson
  • Mr. George Pollard
  • Mrs. Iris Pollard
  • Sir Neil Pritchard
  • Dr. Frederick Wicker
  • Dr. Ursula Wicker

LECTURER:

  • Dr Jim Summerly

TOUR MANAGER:

  • Dr. Simon James

ITINERARY

Saturday 5 August 1995: Convene at York Station. On arrival your luggage will be transferred to the coach and our first visit will be to the nearby Yorkshire Museum. Afterwards we will continue on foot to the Minister from where we will view the praetorium of the fortress. Before returning to the coach we will visit the walls of the legionary fortress. We will drive north to Piercebridge where we will visit a late Roman Fort, continuing to Stanwick where we will see the Iron Age settlement. We spend two nights at the Three Tuns Hotel, Durham

Sunday 6 August 1995. In the morning we will visit Durham Cathedral and the Museum of Archaeology at the Fulling Mill. At South Shields we will see the Roman fort and a full size replica of a gateway. We have lunch and visit the Museum of Antiquities in Newcastle. We return to Durham via Chesters to view the Roman Bath House and the Cavalry Fort.

Monday 7 August 1995: This morning we walk along part of Hadrian’s Wall (wall-mile 41-42), and view a turret and mile castle. We will drive to Birdoswald to see some fine walls and gate, the only visible fort on the Turf Wall Section, the recently excavated granaries and also view the spectacu1ar gorge of the River Irthing. We will continue to Vindolanda to see the best Vicus in Roman Britain and two full size replicas of the Stone Wall and the Turf Wall. Overnight at George Hotel in Chollerford.

Tuesday 8 August 1995: We drive a short distance to Housesteads and walk along the Crag section of the Wall. After visiting Carrawburgh where we see the Temple of Mithras. We will have lunch before continuing north following the old Roman Road of Agricola to Edinburgh.We will spend the next two nights at the Inchyra Grange Hotel,

Wednesday 9 August 1995: Roman Scotland is dominated by the Turf Wall of Antoninus Plus, built shortly after AD142. The history of the Antonine Wall is beset by problems and controversy. We visit Rough Castle and Watling Lodge, we continue to Glasgow where we have lunch, and visit the Hunterian Museum.

Thursday 10 August 1995: In the morning we visit the National Museum, before driving up to the Roman Forts of Ardoch and Fendoch and drive along to the Cask Ridge Signal Towers. This will be a day spent on the extreme northern flank of the Empire. We spend our final evening in Edinburgh.

Friday 11 August 1995: We drive south via Melrose Abbey and visit the Roman Fort at Newstead and continue to the extraordinary Roman site at Corbridge where we will stop for a quick lunch. We hope to arrive in York at the British Railway Station at approximately 1600 hrs and this is where our tour ends.


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