What’s on : Lectures

Hadrian’s Wall after Hadrian: the Survival of a Roman Frontier

9 Apr 2019
Start time
7:30 PM
Tempest Anderson Hall
Paul Bidwell

Event Information

Hadrian’s Wall after Hadrian: the Survival of a Roman Frontier
Paul Bidwell, formerly Head of Archaeology for Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

The history of many of the installations on the line of Hadrian’s Wall – forts, milecastles and turrets – is well known. There has been little systematic excavation of the Wall itself, and most modern accounts have not been able to say much about the routine maintenance of the fabric and whether it survived in good order down to the end of the Roman period. A long-lasting project at Wallsend, recently published, has shown how in the face of many difficulties, particularly the unstable subsoil, this section of the Wall was repeatedly repaired until well into the fourth century. This lecture will consider similar repairs elsewhere, and how and why the Wall was maintained for centuries after Hadrian and his thousands of soldier-builders had been forgotten. It will also look at the significance of Bede’s description of the ‘famous Wall’ and its survival in the early Anglo-Saxon period.

The Elizabeth Hartley Memorial Lecture

Image of Hadrian’s Wall at Wallsend