Milecastle 7

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Milecastle 7
West Road (A186) - geograph.org.uk - 4421551.jpg
Milecastle 7 probably lies near the A186 road
Denton Hall Turret on the Roman Wall - geograph.org.uk - 103160.jpg
Turret 7B and attached wall
Milecastle 7 is located in Tyne and Wear
Milecastle 7
Milecastle 7
Milecastle 7 shown within Tyne and Wear
OS grid reference NZ20806510
Coordinates 54°58′48″N 1°40′35″W / 54.980119°N 1.676469°W / 54.980119; -1.676469Coordinates: 54°58′48″N 1°40′35″W / 54.980119°N 1.676469°W / 54.980119; -1.676469
List of places
UK
England
Tyne and Wear

Milecastle 7 (Benwell Bank or Benwell Hill) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. The milecastle itself has not been discovered by archaeologists and its presumed location lies beneath a modern housing development. Roman finds have been made in the area and the associated structure of Turret 7B is a significant surviving structure of the wall.

Construction[edit]

Milecastle 7 has not been located. English Heritage currently lists it at a presumed location midway between Turret 6B (which was located in 1751) and Turret 7A (which has visible remains).[1] This location is covered by modern housing development.[1]

Excavations and investigations[edit]

A site investigation in 1928 failed to discover any trace of the milecastle.[1] Three stones have been found in the area of Milecastle 7 bearing the markings of the Legio II Augusta. Their style dates them to the late 2nd century AD, suggesting that the wall here was repaired around that date.[2]

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 7 are known as Turret 7A and Turret 7B.

Turret 7A[edit]

Turret 7A is located in Denton Burn, in between Thorntree Drive and Brignall Gardens off the A186.[3] During the construction of a nearby house in 1923 a sestertius coin dating to the reign of Emperor Trajan was discovered.[3] Another coin was found in 1929.[3]

Location: 54°58′55″N 1°40′57″W / 54.981843°N 1.682549°W / 54.981843; -1.682549 (Turret 7A)

Turret 7B[edit]

Turret 7B (Denton Hall Turret or Denton Turret) is located in West Denton opposite East Denton Hall (also known as Bishops House) on West Road.[4] The turret is up to six courses high and is made from sandstone. It is recessed by 5 feet (1.5 m) into a section of the broad part of Hadrian's Wall that measures 65m long.[4] Turret 7B is 13 feet (4.0 m) wide north to south and 14 feet (4.3 m) east to west with a 3 feet 8 inches (1.12 m) wide entrance in its south side.[4] The wall associated with Turret 7B is the furthest east of the known surviving sections.[5]

The interior of Turret 7B

The turret was first located in 1928 and excavated by the Office of Works in 1929.[4] The excavation discovered a heap of pottery in the centre of the east wall, which has been suggested as the location of a window.[6] Three different levels of floor were found suggesting three stages of occupation of 122–196, 205–295 and 300–367 AD.[4][6] The original floor was constructed of clay and contained a hearth and a stone box, with a stone bowl on it, the floor had been partially repaired with flagstones. A spearhead and the binding from a shield were discovered within the repair.[6] A building had been constructed over the turret and 18th-century pottery remains associated with this were also found.[6] Another excavation was carried out in 1936.[4] It has been proposed that Turret 7B was one of the structures garrisoned by soldiers based at the Condercum fort in Benwell.[7]

The turret was placed under English Heritage guardianship by 1971.[4] The turret and attached wall are maintained as a single property by English Heritage (known as "Denton Hall Turret"). The organisation operates the property as an open access site with no entrance fees.[8][9] Turret 7B was the first site on Hadrian's Wall visited in Guy de la Bédoyère's BBC Radio 4 series The Romans in Britain.[10]

Location: 54°59′03″N 1°41′28″W / 54.984139°N 1.691234°W / 54.984139; -1.691234 (Turret 7B)

Monument records[edit]

Monument Monument Number English Heritage Archive Number
Milecastle 7 24841 NZ 26 NW 1
Turret 7A 24842 NZ 26 NW 2
Turret 7B 22648 NZ 16 NE 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Milecastle 7". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Breeze, David J (1934), Handbook to the Roman Wall (14th Revised edition – Nov 2006), Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, p. 158, ISBN 0-901082-65-1 
  3. ^ a b c "Turret 7A". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Turret 7B". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Hadrian's Wall, England". The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d Breeze, David J (1934), Handbook to the Roman Wall (14th Revised edition – Nov 2006), Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, p. 160, ISBN 0-901082-65-1 
  7. ^ Lindsay, Allason-Jones. "Material culture and identity" (PDF). Archaeology Data Service. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Denton Hall Turret". English Heritage. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Denton Hall Turret (Hadrian's Wall)". Britain Express. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Hadrian's Wall". BBC. Retrieved 18 May 2010.