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Viewing Single Post From: Last Record of Vindolanda before Hedley
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Actually, I am loath to doubt Harry in such matters, but I'm not so sure about the assertion that Hedley was the first author of the 19th century to write about Vindolanda.

There was William Hutton's account called "The History of the Roman Wall" published in 1802. It has about 6 pages on Vindolanda (pp. 242-7), or rather Vindolana [sic] as he calls it, otherwise known as Little Chesters. You can find the book on Google Books here: http://books.google.com/books/about/The_history_of_the_Roman_wall.html?id=gwQ2AAAAMAAJ.

There is also a very amusing account of the author's meal and night's accommodations at the Twice-Brewed on pp. 229-232.

I have transcribed the Vindolanda section, which follows:

Little Chesters.

I think myself bound to place Little Chesters among the Stations, that I may follow my predecessors, and not break their numerical order. Although Roman, and garrisoned by Romans, it does not appear to belong to the works of Severus. It stands nearly two miles South of the Wall.

Agricola erected Castles adjoining his works; but this stands nearly a mile south of his, therefore it could add no security.

It probably was used as a prison, and this is corroborated by a remark of our writers, "That there was discovered under a hear 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.

There are four Stations, of the eighteen, smaller than the rest, which are detached from the Wall, and lie considerably to the South:

  • Little Chesters;
  • Carvoran;
  • Cambeck Fort; and
  • Watch Cross.

As Little Chesters is the first that occurs, it is necessary to speak of all the four.

Hadrian and Severus could have nothing to do with these. They were most probably the work of Agricola. That he made the banks and ditches I have described in his name, is not doubted. That he erected some Castles, is as clear; but, for many ages, all his ramparts, mounds, and Castles, have gone under the name of Hadrian's.

If he erected Castles and mounds, there must have been roads to communicate with them. It is reasonable then to conclude, that he was the author of all the roads appertaining to his Works.

A Roman road went from Walwick Chesters, directly to Little Chesters, and left Carrowburgh and Housesteads much on the right. It then from Little Chesters to Carvoran, leaving Great Chesters on the right, and directed its course to Cambeck Fort, leaving Burdoswald to the right, and then took its course to Watch Cross. All these four Stations lie to the South, totally distinct from Severus' Wall, or Stations; Agricola must have formed them for the accommodation of this works.

The road I have described is about eighteen miles; besides many smaller roads, which were connected with his grand undertaking. It may be considered as a string, and Severus' Wall, the bow. It ends in the great military way, and joins Severus's Wall, about four miles before we came to Carlisle, in all about twenty-eight miles.

Severus, afterwards, constructed a great number of roads now to be seen, which branched from this towards the North, and communicated with his Wall, Stations, &c.

The Wall, at Wall-green, takes a small turn, and continues about three feet high. broken as usual; and Severus's Ditch is in high preservation, as we rise the hill to the next Station.

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Last Record of Vindolanda before Hedley · Primary Sources