|Attested by||Notitia Dignitatum|
|Place in the Roman world|
|— Stone structure —|
|Stationed military units|
|— Cohorts —|
|— Alae —|
|I Augusta ?|
|Media related to Cilurnum at Wikimedia Commons|
Cilurnum or Cilurvum was a fort on Hadrian's Wall mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum. It is now identified with the fort found at Chesters (also known as Walwick Chesters to distinguish it from other sites named Chesters in the vicinity) near the village of Walwick, Northumberland, England. It was built in 123 AD, just after the wall's completion.
Cilurnum is considered to be the best preserved Roman cavalry fort along Hadrian's Wall. The site is now preserved by English Heritage as Chester's Roman Fort. There is a museum on the site, housing finds from the fort and elsewhere along the wall.
The site guarded a bridge, Chesters Bridge, carrying the Military Way Roman road behind the wall across the River North Tyne. Massive abutments survive of this bridge across the river from the fort. Cilurnum was a cavalry fort at its foundation, for retaliatory raids into barbarian areas north of the wall, then given over to infantry later. Hadrian himself encouraged the "Cult of Disciplina" amongst legions stationed at the wall, and an early inscription on an altar dedicated to Disciplina, found in 1978, indicates the earliest known military presence was a wing of cavalry, ala Augusta ob virtutem appellata ("named Augusta because of its valour"). Inscriptions have also been found showing the First Cohort of Dalmatians, from present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina(Yugoslavia), and the First Cohort of Vangiones from Upper Rhineland in Germany were also stationed here.
Four large Roman columns, believed to come from Cilurnum, may be seen supporting the south aisle in the church of St Giles at Chollerton, a couple of miles upstream from the fort.
In the early 19th century Nathaniel Clayton, owner of Chesters House and Estate, moved hundreds of tons of earth to cover over the last remains of the fort as part of his parkland landscaping, thereby creating a smooth uninterrupted grassland slope down to the River Tyne; However, he collected, before they disappeared, a number of Roman artefacts which he preserved in the family.
His son John Clayton, a noted antiquarian, when he inherited the estate in 1832, with a crew of workmen, un-did his father's landscaping, exposing the fort, excavating the ruins, and establishing a small museum for the finds. John Clayton also purchased and made excavations at Housesteads Fort, Carrawburgh Mithraic Temple, and Carvoran, and other historic sites.
- Roman Britain
- Chesters Roman Fort and Museum - Hadrian's Wall - English Heritage
- Historic England. "Museum, grade II* listed (239983)". Images of England.
- "Chesters Roman Fort: Acquisition/Disposal Policy (2001-2006):". Retrieved 2007-11-26.[dead link]
- Chesters Roman Fort and Museum - Hadrian's Wall - official site English Heritage
- CILURNUM FORT On the line of Hadrian's Wall as it exists today