Nick Hodgson
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, £4.99
ISBN 978-0905974964
Review Matthew Symonds

If you imagine Hadrian’s Wall, in your mind’s eye you will probably see it majestically crowning precipitous crags. Despite the drama of such a setting, it would be an anomaly. For most of its course, the Wall traverses more moderate terrain. Due to issues of access and preservation, these stretches are less known, which may have skewed our view of the border works. This recent publication covering the eastern sector of Hadrian’s Wall, and especially urban Tyneside, helps redress the balance.

Combining an introduction to this portion of the frontier with a concise account of recent excavations by the WallQuest project packs this slender volume with fresh information. Important developments such as the rediscovery of the Wallsend bathhouse are discussed, while a case is made for a possible solution to a longstanding mystery. The location where a crucial highway – known as the Stanegate – crossed the North Tyne has defied detection for decades, but two temporary camps may mark the spot. This publication admirably demonstrates the enduring potential of less visually spectacular stretches of border.

This review was published in CA 334.

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