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Historic England Research Records

Stanegate

Hob Uid: 911991
Location :
Northumberland
Acomb, Henshaw, Sandhoe, Melkridge, Haydon, Wall, Corbridge, Warden, Newbrough, Haltwhistle, Greenhead, Bardon Mill
Grid Ref : NY9820064800
Summary : The line of the Roman road running from Corbridge to Carvoran. An Agricolan military road pre-dating Hadrian's Wall. It was possibly transformed into a frontier road or `frontier system' with additional forts possibly by Trajan. It survives as earthworks and cropmarks in areas, and has been excavated in sections. The exact course is uncertain.
More information : RR 85a/b. Stanegate, an east-west lateral road was built during the governorship of Agricola, to connect Corbridge and Carlisle (Stanwix) through some intermediate forts, which later became a useful route to the rear of Hadrian's Wall.
It has been traced as continuing the line of the principal east-west street of Corbridge fort (NY 96 SE 20 ) westward as far as Cor Burn. Here it turned south to negotiate the steep-sided valley by terraceways, which in several cut sections showed its structure to be eloborate and heavily built. Near the fort the road was 22 feet wide, with stone-covered gutters, built upon a foundation of cobbles with a cambered layer of gravel above. Beyond the crossing it turned west again along the bank of another stream and a route partly used by the later Carlegate (circa NY 973 650) but the course of the Roman road is not yet known for the next five miles until a point on the west bank of the North Tyne opposite Wall village (NY 910 685).
The road is then found in the fields on the west side of Homer's Lane and along the base of Warden Hill, where its structure was examined and found to be a foundation layer of sandstone blocks, the gravel surfacing of which had been lost through ploughing. Towards Fourstones, there are visible traces on the hillside and a stone fence marks it. Excavation has proved it in the fields north-west of the village. Then the present road follows the line through Newbrough for many miles which still shows the agger, about 27 feet wide, as it runs in short straight lengths, gradually bearing more to the south. Approaching the deep valley of the Brackies Burn, the modern road bears southward and the Roman agger is traceable across the fields to the stream crossing. The construction of the road was examined in this area comprising a bottom layer of large stones, then a cambered bank of clay, and a compact well-cambered layer of small sandstones forming the metalled surface.
At the stream crossing is the fort of Vindolanda (NY 76 NE 16) and across the stream the road continues straight, deeply sunken at first, but soon raised as an agger. It becomes a farm road to Seatside, and the the course lies across rough ground, where traces of agger can be generally seen. The course takes it diagonally across the main road near the Mare and Foal, where it turns more westward, parallel to the road, and is visible as a terrace on the hillside to the north.
At Haltwhistle Burn the road was examined in detail and found to be a rough surface of cobbles and gravel bedded in clay, with a second road surface above it. Here the agger is clear and the descent to the burn crossing. Traces continue through the fields roughly parallel with he main road, passing just behind Fell End Farm and leading to the fort of Carvoran (NY 66 NE 12).
The course of the road has been ascertained between Carvoran and Gilsland, but there is little now to be seen. the agger is visible just after it crosses the Greenhead - Gilsland road. and then is marked by fences towards Gap, roughly parallel with the Vallum (LINEAR 178). It appears again for half a mile to the east of Upper Denton, first marked as a terraceway, and then as a low but distinct agger cutting across a field towards Upper Denton, after which the present road probably follows it as far as Chapelburn. there is no trace until Naworth Park; here a series of deep cuttings amd embankments run down to the River Irthing to ease the crossing. These mark the course of the road at intervals as far as Boothby, west of the park.
The road appears two miles further on, where a short length is still in use just before the point it must have crossed the Irthing near Crooked Holme. Through Irthington the exact course is not known, but just beyond Red Hills at the end of the village a course has been cut through a small hillock in a meadow named Buckjumping. An aerdrome then obliterates it for a mile, after which hedgerows again mark it for some distance towards High Crosby. Just beyond this in the grounds of Crosby Lodge, alongside the present road,is another long cutting containing a road with substantial matalling. Probably the road continued to Stanwix fort (NY 45 NW 2) at Carlisle close to the course of the present road. (1)

The Stanegate was first built as a strategic road under Agricola or his successors. As such it would normally be provided with forts at one-day marching intervals to protect the movement of troops and supplies. The next stage in development, if correctly interpreted, would mark the transformation into a frontier road by the building of forts in the gaps between the existing forts. It has been assumed for some time that Trajan based a frontier system on Stanegate, but the evidence is inadequate. It seems that at some point during his reign withdrawal to this line had taken place. (2)

See Linear Archive Files RR 85a and RR 85b for further details. (3)

Located on the English Heritage map of Hadrian's Wall 2010. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Margary I D. 1973. Roman Roads in Britain.443-448. London.
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Source Number : 1a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : MacLauchlan H. 1858. Survey of the Roman Wall. 30, 41,46,49.
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Source Number : 1b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Collingwood Bruce J. Handbook to the Roman Wall (10th ed. by I A Richmond 1947) 31, 185,195
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Source Number : 1c
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Cumberland Excavation Committee. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. New Series. Vol 36. 182.
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Breeze D J & Dobson B. 1987. Hadrian's Wall. 3rd Edition. 19-22
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ordnance Survey Linear Archive File RR 85a & RR 85b in NMRC
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Source Number : 4
Source : An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall, 1:25,000 scale
Source details :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Road
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence, Cropmark

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Road Number
External Cross Reference Number : RR 85a
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : LINEAR 180
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Associated Activities : Primary, STANEGATE SOUTH OF CILURNUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1882-01-01
End Date : 1883-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BACKJUMPING, HIGH CROSBY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1896-01-01
End Date : 1896-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NAWORTH PARK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1896-01-01
End Date : 1896-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, HALTWHISTLE BURN, (STANEGATE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1907-01-01
End Date : 1908-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CROSBY LODGE, HIGH CROSBY (STANEGATE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
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End Date : 1935-12-31
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End Date : 1935-12-31
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End Date : 1935-12-31
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End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, STANEGATE, EAST OF CHESTERHOLM
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Associated Activities : Primary, STANEGATE, WEST OF HOMER`S LANE
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Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, STANEGATE, BOOTHBY
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End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CROSBY, STANEGATE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
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End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PARK BROOM (STANEGATE)
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