Hadrian’s Wallsend

The remains of the Roman fort of Segedunum, marking the eastern end of Hadrian’s wall and its new interpretation centre.

Recent excavations by Newcastle University of the remains of Segedunum, the enormous fort marking the extreme eastern end of Hadrian's Wall, have resulted in what has been claimed to be the most detailed examination of a fort throughout the entire Roman empire. After eight years out of sight of the public, Segedunum and its accompanying interpretation centre re-opened this summer affording visitors a glimpse of 'the only original section of Hadrian's Wall hi the first seven miles of it', and revealing the exposed ground plan of the fort that is unique in its completeness.

At about the year AD 125 engineers working on the Wall discovered what seems to have been a miscalculation at the eastern end. There, the wall terminated in what is now the heart of Newcastle - on the riverside below the present site of the Norman castle. However, three or four miles further on, the Tyne appears to have been easily crossed, so that a disaffected force could slip around the eastern end of the giant fortification. The decision was made to continue the Wall for another four miles terminating it in a massive fort. So big and powerful was the fort that it entered history under the name Segedunum, probably derived from the Celtic for 'powerful' or 'victorious'. A spur of the wall was continued down to the river and possibly ended in a monument commemorating the completion of the extraordinary achievement.

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