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Pocket Tours, iPhone guides and tours

Along the wall in 80 days - Day 14

Samantha's picture
Tue, 27/05/2014 - 14:19 -- Samantha

Alongthewallin80days - Day 14 

Day 14 of our #Alongthewlin80days blog is all about the milecastles. We've blogged quite a bit about some of the western milecastles, many of which are no longer visible. Milecastles 69 to 60 tell a similar story... 

Milecastles stretched from the east to the west all along Hadrian's Wall. Conveniently named, Milecastles were built at intervals of approximately one Roman mile along Hadrian's Wall. 

The milecastles at the eastern end of the Roman Frontier were initially constructed of stone, however the milecastles in the west were built using stacked turf with a wooden palisade although these were later rebuilt in stone. Their size varied, but in general they were about 15m by 18m (16 by 20 yards) internally, with stone walls as much as 3m (10 feet) thick and probably 5m to 6m (17 to 20 feet) high, to match the height of the adjacent wall. All in all There were 80 milecastles and 158 turrets.

Milecastles were used to guard and had a garrison of perhaps 20–30 auxiliary soldiers housed in two barrack blocks. The 158 turrets come about as at each side of the milecastle was a stone tower, known as a Turret. These were located about one-third of a Roman mile (500m or 540 yards) away. It is assumed that the garrison also supplied soldiers to man the turrets. The milecastle's garrison controlled the passage of people, goods and livestock across the frontier, and it is likely that the milecastle acted as a customs post to levy taxation on that traffic.

Milecastles 60 to 69 have all had there locations estimated from the locations of other Roman remains as none of the original remains are visible above ground. Some sites have been excavated  and evidence has been found of both the milecastles and turrets however these are'nt some of the most exiting milecastles along the wall. To see where the milecastles were download our app here

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