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"A visit to the Romans" Topic

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Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 2:56 p.m. PST

Today, I went to Arbeia fort in North east England, a supply and ?naval base supporting Hadrian's Wall, on the opposite (north) side of the river Tyne.
I took some pictures…if you are interested?

If so, please go to my blog at this link


I hope you find it interesting!

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 3:46 p.m. PST

One of my favourite sites, as I just live down the road. Wallsend, across the river, with its reconstructed bath house is good too.
South Shields was a granary fort for grain coming from the Rhineland to supply the walls' garrisons. A numerus of bargees from the Tigris was stationed there, presumably to ship the grain upriver towards Corbridge, another granary fort. I don't think the Tyne would be navigable all the way up to Corbridge, even in Roman times.
However it sums up the ethos of the Romans; if you want a job doing properly, then you get specialists in to do it, even if you have to ship the unit completely across the empire from south east to north west.
The excellence of these two sites makes up in part for the butchery done to the once beautiful Museum of Antiquites in the University in Newcastle. That museum, along with its small but very good, Greek museum, were moved and incorporated into the old Hancock Natural History Museum, to create the Great North Museum. Unfortunately the move has done the smaller museums little good, for they are now included in a museum which has been 'dumbed down' beyond any recognition, to facilitate the great unwashed. Many of the excellent Roman exhibits now have no translations of their texts etc Very sad.

Skeptic06 May 2017 8:33 p.m. PST


Oh Bugger Inactive Member07 May 2017 1:17 a.m. PST

I'm saddened to read that the Museum of Antiquites is gone. I loved the little curtained Mithraeum, put a coin in the slot and you got commentary. Full sets of Roman armour too and a scale model of the entire Wall.

Arbeia fort is great.

Btw some smart boys are now proposing that Corbridge became a civates capital – its still contested at the moment but its an attractive theory.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member07 May 2017 3:03 a.m. PST

'Great North' bloody museum, my left nut.
The Newcastle museum landscape has been disgracefully gutted.
I could vent on that subject 'til I burst the language filter like wet Kleenex.

Anyhow – glad you had a good time!

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 3:15 a.m. PST

Most of the Museum of Antiquites major exhibits are still on display including the Mithraeum, the Wall models and H Russell Robinsons' reconstructed armour. Some of the inscription plaques and altars appear to have gone back into storage. The labelling of exhibits isn't too wonderful. I suppose the Greek museum exhibits will get more exposure now. They include a nice sarissa butt spike, and some nice Apulian/Samnite breast and back plates (2 sets), not to forget the largest porphyry foot I've ever seen (about 4 feet long, must have been a hell of a statue. Wonder where the rest went?)
The old Hancocks' Egyptian exhibits are now better displayed, however much of the beautiful old Victorian museum interior and some of its many exhibits have gone. The old museum used to be filled to the rafters with stuffed animals, birds and fish, insect,egg and geological/fossil collections, some anthropological exhibits etc. Every bit of wall and floor space was utilised. Now exhibits are spread more thinly, many of them of the 'touch this', 'can you count' type etc beloved of those trying to educate children and the less erudite adults. Fine, but what about the adults? Sorry, as you can probably tell, it boils my bodily fluids.
Oh Bleeped text, thanks for that and noted, I haven't been to Corbridge in a while. Have you been to Lanchester recently? They've uncovered more of the vicus, and a proportion of a really large bath house. Work there is still ongoing. Keep an eye open for their open day too, with historica society stalls and some fairly good re-enactors.

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 3:16 a.m. PST

Well said and agreed Norman D

Who asked this joker07 May 2017 3:47 a.m. PST

Fantastic stuff! Thanks for posting on a site that I would otherwise may never have known about! Something I would love to see one day.

Oh Bugger Inactive Member07 May 2017 4:08 a.m. PST

This June will be my first visit to the North East for some years Jarrovian. So I didn't know about Lanchester. I'll pack in what I can when I'm there.

Glad to hear some of the good stuff from the old museum has made the transition.

bc174507 May 2017 9:02 a.m. PST

Nice to here about Lanchester, what is the thinking for a date for the site? I had always assumed it was part of the expansion north….pre wall….

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 10:40 a.m. PST

Not sure on that, my books are put away at present. I think you're right. There are 3 or 4 layers of forts, expanding in size, starting with a turf and timber fort. For the present, current excavations are turning up barrack blocks and stables with bread ovens built into the inside of the fort wall. The usual 'playing card' shaped stone construction, including 15-20 courses of a nice corner turret.
Oh B, if you're coming north be aware that Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum are owned by the Vindolanda trust, and aren't cheap, although you can buy a joint ticket for the two at reduced price. Both good to see, although the Roman Army Museum doesn't allow interior photography at all (there are no signs, and I got about half way round before someone stopped me, however the subdued weird lighting doesn't lend itself well to photography anyway). Vindolanda has reconstructed sections of stone, and turf and timber walls too.
I heartily recommend Wallsend, with it's reconstructed bath house and panoramic observation platform. It now holds pride of place in the region for the best Roman bookshop, which accolade used to belong to the Museum of Antiquites, however the move to the Great North Museum killed that too. They've done a clever thing and constructed the museum interior as if it was the command block, complete with a chapel of the standards. Still a bit touchy feely, but worth the visit.
Did you see the Roman Cavalry exhibition is on at several venue along the wall until September I believe, with various exhibits drawn from museums across Britain and the continent. There are a couple of shows on at Carlisle by a re-enactment troop of a full Turma of cavalry over the summer. Won't be cheap however.

Oh Bugger Inactive Member08 May 2017 2:04 a.m. PST

Thanks for the info'. I'm hoping to get to Binchester too.

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