Fraggle report ~ Arbeia Roman Fort & Museum, Sept 2016, part 1

The History bit….

The ancient Romans certainly left their mark across the world.  Hadrian’s Wall was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in 122 AD in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire, immediately north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britains.

The Roman fort at Arbeia once guarded the entrance to the river Tyne and served as a supply centre, receiving goods from across the North Sea and along the east coast to supply the thousands of Roman troops stationed along Hadrian’s Wall.  The foundations of granaries, barracks and the headquarters building can be clearly made out and the site museum houses a fine collection of objects found during the on-going programme of excavations at the site.  Part of the garrison at one time was a squadron of specialist boatmen from the banks of the river Tigris in what is now Iraq.  A squadron of Spanish cavalry was also stationed here. Finds from the site illustrate the cosmopolitan nature of its changing population.  Arbeia Roman Fort has stunning full-scale reconstructions of original buildings including the commander’s house, a barrack block and a gatehouse providing a unique and inspiring insight into Roman military life.

And I live 20 minutes away from it, so back in May on a sunny day, went to visit.

The gatehouse
The gatehouse

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Situated in Baring Street, South Shields, the modern town has grown around the ancient fort.

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The view of the fort layout from the top of the gatehouse.  The white buildings just right of centre are the reconstructed barracks, which we’ll look at in part 2.

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and how it would have looked back in the day

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