Milecastle 23

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Coordinates: 55°00′54″N 2°02′25″W / 55.014932°N 2.040394°W / 55.014932; -2.040394

Milecastle 23
Site of Milecastle 23
Site of Milecastle 23
Milecastle 23 is located in Northumberland
Milecastle 23
Milecastle 23
 Milecastle 23 shown within Northumberland
OS grid reference NY97516893
List of places

Milecastle 23 (Stanley) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. Its remains exist as a low, grass covered platform with traces of an external ditch (as Milecastle 25). It is located to the south of the B6318 Military Road around 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) west of its junction with the A68.


Milecastle 23 was a long-axis milecastle. The gateway type is unknown, though long-axis milecastles were thought to have been constructed by the Legio VI Victrix who were based in Eboracum (York).[1]

The milecastle measured 15.24 metres (50.0 ft) across, and had broad east and west walls (the curtain wall at this point was also broad gauge). The width of the south wall is unknown.[2]

The ditch at the point corresponding to the milecastle's north gate undergoes a slight change in profile in the bottom. Also, there is an 8 metres (26 ft) gap in the upcast mound at the same point. These features indicate the existence of a causeway, later removed. There was also eveidence of an equivalent causeway across the vallum, and gaps in the vallum mounds (also removed).[2]

Excavations and investigations[edit]

  • 1930 - The milecastle was located by T Hepple and identified as a long-axis milecastle with broad east and west walls. The traces of the milecastle ditch were also noted.
  • 1952 - The corresponding pasrt of the vallum was surveyed, and the possible previous existence of a causeway discovered.[2]
  • 1966 - English Heritage Field Investigation. It was noted that the site was marked by an earth mound 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) high, extensively spread by cultivation. The ditch was visible as a wide but superficial depression around the South, East and West sides.[3]
  • 1989 - English Heritage Field Investigation. It was noted that the milecastle survived as a platform up to 1 metre (3.3 ft) high. The ditch was superficial but surveyable to the south and east. The possibility of the milecastle being a long-axis milecastle was restated.[3]

Associated Turrets[edit]

Each milecastle on Hadrian's Wall had two associated turret structures. These turrets were positioned approximately one-third and two-thirds of a Roman mile to the west of the Milecastle, and would probably have been manned by part of the milecastle's garrison. The turrets associated with Milecastle 23 are known as Turret 23A and Turret 23B.

Turret 23A[edit]

No surface traces ramain of Turret 23A (Stanley Plantation).[4] Its position was established in 1920, though its remains lie beneath the B6318 Military Road.[5]

Location on Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 map: 55°00′57″N 2°02′53″W / 55.015963°N 2.047949°W / 55.015963; -2.047949 (Turret 23A)

Turret 23B[edit]

No surface traces remain of Turret 23B (Wall Fell).[6] Its position was established in 1920 purely by reference to the position of Turret 23A, though this cannot be confirmed as remains lie beneath the B6318 Military Road.[5]

Location on Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 map: 54°59′37″N 1°44′12″W / 54.993672°N 1.736733°W / 54.993672; -1.736733 (Turret 23B)

Monument Records[edit]

Monument Monument Number English Heritage Archive Number
Milecastle 23 18177 NY 96 NE 8
Turret 23A 18180 NY 96 NE 9
Turret 23B 18183 NY 96 NE 10

Public Access[edit]

Access to the mound marking the Milecastle is via the Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail.


  1. ^ David J Breeze and Brian Dobson (1976). Hadrian's Wall. Allen Lane. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-14-027182-1. 
  2. ^ a b c Breeze, David J (1934), Handbook to the Roman Wall (14th Revised edition - Nov 2006), Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 185–186, ISBN 0-901082-65-1 
  3. ^ a b "Milecastle 23". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 29 Aug 2010. 
  4. ^ "Turret 23A". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 29 Aug 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Birley, Eric B (1961), Research on Hadrian's Wall, Titus Wilson & Son, p. 73 
  6. ^ "Turret 23B". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 29 Aug 2010. 


  • Daniels, Charles (1979), "Review: Fact and Theory on Hadrian's Wall", Britannia 10: 357–364, JSTOR 526069 

External links[edit]

Media related to Milecastle 23 at Wikimedia Commons