Last week we travelled down to the north-east of England again, just for a few nights, and it’s just typical that when we had only been down there half a day or so the weather changed from what had been days and days of hot dry weather – to heavy rain – such is life, and I suppose the gardens needed it!
Before the heavens opened we did manage to fit in a visit to Chesters Roman Fort. I was surprised at how busy it was but the English school holidays had just begun and I think the English Heritage site had just been allowed to open up again after the Covid lockdown.
The fort was only discovered in the 1840s by John Clayton the landowner, who had a lot of his men uncovering the Roman remains, the work was continued by his nephew who inherited the estate, although the Claytons were very wealthy and had a lot of men digging up the area there are still lots of parts to be excavated, presumably when English Heritage can afford to do it. Below is a photo of the fort HQ.
The photo below is the base of what was an interval tower.
The whole fort was obviously part of Hadrian’s Wall but there are only a few bits of the actual wall uncovered at the moment, presumably a dig would find more of it although I expect that a lot of the stones have been re-used over the years by farmers needing houses and farm walls.
Below is a photo of the remains of some of the stables.
As there were lots of horses and men housed at this fort a good source of water was obviously imperative, the North River Tyne is right on the edge of the camp and if you look across the river in the middle of the photo you’ll see some of the remains of the bridge abutment.
It’s an interesting place to visit if you find yourself in that area, there seem to be Roman remains all over. This fort is in a particularly scenic location but I can’t help feeling sorry for the 500 or so Spanish cavalry soldiers who inhabited this camp, they must have been frozen to the bone in winter – or maybe even in summer!