Birdoswald

Banna Roman Fort

Quick Facts

East Gate of Birdoswald

East Gate of Birdoswald

Where

Hadrian’s Wall – Map and Website

When

  • Built as part of Hadrian’s Wall in AD122.
  • Originally Hadrian’s Wall from the River Irthing, just to the east of Birdoswald Fort, to Bowness-on-Solway was built in turf and timber. This was changed to stone in the 130’s AD. The wall was moved north to become the north wall of the fort at this time, the only placed the path of the wall ever changed. It is thought this was due to the instability in the escarpment on which the fort was built.
  • Garrisoned in the third century by the cohors 1 Aelia Dacorum miliaria¸an infantry regiment 1,000 strong which came from originally from Dacia (modern Romania).

What Remains

  • There are old farm buildings and a big house inside the fort at the north end. These have been converted for use as the gift shop, lavatories and exhibit hall, and the big house is now the Birdoswald Youth Hostel.
  • There are the east, west and north gates, granaries, the drill hall, and the fort walls and three angle towers.
  • A vicus or civilian settlement surrounding Birdoswald created one of the bigger towns along the wall, half way between the largest settlements of Corbridge (Coria) and Carlisle (Luguvallum). While there are no remains of the vicus previous excavation and geophysical exploration shows that its buildings were located on both the fort’s east and west sides.
  • Wall sections about six feet high with little drainage holes at the bottom.
Milecastle 49

Milecastle 49

Harrow’s Scar Milecastle (49)

What Remains

  • To the east of Birdoswald, along a length of wall that runs from the fort, Harrow’s Scar Milecastle 49 overlooks the embankment and the River Irthing.

Pipper Sike Turret (51A)

What Remains

  • The road in front of Birdoswald follows the route of the wall east, although there are no more remains of the actual wall here. The first site is Piper Sike Turret (51A), a small turret with a stub of low wall beside the road. Website
Leahill Turret

Leahill Turret

Leahill Turret (51B)

What Remains

  • Next along the road is Turret 51B at Leahill. Website

Pike Hill Signal Tower

What Remains

  • Before the wall there were watchtowers to signal to other towers and forts along the Stanegate, and Pike Hill was one of those early towers. It was incorporated into the wall, although it fit into the wall as more of a diamond shape than the regular square turret. Website

Banks East Turret

What Remains

  • The last site of remains at western end of Hadrian’s Wall. Website