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ARTICLE CONTENTS:


SECTION 1: Introduction

- Visiting Rome’s Northern Frontier

- Components of the Frontier


SECTION 2: History of the Wall

- Empire Without Limits

- A Frontier - but Where?

- Holding the Line


SECTION 3: The Wall east to west as it exists today

- South Shields to Benwell Hill (including Newcastle)

- Benwell Hill to Rudchester (including Heddon-on-the-Wall)

- Rudchester to Halton Chesters

- Halton Chesters to Chesters

- Chesters to Carrawburgh

- Carrawburgh to Housesteads

- Housesteads to Great Chesters (including Steel Rigg and Cawfields)

- Great Chesters to Birdoswald (including Walltown)

- Birdoswald to Castlesteads

- Castlesteads to Stanwix

- Stanwix to Burgh-by-Sands (including Carlisle)

- Burgh-by-Sands to Bowness-on-Solway

- Western Sea Defences

TRAVEL AND PARKING

The bulk of this length of this walk is in urban area. After Heddon the route enters a rural area. Parking (on-road) is readily available in the east but gets harder to find as you head west albeit there are various laybys.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (Opens in new window)

On this section of the wall there are no staffed staffed sites. Information about the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail however can be accessed at (link opens in new window):

- Hadrian’s Wall Path: Official National Trail


The Vallum crossing that has survived at Benwell Hill is the highlight of this stretch and missed by those walking the official trail.

MILECASTLES

Milecastle 7: Estimated position just to west of Benwell Hill:

GETTING THERE


LAT/LONG

OS GRID REF

POSTCODE

Benwell Hill Roman Temple

54.9762N 1.6625W

NZ 2160864803

NE15 6QN

Benwell Hill Vallum Crossing

54.9758N 1.6648W



NZ 2155464628

NE15 6QH

Benwell Fort (Site of)

54.9774N 1.6639W

NZ 2160864803

NE4 9LA

Milecastle 7

(Est Pos)

54.9805N 1.6768W

NZ 2078265152

NE15 7PE

Turrt 7B

(Denton)

54.9841N 1.6913W

NZ 1985465547

NE15 7TH

Milecastle 8

(Est Pos)

54.9866N 1.7019W

NZ 1917265818


NE15 7SF

Milecastle 9

(Est Pos)

54.9895N 1.7189W

NZ 1808666135

NE15 9SQ

Milecastle 10

(Est Pos)

54.9952N 1.7445W

NZ 1644366769

NE15 9RX

Milecastle 11

(Est Pos)

54.9961N 1.7662W

NZ 1505566860

NE15 9DU

Milecastle 12

(Est Pos)

54.9969N 1.7896W

NZ 1356166944

NE15 0DR

Milecastle 13

55.0005N 1.8138W

NZ 1200967344

NE15 0HA

Milecastle 8: Estimated position near the A1/A69 roundabout:

Milecastle 9: On the B6528 as you head towards Walbottle:

Milecastle 10: On the B6528 in front of Walbottle Campus:

Milecastle 11: Probably situated near the summit of the hill:

Milecastle 12: Near the Heddon segment of the Wall:

Milecastle 13: Limited remains of Milecastle 13:

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Denton Turret (7B). The remains of the turret are four courses high with the remains of a stone staircase within.

Heddon-on-the-Wall. The surviving stretch of Wall at Heddon has medieval kiln built into the structure.

Milecastle 7


Lat/Long:  54.9805N 1.6768W

Grid Ref:   NZ 2078265152

Postcode: NE15 7PE

Milecastle 8


Lat/Long:  54.9866N 1.7019W

Grid Ref:   NZ 1917265818

Postcode: NE15 7SF

Milecastle 9


Lat/Long:  54.9895N 1.7189W

Grid Ref:   NZ 1808666135

Postcode: NE15 9SQ

Milecastle 10


Lat/Long:  54.9952N 1.7445W

Grid Ref:   NZ 1644366769

Postcode: NE15 9RX

Milecastle 11


Lat/Long:  54.9961N 1.7662W

Grid Ref:   NZ 1505566860

Postcode: NE15 9DU

Milecastle 12


Lat/Long:  54.9969N 1.7896W

Grid Ref:   NZ 1356166944

Postcode: NE15 0DR

Milecastle 13


Lat/Long:  55.0005N 1.8138W

Grid Ref:   NZ 1200967344

Postcode: NE15 0HA

Articles > Hadrian’s Wall HADRIAN’S WALL: THE REAL ROUTE Part 7: Benwell Hill to Rudchester (including Denton and Heddon-on-the-Wall)

Key: BLUE MARKER = Fort Location    RED MARKER = Known Milecastle/Milefort Location    GREEN MARKER = Point of Interest

THE WALL EAST TO WEST: BENWELL HILL TO RUDCHESTER


What Can Be Seen


This article takes you from Benwell Hill to Rudchester, the site of the fourth fort on the Wall. The route encompasses the locations of Milecastles 7 through to 13 and has several sections of Wall, a turret and some other remains visible. The National Trail misses most of this section of the Wall and intersects at Heddon-on-the-Wall in proximity to the Milecastle 12 site.


CONTINUE TO RUDCHESTER >


Arriving at Benwell Hill


The line of the Wall climbs the hill towards Benwell Hill which is where the third fort, Condercum, was located. All traces of the fort itself have long since gone having been buried under the modern housing and the reservoir. However, a temple associated with the fort and, uniquely, the fort’s Vallum crossing has survived. Walk pasted the petrol station shown above and take the next left into Weidner Road. Take the first left into Westholme Gardens and then the first left again into Broomridge Avenue.  The temple is on the left.


Vallum Crossing


Retrace your steps back to the main road (West Road) and head west/left. Take the next left into Denhill Park. The crossing is at the bottom of this circular road - it doesn’t matter if you take left or right routes.  


The Wall


Reverse your steps and head back onto the main road (West Road). Turn left and walk west. As you get to the top of Benwell Hill you can appreciate how well sited the fort was - the view, even today with the modern housing, is still impressive.


Denton


Continue walking along West Road and straight after Denton turret you’ll get to a large roundabout - go straight on moving to the A69. You’ll see a short stretch of Wall (Denton Wall). A few yards further on would have been the location of Milecastle 8.


West Road


The Wall followed the line of the road. Milecastle 7 would have been just a short walk from the crest of the Benwell Hill and probably got little use once the fort was built. Keep following West Road and don’t miss the first fragment of Wall since Wallend - located in a Petrol Station forecourt at the junction with Denton Road. Return back to West Road and keep heading west. A small stretch of Wall is visible just a few metres further on.

Condercum Vallum crossing

Condercum Roman Temple

Site of Condercum  Roman Fort

Line of Wall heading west

Approaching Condercum


Turret 7B - Denton Turret


Keep following West Road and you’ll come to the first visible turret - number 7B locally dubbed ‘Denton Turret’.

Wall foundation fragments

Line of Wall heading west

Segment of Wall

Turret 7B

Turret 7B at Denton

Segment of Wall at Denton


Milecastle 9


Continue walking along the A69 until it veers to the left and rises to a roundabout over the A69. Take the second exit on the roundabout onto the B6528 towards Walbottle. As the fields to your left turn into modern housing, you are at the Milecastle 9 site.

Approaching site of Milecastle 9


Walbottle


Continue walking along the B6528 through Blutcher and into Walbottle. Traces of the Vallum can periodically be seen to your left and small stretches of the Fighting Ditch can be found in Walbottle College campus. Milecastle 10 would have been in the vicinity of the houses in front of Walbottle campus.

Line of Wall at Walbottle


Throckley


Continue walking along the B6528 which will take you uphill towards Throckley. Milecastle 11 is estimated to have been situated around here.

Throckley - looking east at line of Wall from MC11 position


Heddon-on-the-Wall


Continue walking along the B6528 crossing at a small roundabout onto Hexham Road. This was the line of the Wall although little trace remains. Keep going until you arrive at Heddon-on-the-Wall. A small segment of the Wall along with limited earthworks representing the Fighting Ditch and Vallum is visible as you approach the village. Milecastle 12, no trace of which remains, would have been just beyond this surviving segment. The National Trail re-joins the Wall at this point.

Line of Wall - looking west towards Heddon-on-the-Wall

Heddon-on-the-Wall

Wall and Vallum at Heddon-on-the-Wall

Heddon-on-the-Wall


Heading out of Heddon


At this point the line of the Wall cuts through private property and a petrol station requiring the tourist to loop round. Head back onto Hexham Road, turn left and at the end of the road following it round to the left. At the junction with the petrol station (the Wall ran through this) and the Two Tuns pub, head onto the B6218 Military Road. This follows the line of the Wall - indeed it was built on top of the Wall by General Wade’s forces in the eighteenth century. The fighting ditch can be seen to the right.

Heading out of Heddon - Line of Wall heading west


Rudchester


Upon exiting Heddon, the Military Road curves to intersect with bridge over the A69. Clearly the Wall didn’t do this - it went straight on. Take the detour (follow the National Trail) and you’ll end up on the line of the Wall on the other side of the A69. The slight earthworks of Milecastle 13 are located there.


Line of Wall - looking west towards A69 cutting across Wall

Line of Wall - looking east towards A69 cutting across Wall


Rudchester Roman Fort


Keep following the National Trail, which is running parallel with the Military Way, towards Rudchester.

REFERENCES / FURTHER READING

Breeze, D.J (2011). The Frontiers of Imperial Rome. Pen and Sword Books Ltd, Barnsley.


Burton, A (2010). Hadrian's Wall Path. Aurum Press Ltd, London.


Crow, J (1989). Housesteads Roman Fort. English Heritage, London.


English Heritage (2010). An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall, 1:25,000 Scale. English Heritage, London.


Hodgson, N (2011). Chesters Roman Fort. English Heritage, London.


Moffat, A (2009). The Wall. Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh.


Wilmott, T (2010). Birdoswald Roman Fort. English Heritage, London.


Bedoyere, G (2010). Roman Britain: A New History. Thames and Hudson Ltd, London.


Dando-Collins, S (2010). Legions of Rome. Quercus, London.


Hobbs, R and Jackson, R (2010). Roman Britain. British Museum Company Ltd, London.

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