24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022

In Search of Hadrian’s Wall in Ouseburn

Byker and Ouseburn Valley east of Newcastle City Centre

20 Feb 2022 - 20 Nov 2022

Sunday 20th February 11am, Wednesday 18th May 6pm, Wednesday 10th August 6pm, Sunday 20th November 2022 11am

DELIVERED BY: Ouseburn Trust 

The real route of Hadrian’s Wall through the east end of Newcastle from Segedunum at Wallsend does not follow the quayside as the Hadrian’s Wall Path would have visitors believe. Archaeological remains indicate a route inland of this through Byker, along the Shields Road and on to New Bridge Street on its way into the city. Between these two key thoroughfares’ lies the Ouseburn Valley, where the river Ouseburn flows into the Tyne. On the eastern edge of the valley a small Roman altar was excavated in 1884 and is thought to mark the position of Milecastle 3. On the western edge at Red Barns wall remains have also been found. The route of the wall through the valley was documented in an illustration by Willian Stukeley in 1725 and on the Britannia Romana map by John Horsley in 1732. Written accounts by Sir John Clerk in 1724 and William Hutton in 1801 also vouch for its presence. By the time of John Collingwood Bruce’s visit in 1848 however, no traces remained. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the Ouseburn valley was the site of heavy industrialisation, taking its toll on the landscape. Roman stones are likely to have been re-purposed or, it has been suggested, used as foundations for the brick arches of Byker Bridge built in 1878. 

This 90-minute guided walk led by Lesley Turner and George Davies from Ouseburn Trust will look at past and present projects to uncover the route of the wall through the valley, including recent archaeological finds. The walk also aims to include a stop at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, where the Byker altar will be on display during 2022 thanks to The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne. The walk is approximately 2 miles and includes some steep climbs. 

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