We’ve put together some top tips to help you plan an explorer’s day out, visiting some of the lesser known parts of Hadrian’s Wall. Many of these sites have provided archaeologists with vital clues about how and when Hadrian’s Wall was built. Use these tips to plan a real history buff’s delight, linking up with some of the main museums and Roman sites listed in the Family Itineraries.
West Road, Newcastle
The West Road follows the line of Hadrian’s Wall into the city centre. Remains of the Wall lie underneath the gardens and front foundations of the buildings on the south side of the road.
Hidden in a modern housing estate on Broomridge Avenue in Benwell is Benwell Roman Temple. This temple was once the focal point for a civilian settlement that lay alongside the fort of Condercum. The temple’s walls are now around half a metre high and its dimensions 4.9 metres by 3 metres.
Nearby at the foot of Denhill Park Avenue is the Benwell Vallum crossing. Remains of an impressive gate can be seen here by a causeway across the Vallum ditch, clear evidence that the Vallum was an important part of the system of frontier control.
Castle Keep, Newcastle
Built on the site of a Roman fort by the Pons Aelius, ‘Hadrian’s bridge’ across the Tyne, the castle keep is the best preserved Norman keep in Britain. The Roman bridge crossed the river where the nineteenth century swing bridge now stands.
You can trace the line of Hadrian’s Wall trough the city using a mobile app which brings the Wall to life through virtual reality (link)