Section A – NY26SW

Historic England Sections: Hadrian’s Wall between Westfield to Bowness-on-Solway in wall miles 76, 77, 78 and 79
List UID: 1015951, 1016021, 1014701, 1014700, 1014699, 1015904, 101503

Old OS Map

NY26SW

LiDAR Map

NY26SW sector – Wall in Yellow Vallum in Green

Google Earth Map

GE view showing Historic England scheduled monuments – Hadrian’s Wall Section A
Historic England Scheduled Monuments within Section A

Name: Hadrian’s Wall between Port Carlisle and Bowness-on-Solway in wall miles 78 and 79
Designation Type: Scheduling
Grade: Not Applicable to this List Entry
List UID: 1015951

Name: Hadrian’s Wall vallum between the track south of Kirkland House and Bowness-on-Solway in wall miles 78 and 79
Designation Type: Scheduling
Grade: Not Applicable to this List Entry
List UID: 1016021

Name: Hadrian’s Wall and vallum between the access road to Glendale caravan park and the track south of Kirkland House in wall miles 77 and 78
Designation Type: Scheduling
Grade: Not Applicable to this List Entry
List UID: 1014701

Name: Hadrian’s Wall vallum between the watercourse 400m south east of Glasson and the access road to Glendale caravan park in wall miles 76 and 77
Designation Type: Scheduling
Grade: Not Applicable to this List Entry
List UID: 1014700

Name: Hadrian’s Wall between the dismantled railway and the access road to Glendale caravan park in wall mile 77
Designation Type: Scheduling
Grade: Not Applicable to this List Entry
List UID: 1015904

Name: Hadrian’s Wall between Apple Garth, Westfield, and the dismantled railway in wall mile 77
Designation Type: Scheduling
Grade: Not Applicable to this List Entry
List UID: 1015903

Name: Drumburgh Roman fort and Hadrian’s Wall between Burgh Marsh and Westfield House in wall miles 76 and 77
Designation Type: Scheduling
Grade: Not Applicable to this List Entry
List UID: 1014699

English Heritage scheduled reports of this monument suggests that:

1015951

This monument includes the section of Hadrian’s Wall between Field View Lane, Port Carlisle, in the west and Bowness-on-Solway in the east, in wall miles 78 and 79.

Hadrian’s Wall runs westwards along the crest of a raised beach from Port Carlisle for 700m and then turns north west to run towards Bowness-on-Solway. West of the site of milecastle 79, for a distance of 200m, the remains of the Wall lie beneath a field boundary visible as a bank 1m high surmounted by a hedge. The indications are that the Wall survives as upstanding remains of the core and probably also the faces several courses high with undisturbed tumble on either side beneath the earth bank. At the west end of this length the Wall is exposed either side of a modern field gate, standing up to four courses high with the footing flags exposed across the gateway. However, around the site of milecastle 79 and west of the north westerly turn in direction the Wall survives as a buried feature with no visible indications on the ground. The Wall in this sector was initially constructed in turf, which was replaced on the same line in the second half of the second century AD by the Stone Wall. It has not yet been determined whether the Wall was fronted by a ditch in this section. The proximity of the coast would have made a ditch superfluous and a ditch of the normal wall ditch proportions would have been liable to tidal flooding.

Milecastle 79 is situated 350m west of Field View Lane. Excavations of the milecastle were undertaken in 1949 by Richmond and Gillam. Like all milecastles in the western part of Hadrian’s Wall, it was originally constructed with turf ramparts and timber gateways and internal buildings. It measured 14.9m east to west and 12.5m north to south internally. This was replaced at some time in the second half of the second century by a stone built milecastle which measured 17.7m internally. The gates of the stone milecastle were found to have been reduced in size after the initial construction. A timber framed building is also known to have stood in the eastern half of the stone milecastle.

The exact position of Turret 79a has not yet been confirmed. On the basis of the usual spacing it is expected to be located approximately 400m west of milecastle 79 where the Wall changes direction. Turret 79a is expected to survive as buried remains.

Turret 79b is situated approximately 250m south east of the houses at the east end of Bowness-on-Solway in the field known as Jeffrey Croft. Its site is indicated by a very slight platform, visible on the ground. It was partly excavated in 1934 by Simpson, Richmond and MacIntyre to confirm whether the Turf Wall extended westwards as far as the west end of Hadrian’s Wall at Bowness. The south wall was found to be 1.12m wide and the west wall, 0.96m wide, was traced for 4.64m from the south west corner. It was constructed on a foundation of two layers of cobbles sandwiched in red clay, with three courses of masonry surviving above. The difference in thickness of the south and west walls and the evidence that it was originally built as a free-standing tower abutted by the Turf Wall demonstrated it to be the type of turret characteristic of the Turf Wall, and the most westerly turret known on Hadrian’s Wall. When the Wall was rebuilt in stone, the Turf Wall turrets, which were originally built in stone themselves, were retained with the new wall.

The course of the Roman road known as the Military Way, which ran along the corridor between the Wall and vallum linking turrets, milecastles and forts, has not been confirmed in this section. It is expected to run parallel to the Wall a few metres from its south face.

HE 1016021

The monument includes the section of Hadrian’s Wall vallum between the track south of Kirkland House in the east and Bowness-on-Solway in the west.

The course of the vallum is known in this section with intermittent surface traces visible. The vallum ditch survives as a faint shallow depression and a short section of the south mound is visible as an earthwork averaging 0.5m high to the south west of milecastle 79. Elsewhere the vallum mounds are not visible on the ground and survive as buried remains.

The course of the vallum westwards is not known from a point 150m west of the measured site of turret 79a, and its western terminus has not yet been discovered. The vallum is therefore not included within the scheduling west of this point.

1014701

The monument consists of the section of Hadrian’s Wall and the vallum between the access road to Glendale caravan park in the east and the track south of Kirkland House in the west.

Hadrian’s Wall survives throughout this section as a buried feature. West of milecastle 78 the Wall turns northwards to follow the Solway coast in contrast to the vallum which runs straight in this section. It is not certain whether the ditch to the north of the Wall was provided in this section, as a ditch would have been superfluous so close to the shore and liable to tidal flooding. There is no evidence for the ditch on its depicted line. The Wall in this sector was initially constructed in turf, which was replaced in the second half of the second century by the stone wall.

Milecastle 78 was located and partly excavated in 1934 by Simpson, Richmond and MacIntyre. It is situated 110m north west of the access road to Glendale caravan park. Only the west wall was examined in the excavations and was found to be 2.8m wide. One course of masonry survived of the inner face above the footings, but the outer face had been robbed. The overall dimensions of the milecastle are not yet known. Like all milecastles in the western part of Hadrian’s Wall, it was originally built with turf ramparts and timber gateways and buildings, but was replaced in stone in the second half of the second century. The remains of the stone milecastle survive as buried remains. The excavators did not record whether remains of the primary turf and timber phase of the milecastle survive, but they are likely to survive beneath and alongside the remains of the stone milecastle also as buried remains.

The course of the Roman road known as the Military Way, which ran along the corridor between the Wall and the vallum linking turrets, milecastles and forts, has not been confirmed in this section.

The course of the vallum is known in this section. The vallum ditch can be traced as a depression up to 0.8m deep. The vallum mounds are not visible in this section and have been reduced and levelled by ploughing. They survive as buried features.

1014700

The monument includes the section of Hadrian’s Wall vallum between the watercourse 400m south east of Glasson in the east and the east side of the access road to Glendale caravan park in the west. The vallum survives as a feature visible on the ground throughout most of this section. At the eastern end of the monument the vallum ditch is utilised by a modern drainage ditch 5.7m wide and 2m deep.

The course of the vallum between the watercourse 400m south east of Glasson and Burgh Marsh has not yet been confirmed and is therefore not included in the scheduling. West of Glasson the line of the vallum ditch is visible as a faint shallow depression but at the west end of the monument it survives in the field immediately east of the access track to Glendale caravan park as a more obvious earthwork up to 0.8m in depth.

1015904

The monument includes the section of Hadrian’s Wall between the dismantled railway 200m west of Westfield House in the east and the access road to Glendale caravan park in the west.

Hadrian’s Wall survives throughout this section as a buried feature. It is not known whether the ditch to the north of the Wall was provided here as the wall runs parallel to and close to the Solway shore in this section of the monument.

1015903

The monument includes the section of Hadrian’s Wall between the western boundary of the garden belonging to Apple Garth, Westfield, in the east and the dismantled railway 200m west of Westfield House in the west.

Hadrian’s Wall survives throughout this section as a buried feature. There is no evidence for the ditch to the north of the Wall, and it is likely that in this section parallel to and close to the Solway shore the ditch was not provided.

1014699

The monument includes Drumburgh Roman fort and the section of Hadrian’s Wall and its associated features between Burgh Marsh in the east and Westfield House in the west.

Hadrian’s Wall survives as a buried feature throughout the whole of this section. Excavations by Haverfield in 1899 located the Wall between Burgh Marsh and Drumburgh fort. The Wall measured 2.95m wide and the wall ditch was 8.9m wide and lay 8m north of the wall. Excavations by Charlesworth in 1973 confirmed the course of the Wall north of Glasson. Geophysical survey has also located the line of the Wall or wall ditch to the north east of Glasson.

The exact location of milecastle 76 has not yet been confirmed. A faint irregular platform 200m east of Drumburgh Roman fort amongst ridge and furrow could possibly be the remains of the milecastle platform, however this is not certain and its position still needs confirmation.

The exact location of milecastle 77 has not yet been confirmed. Excavations by Charlesworth in 1973 proved inconclusive in determining its position. On the basis of the usual spacing it is expected to be situated about 50m south of the junction of the Glasson road with the Bowness-Carlisle road.

Turret 76a was located in 1948 just east of Drumburgh schoolhouse by Simpson, Hodgson and Richmond. Its remains survive as buried features with no traces visible above ground.

The exact locations of turrets 76b, 77a and 77b have not yet been confirmed. On the basis of the usual spacing turret 76b is expected to be located about 90m south of where the dismantled railway crosses Hadrian’s Wall east of Glasson and turret 77a approximately 140m south east of Lowtown House. Turret 77b is believed to be beneath Westfield House or its yard, but it is not included in the scheduling.

The course of the Roman road known as the Military Way, which ran along the corridor between the Wall and vallum linking turrets, milecastles and forts, has not been confirmed in this section. It is expected to run parallel to the course of the Wall set back a few metres to the south.

Drumburgh Roman fort, known to the Romans as Congavata, commanded an outlook to the north and east over the Inner Solway. There has been very little archaeological work carried out on this fort, and it remains one of the least well known Wall forts. Small scale excavations were carried out in 1899 by Haverfield who located the remains of a small stone fort. A subsequent excavation in 1947 by Simpson and Richmond showed that the stone fort lay within an earlier and larger turf and timber fort with ramparts made from the readily available alluvial clay. Pottery finds attested an occupation continuing into the late Roman period. The remains of the fort survive as buried features. The right angled ditch west of Drumburgh House is was at one time thought to be the ditch of the Roman fort. The excavations in 1899 however discovered it to be a medieval ditch, although its association has not been confirmed.

Evidence suggests that Hadrian’s Wall did originally pass through the Burgh Marsh to the east. No remains however have been identified here and hence this area is not included in the scheduling.

Investigation

Did the Vallum just end or did it turn west as indicated by LiDAR?

Video

Vallum ends in the middle of nowhere
Crop marks at the End of the Vallum

If we look at the crop marks from a satellite shot of the termination point in 1985, we see this west turn continuation found in the ground and by a line of field boundaries which lead to another Paleochannel.  This turn would not offer any military advantage, but the size and direction of this channel would suggest that it was a prehistoric Linear feature that was the start of the Vallum at Hadrian’s Wall.

River Esk at a higher Level than today (8m)

Analysis of the Wall alignment compared to the Vallum is strange and can be only explained by changes to the River level during the Roman period.  If we raise the water level of the River Esk then we see the wall aligns with a higher Water table (8m) at this period of Construction.

It should also be noted that the Vallum did not at any stage run to the end of the landscape like the Wall.  This could be because it terminated by a Paleochannel some 3000m before the river.  This would suggest that the water levels were even higher (than when the wall was constructed) and consequently it was built much earlier than the wall.

Vallum Terminal Point into a Paleochannel – Hadrian’s Wall Section A
Was the Wall built to the edge of the Roman River Shoreline?

The line of Hadrian’s wall to the North of this section shows that there is substantial land after the current shoreline of the River Erk. This makes no strategic sense as it would allow invaders to land and gather to attack the wall. It would make more sense to build the wall on the shoreline of the river. The only logical solution can be seen if the River was higher in the past as suggested by my ‘Post-Glacial Flooding’ hypothesis, which shows that rivers were much larger in the past and took many thousands of years to reduce to the levels we witness today.

Hadrian’s Wall – built along the Shoreline of the Higher Roman Erk River

To understand the problem with Hadrian’s Walls history read our article HERE.

For more information about British Prehistory and other articles/books, go to our BLOG WEBSITE for daily updates or our VIDEO CHANNEL for interactive media and documentaries. The TRILOGY of books that ‘changed history’ can be found with chapter extracts at DAWN OF THE LOST CIVILISATIONTHE STONEHENGE ENIGMA and THE POST-GLACIAL FLOODING HYPOTHESIS. Other associated books are also available such as 13 THINGS THAT DON’T MAKE SENSE IN HISTORY and other ‘short’ budget priced books can be found on our AUTHOR SITE. For active discussion on the findings of the TRILOGY and recent LiDAR investigations that is published on our WEBSITE you can join our FACEBOOK GROUP.

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