Said to be the best preserved remains of a cavalry fort in Britain. Built to guard a bridge, that carried the wall and military road, just after the wall was completed in about 123AD.
There is more stonework exposed at some other sites, but of all the roman remains in Britain this is probably the best overall coverage of the component pieces that show how the military buildings, bathhouses and forts were constructed. This also makes it an ideal site to introduce and explain roman structures to children, and this could be supplemented with a trip to a villa to see mosaics.
It has a well-preserved commandantís house and a bathhouse which offered customers hot, cold or steam baths. The site museum displays a wide collection of Roman finds retrieved by the local antiquarian John Clayton, covering finds from many sites along the wall. These include important early archaeological discoveries relating to the central section of the Wall.
Aerial photo by Simon Ledingham used with permission. Previously on www.visitcumbria.com
In the photograph above the outline of the fort is visible with gateways, corner turret nearest to you and this side two other turrets, the gate nearest to you is the south west gate, traditionally called the south gate, and we are looking North. The separate building downhill to the right of the picture is the bathhouse. In the centre of the fort you can see the headquarters building and to the right of it the commandants house. Beyond the commandants house are the barrack blocks. Above the corner turret you can just see a line of column bases. outside this photo to the right is the river and on the other side the bridge base remains.
The fort had 6 gates, 3 the far side of the wall and 3 this side. This arrangement is typical
of forts built for cavalry, as it allowed large numbers of cavalry to leave the fort very quickly.
Secure vault underground
Hot bath in the bathhouse
Even better preserved, between the fort and the river, is the garrison's bathhouse. This displays the complex of rooms which offered soldiers hot, cold or steam baths, as well as a changing room cum club house with niches for statues or altars of gods, including Fortuna, patroness of Roman gamblers. The original main entry to this would have been a door to the north, entering a large changing room, latrine off to the left, and lobby ahead. From the lobby right would be the dry rooms, including hot room, ahead hot steam room, and right a cold bath room and cold plunge bath, the cold room leading to warm rooms. Coming off the middle of the steam rooms was a hot bath. There is a reproduction of a roman bathhouse at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum at Wallsend.
Part of the museum collection
The museum here contains altars and inscriptions to the many deities of the Roman Army and are among the hundreds of archaeological discoveries from the central section of the Wall, including Vindolanda, Housesteads and Carrawburgh forts. These were collected by the Victorian antiquarian John Clayton, their setting has now been restored to its appearance in 1900. The large house next to the site was the family home of John Clayton, who dug out this fort, his father having covered it to form a parkland setting. He also excavated the Temple of Mithras, Housesteads Roman Fort, Carvoran Fort next to the Roman Army Museum amongst others.
Above gateway nearest to the barrack block below
Part of the barrack block
Supports for floor in the commanders house that was heated with under floor heating..
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