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From Aug 2006 - Nov 2013 WeDig provided a live forum for diggers & fans of Vindolanda. It has now been mothballed and will be maintained as a live archive.

Here you will find preserved 7 years of conversation, photos, & knowledge about a site many people love. Vindolanda gets under the skin. (Figuratively and literally as a volunteer excavator!) It's a place you remember, filled with people you remember!

Thanks for 7 great years!

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Vindolanda FIeld School blog
Great views of Hardknott - you guys were lucky in driving up that road! When we went from school in North Yorkshire in the early 1960's, we WALKED up that hill (and down!). Did you get to go on Lile Ratty? The small train that goes to Ravenglass...a must for all seekers for enjoyment of the area. If you didn't....go again :D

Our history teacher had a real thing about that Roman site - we went twice.


Week 13
Yes, am viewing - nice pix, looking forward to Thursday - up for Friends' Evening on Saturday. Hope its not like last year where there was a nice display of brollies! :D

Week 12
SacoHarry I noticed on one of snowglobe's pictures from a couple days ago what looks like a farm track running just past the southern edge of the trench. Picture attached. But I don't know if that's the same feature or is just from a recent tractor pass.

You may remember a large spoil heap alongside the gate? Well it got moved the third week of May by 2 hired tractors who trundled across the North Field and dumped it over the far side.

So it was not 'one tractor pass' but 2 constantly working to and fro. It got interesting when they met passing traffic on the Stanegate! :D

A day out
Regarding the Potwasher Hints - there is a list hanging in the back room of the shed, telling what to do and how the Directors like their potsherds washed.... I left the list there last month.

About the odd graffiti and such - I have asked Andy and this is what he said -

"Both graffiti and stamps require proper research and referencing before the details are released, and, more to the point, the release of this information is held back for the report where it can be seen in proper context. Any breach of this would be seen as serious breach of trust, and would be regarded as academically unsound and hurt the reputation of the site, therefore I cannot allow it to happen. Really the same applies to a bulk of pottery."

So, sorry folks, I'm afraid the answer is very much a "No"


A day out
Just because Hedley was in Beltingham and Roman altars were found as a cross base in the churchyard does not mean that he put the altars there in the first place.

In fact it isn't what a Reverend gent of that time would do. They would be installed as a special find somewhere in his house - a lot of clerics did this in Victorian times for their visitors to see and exclaim over - or in the local 'museum'. Why, therefore, would he have them used as a cross base? Not logical.

All the places along the South Tyne and indeed, elsewhere, have had long histories, way before the Romans came. This link is interesting: you need to get past the 'yew trees' to find the relevant bit


A day out
Have you ever been in Hexham Abbey crypt? That was built in Saxon times by St Wilfrid (who covered a lot of ground and got everywhere...even to Derbyshire!) and is full of Roman carved stones.

It is fairly well known about the reuse of Roman carved or plain stones being found in Saxon churches or altars being used as bases for others, columns for fonts and the like.

Repton crypt in Derbyshire also has Roman stone in it, presumed from Derventio (Little Chester Fort, Derby) up the road. They made use of what was to hand. Corbridge church is also made of Roman stone from Corbridge Roman Town, as is Escomb stone from Binchester. Roman altars got used as door sills at Vindolanda.

It was perhaps, a way of Christianising pagan carvings. What better way to Christianise Roman altars by making them into bases for a Christian cross?

Appalled priests? No, definitely not....they were casting out the worship that went before. If they were so appalled why did they build churches in Roman forts? They certainly didn't mind building churches there - too many of those to mention BUT Portchester has a church in it, Ilkley (Olicana) also has a church in it, and so, of course, did Vindolanda. Many local churches in Northumberland have Roman stone in them.

Useful links : http://www.anglo-saxon-churches.co.uk/intro.html

Another suggestion is that Beltingham was an early sacred site with the altars already in place - "....nearby woodland implies that the artesian springs, still welling up there just by the river, were possibly a pre-existing sacred site. The find of a Roman altar close by the church is also suggestive." Description of Old Malton Church, East Yorkshire - see the link


There's a lot of info out there ...... it is not mysterious at all.

A day out

Don't forget that most of the building stone in that area came from Vindolanda. Williemoteswick/Williamswick/Willimontswyk Castle (across from Bardon Mill) is built of it and parts of that are medieval, so maybe not Hedley and the vicar at fault in Beltingham.

A day out

We discovered that this place is not called Belting - ham, as we've been calling it for the past 15 years, but Beltinge - am. Same goes for Bellingham - it's Bellinge - am.

(..'inge' as in 'singe' - to burn or char). We had this info from Pauline so it must be right! :)

Could this be applied to other places? E.g. Birminge-am - well the locals there call it Brummagem, so perhaps its countrywide and we've all be getting it wrong. ;) (also Nottinge-am....originally called Snottingaham. I'm not making this up! :D )

We went to 'Beltinge-am' to look for grave markers belonging to my late great uncle's Usher family and found a set of Bowes-Lyons family graves by the entrance. The Bowes-Lyons belonged to the late Queen Mother's family, and they owned Ridley Hall amongst other places. You would have to go past the Hall if you go to that churchyard by car. The Hall's a lovely place, both inside and out, but I'm not sure if it is generally open to the public. However, if you are getting married, it's a now a wealthy wedding venue....

The Hall gardens back on to Allenbanks where you can go for walks, courtesy of the National Trust.

Here is a link referring to one of the Haltwhistle Rings walks 'The Allenbanks Walk' - ignore the fact that the first bit is upside down as its a scanned a leaflet (on the other hand, they may be catering for our DownUnder visitors :P )


Week 8
I really thought I'd cleaned something interesting on 24th May.

See photograph...

I thought it was part of a glass rod used for curling Roman ladies' hair but no, its the glass stem off a modern bottle! :'(