NY9864 : Corstopitum - view of site from southwest corner

taken 11 years ago, near to Corbridge, Northumberland, England

Corstopitum - view of site from southwest corner
Corstopitum - view of site from southwest corner
Now referred to as "Corbridge Roman Town" by English Heritage LinkExternal link - but the place-name appears in contemporary records as both Corstopitum and Corie Lopocarium LinkExternal link. The site was strategically placed at the intersection of Dere Street, one of the principal routes into Scotland, and a line of communication between the Tyne and Solway.

Soon after Roman victories in modern Scotland, around AD 84, a new fort was built on the present site with turf ramparts and timber gates; it was probably occupied by a 500-strong cavalry unit. This fort was destroyed by fire in AD 105. A second timber fort was built guarding a major crossing of the River Tyne at a time when the Solway Firth-Tyne divide was the Roman frontier. Around AD 120, when Hadrian’s Wall was built, the fort was again rebuilt, probably to house infantry troops away from the Wall. The first stone fort was erected about twenty years later, when the frontier was pushed further north and the Antonine Wall built.

After the Romans fell back to Hadrian's Wall in AD 163, the army seems to have been largely removed from the fort. Its ramparts were levelled and a major rebuilding programme of a very different nature was instigated. A series of probable temples were erected, followed by granaries, a fountain house and a large courtyard complex which may have been intended to become a civilian forum or a military storehouse and workshop establishment. It was never finished to its original plan.

In the early 3rd century there was more construction. Two compounds opposite the supposed forum were built as part of a military supply depot within the town. Information on the 3rd and 4th century town is lacking, but an elaborate house was certainly put up which may have housed an Imperial official of some kind. Corstopitum was probably a major market centre for the mineral industries in the area – lead, iron and coal – as well as agriculture, as evidenced by the granaries. A pottery store has also been identified. When occupation came to an end is unclear. It is not even known if the site was still occupied when the Anglo-Saxons arrived to found adjoining Corbridge.

The excavated area open to visitors is around 130 m square - but this is only a fraction of the whole Roman town, which covered about 27 acres (11 hectares); the site museum contains some of the wealth of material found during excavation, including the Corbridge Lion NY9864 : Corstopitum - the Corbridge Lion.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Lowlands Historic sites and artefacts other tags: Roman Archaeological Site Click a tag, to view other nearby images.
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · River Tyne [103] · Street in Corbridge [65] · Corbridge Roman [60] · Corstopitum [42] · Market Place [35] · Market Cross [20] · Granaries [18] · Roman Fort [8] · View of site from Southwest Corner [4] · Compound Contained [3] Other Photos: · Corstopitum - view of site from southwest corner (2) · Corstopitum - view of site from southwest corner (3) · Corstopitum - view of site from southwest corner (4) · Corstopitum - west compound · Corstopitum - east compound · Corstopitum - east and west compounds · Corstopitum - east and west compounds (2) · Corstopitum - east and west compounds (3) · Corstopitum - west compound (2) · Corstopitum - view of site from northeast corner · Corstopitum - forum/storehouse · Corstopitum - the Corbridge Lion · Corstopitum - west granary · Corstopitum - west granary (2) · Corstopitum - east granary · Corstopitum - east granary (detail of floor) · Corstopitum - east granary (2) · Corstopitum - Stanegate · Corstopitum - side street · Corstopitum - west compound: workshops · Corstopitum - west compound: temple · Corstopitum - east compound: barracks · Corstopitum - east compound: barracks and houses · Corstopitum - east compound: houses · Corstopitum - forum/storehouse: east wing · Corstopitum - side street and west compound · Corstopitum - forum/storehouse: west wing · Corstopitum - fountain house · Corstopitum - base of column · Corstopitum - fountain house (2) · Corstopitum - columns in front of the granaries · Corstopitum - west compound: workshops (2) · (The line of) Stanegate east of Corstopitum · The River Tyne below Corstopitum · The Tyne Valley north of Corstopitum · Corstopitum - forum/storehouse: west wing (2) ·
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NY9864, 669 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Mike Quinn   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Saturday, 2 March, 2013   (more nearby)
Sunday, 3 March, 2013
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NY 9828 6478 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:58.6575N 2:1.7043W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NY 98148 64801
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
Clickable map
W Go E
Image classification(about): Geograph
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