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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


The bulk of this length of this walk is in a rural area. There are some lay-bys including in vicinity of Port Gate.

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

Some impressive sections of Fighting Ditch remain in this section of Wall.


Milecastle 22: Positioned only 200m from Port Gate:





Halton Chesters Fort (Onnum)

55.0106N 2.0058W

NY 9972868450

NE45 5PH

Milecastle 22

55.0122N 2.0180W

NY 9894568630


Port Gate

55.0126N 2.0211W

NY 9874868669

NE45 5QB

Milecastle 23

55.0151N 2.0411W

NY 9874868669

NE46 4NF

Milecastle 24

55.0178N 2.0630W

NY 9607069256

NE46 4NQ

Milecastle 25

55.0191N 2.0834W

NY 9476769400


Milecastle 26

55.0204N 2.1094W

NY 9310269550

NE46 4HH

Milecastle 27

55.0244N 2.1324W

NY 9163369995


Chesters Bridge Abutment

55.0251N 2.1358W

NY 9141670071


Milecastle 23: Near Stanley Plantation:

Milecastle 24: On the B6528 as you head towards Walbottle:

Milecastle 25: Situated by the hedgerow:

Milecastle 26 (Plantrees): Situated near Vallum Farm:

Milecastle 27: At junction between Military Road/Unnamed Road:

RELATED SITES NEARBY (Opens in new window)

Milecastle 27

Lat/Long:  55.0244N 2.1324W

Grid Ref:   NY 9163369995

Postcode: N/A

Milecastle 26 - Plantrees

Lat/Long:  55.0204N 2.1094W

Grid Ref:   NY 9310269550

Postcode: NE46 4HH

Milecastle 25

Lat/Long:  55.0191N 2.0834W

Grid Ref:   NY 9476769400

Postcode: N/A

Milecastle 24

Lat/Long:  55.0178N 2.0630W

Grid Ref:   NY 9607069256

Postcode: NE46 4NQ

Milecastle 23

Lat/Long:  55.0151N 2.0411W

Grid Ref:   NY 9874868669

Postcode: NE46 4NF

Milecastle 22

Lat/Long:  55.0122N 2.0180W

Grid Ref:   NY 9894568630

Postcode: N/A

Articles > Hadrian’s Wall HADRIAN’S WALL: THE REAL ROUTE Part 9: Halton Chesters to Chesters (including Brunton)

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


What Can Be Seen

This article takes you from Halton Chesters to the eastern heart of the Hadrian’s Wall tourist zone - Chesters Fort. The route sees the Fighting Ditch and Vallum make regular appearances and covers Milecastles 22 through to 27. The Wall itself remains under the Military Road although small segments now start to make an appearance and the first bridge abutment is also visible during this section. The National Trail is synchronised almost entirely with this part of the route.


Halton Chesters Roman Fort

The Roman fort at Halton Chesters, known as Onnum, was the fifth fort built into the line of the Wall. Like others it was built to the standard Roman playing card layout and manned by a mixed Auxiliary infantry/cavalry regiment. Little remains of the fort other than a few earthworks. Today the site is occupied by Halton Castle. Note that a separate circular walk to Corbridge Roman site starts from here - see the official National Trail site (see right) for further details. Otherwise keep following the National Trail running parallel with the Military Road. In a few hundred metres you get to the Milecastle 22 position.

Stanley Plantation

Continue walking along the National Trail which still runs parallel with the Military Road. The trail continues through Stanley Plantation but, if you follow that, you will miss a spectacular section of Fighting Ditch (see below). This said take extreme care on the road! The site of Milecastle 24 is found where the National Trail switches from left to right hand sides of the road.

Port Gate / Dere Street

Passageways through the Wall were originally limited to Forts or Milecastles. As the original building plan for the Wall modified to include the Vallum and to bring the Auxiliary garrisons onto the line of the Wall, access reduced further to just the seventeen forts. However three gates were cut into the Wall presumably to allow continued commercial trade without disruption or the security issues associated with passage through the forts. One was at Carlisle, one at Knag Burn near Housesteads and the third was here; a great tower gatehouse was built to allow Dere Street, the communications artery for the north, to pass through the Wall. Nothing remains visible today although the roundabout carries the name!

Site of Onnum Roman Fort

Looking west from near Onnum

Looking east from near Milecastle 22 position

Milecastle 23

Keep following the National Trail which crosses the A69 (built on top of Dere Street) and continues running parallel with the B6318 Military Road. The Vallum makes a re-appearance as does the Fighting Ditch - but on the north side of the Military Road which is still built atop the Wall! You’ll pass the Milecastle 23 position and then head into Stanley Plantation.

Site of Port Gate on Dere Street

Looking back east towards Port Gate site


Vallum continues through the Stanley plantation

Fighting Ditch

Having switched to the other side of the Road, the official trail now runs along the line of the northern side of the Fighting Ditch allowing for some further impressive views of the extensive defensive work that stood in front of the Wall.  Continue following the National Trail passing the sites of Milecastles 25 and 26.

Descending towards Milecastle 26 position

Broad and Narrow Walls

Continue following the National Trail down the hill to Plantrees, cross the road and you’ll encounter another short segment of Wall. This section clearly illustrates the change in thickness as the design progressed - the ‘narrow’ Wall is built upon foundations that were built with a thicker structure in mind.

Brunton Turret

From here the Wall descends to Low Brunton and then towards the River Tyne. Follow the National Trail but note you’ll be taken off the course of the Wall - private property restricts access and to get to Brunton Turret (26B) you must enter via Front Street. The National Trail takes you this way.

Turret 26B - Brunton

Site of Milefcastle 27


The extensive remains of Chesters Roman Fort on the opposite river bank won’t have escaped your attention. There is no way across here so re-trace your steps to the modern bridge, cross and take the first left on the roundabout onto the B6318. The entrance to Chesters is on your left after 500 metres.


Line of Wall looking west - Fighting Ditch to right

Line of Wall looking east

Fighting Ditch and line of Wall heading west

Fighting Ditch

Line of Wall - Fighting Ditch to left

Turret 26B - Brunton

Short segment of Wall

Narrow Wall on top of broad foundations

From Brunton looking west towards Chesters

Chesters Bridge Abutment

Milecastle 22 position

Vallum makes a reappearance

Chesters Bridge Abutment

Again follow the National Trail along Front Street and the B6318 until you see a sign for the Chesters Bridge Abutment just before you cross the modern bridge. Follow it and you’ll follow a (long) footpath to the River and the remains of the first of three bridges that formed part of the line of the Wall. The bridge was significantly rebuilt in the early third century AD. Milecastle 27 is faintly visible in a field adjacent to the footpath.

Chesters Bridge Abutment


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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