Monday 29 September 2014

A Week's Tour along Hadrian's Wall - Museums and Forts

I was very happy to do a five day tour along the museums and forts of Hadrian’s Wall just over a week ago. @MsLupin contacted me in the summer, via Twitter, asking what Hands-on-Latin could offer as a tour along Hadrian’s Wall. Thus after a few deliberations and discussions @MsLupin and @ButJolly stayed with us at Four Wynds B&B for a week - mid September. This is what we did over those five days:

Day I

We began the tour on the East Coast at Arbeia*(South Shields) Fort and Museum; Lunch at Minchella’s on South Shields seafront; then Segedunum* (Wallsend) Fort and Museum Deep breath then onto Pons Aelius (Newcastle) underneath the site of the Norman ‘Newcastle; then onto Temple of Antenociticus**/ after that we visited The Vallum Crossing**/then Denton Hall Turret 7B and Wall** (edge of Newcastle) – finishing the day at Heddon-on-the-Wall** (with terrific views of the Tyne valley from The Swan Inn car park). A rest plus tea and cake was most welcome at the marvellous Vallum tea rooms.

(Photo: Reconstructed West Gate at Arbeia Fort)

Day II

Then we ate scrumptious lunch at TheRat Inn (Anick above Hexham)
LimestoneCorner - we waved at and then went onto...

(Photo: Unique stone mullion in one of the granaries (horrea) at Coria. This helps with ventilation of food in food warehouse/granary)


We began the day at Vindolanda*** – Fort(s), Vicus (Village) and Museum
We had lunch at Vindolanda’s wonderful cafe
A definite stop at The RomanArmy Museum*** at Magna/Walltown
A quick look at WalltownNature Reserve (Northumberland National Parks) – We investigated in more detail “Fossil Crag” and saw Hadrian’s Wall in the distance

(Photo: The Latrina/Loo at Housesteads/Vercovicium Fort)

Day IV

A quick trip over to Gilsland to view PoltrossMilecastle (48)**; from there we walked to Birdoswald (Banna) Museum and Fort**
We got in the car to look at two turrets (48A and 48B)** and a Milecastle 49 (Harrow Scar)** and the Willowford Bridge Abutment**

Lunch at Dianne and Eric Horn’s fabulous Slack House Farm cafe was a must.

We then ventured forth to look at the church, Anglo-Saxon Cross and new museum at Bewcastle. All of which sits on a Roman outpost fort (Fanum Cocidii) on the Maiden Way.
Tea was supped at the marvellous Lanercost Cafe
We finished the day in search of the Pre-Raphaelites at Brampton!

(Photos: View of West Gate, granaries at Banna/Birdoswald Fort and Lighting a Beacon at Birdoswald for Queen's Golden Jubilee Celebrations 2012)

Day V

(Photos of panels at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle)

We visited Tullie House Museum – took in the II Roman Galleries (no less!), the Reiver Gallery and the Pre-Raphaelite Gallery. We had lunch in its very cosy cafe/restaurant. We then finished off the tour on the West Coast over at Maryport (Alauna) – Senhouse Museumand Fort. We rounded it all off with a very delicious ice cream at Orton Grange cafe on the edge of Carlisle.

I will blog each day of the tour in more detail. So watch this space!

By the way Newcastle Archaeology Department is running a MOOCS course on Hadrian’s Wall these next five weeks (it started last week but you can still start and catch up). You do not need to have any previous qualification...just bags of interest and enthusiasm (and about 4 hours of study time each week). There are lots of videos, factsheets, discussion, interaction with social media etc. It is well worth taking a look. All you need to do is to sign up at Future Learn (link as above) and have a look!

*Tyne & Wear Museums
** English Heritage

***The Vindolanda Trust

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