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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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Layers of history
Topic Started: Apr 19 2009, 08:43 PM (825 Views)
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At the turn of the 19th Century, within a couple hundred meters of the now-visible fort, there were no less than 5 tenant crofts -- Wellmeadow Close, Archy's Flat, Codley Gate, High Foggrigg, and Smiths Chesters -- plus the ruins of a mill down in the valley.

Of all those, the only one to survive today is Codley Gate (which is now a working farm and a self-catering accommodation). Wellmeadow Close lay under the modern visitor's center; Smiths Chesters was right outside the military bath house and has been completely removed; Archy's Flat's foundations lay buried in the fields to the north of the Stanegate; High Foggrigg was in the valley downstream of Vindolanda, now reclaimed by nature. And that ruined mill? You might know the site -- it's now home to Chesterholm, Vindolanda's museum, built 1831.

In the Middle Ages, the Borders had been wild & dangerous. But when the Union of the Crowns brought peace, tenant farmers moved in. They exhausted themselves clearing & improving the land -- removing centuries of scrub and brush. Many generations tried their best to make a living from the land. Of course, their efforts also caused destruction to much of Vindolanda's remains. Ironically, it was this destruction that galvanized the historians of the time to try to protect what was left. People like Anthony Hedley and John Clayton bought up huge swaths of the countryside, saving the ancient stones while sealing the fate of dozens -- or hundreds? -- of similar crofts across the whole Wall frontier.
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