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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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Illuminating Hadrian's Wall
We thought we had seen as much as we were going to and were heading back to the carpark when we looked back and saw this light at the point where the Wall is cut abruptly by the quarry. It wasn't there for very long, but it was there.

Many thanks to everyone who organised and took part in this momentous event. It was certainly worth the journey up from Nottingham. The traffic jam along the military road later was an experience too. Headlights and tail-lights for miles on end.

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall
Looking east towards Greenhead and Gilsland as the lights head off into the distance.

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall
Looking East as the first lights are seen.

(Some of the lights further east seemed to appear later, slightly out of sequence.)

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall
This one is looking west, with people waiting in anticipation. Anyone recognise themselves?

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall
We went up onto Walltown Crags to watch the Illumination and it was a wonderful experience.

I think I have finally worked out how to make my photos less than 200KB so I can post them on here.

The first is was taken while we were waiting for the sun to set, looking East from near Turret 45A:

Stanegate Milestone -really- in situ?
I have wondered about that milestone too. If the course of the Stanegate is being sought in the fields to the north of Vindolanda, and the farm track passing the north wall of the stone fort is just that - a farm track - it is surely doubtful that this Milestone is in its original position? It is a shame, because the idea of having two exactly a Roman mile apart is so tempting.

That wonderful tome "Frontiers of Knowledge - A Research Framework for Hadrian's Wall" mentions the finding, in 1885, of 5 complete and 2 fragmentary milestones at Crindledykes, just east of Vindolanda. I wonder why they were together and where they are now?

It is also interesting to note that there is at least one other Roman Milestone believed to be still in situ. It is at Temple Sowerby on the A66 in Cumbria. See http://www.stone-circles.org.uk/stone/templesowerby.htm for a picture and more details. I'm kicking myself because I must have driven past it last Saturday and forgot to look out for it.

Helen

How much was still left?
One of my favourite Hadrian's Wall authors was William Hutton. He set out on foot from Birmingham in 1801 at the age of 78 and walked the length of Hadrian's Wall in both directions before walking home (a round trip of some 600 miles).

He did not visit Vindolanda but included it in his account of his journey for completeness. His researches at the time led him to believe that Vindolanda served as a prison. He says 'that this is corroborated by a remark of our writers, "That there was discovered under a heap of rubbish a square room below the ground, strongly vaulted, and paved with large square stones, set in lime; and under this another room, whose roof was supported by rows of square pillars." These two rooms could answer no end but that of a prison.'

Does anyone know which building this was, and who "our writers" may have been?

NB if anyone wants an entertaining read, the account has been republished by Frank Graham of Newcastle with ISBN 0859831302. It is interesting to compare the view of antiquarians of the time with what we now believe to be the true history of the wall.

Thanks

Helen