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BENWELL VALLUM CROSSING

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The exposed remains of a stone-built Roman causeway, where the Roman road from the south crossed the Vallum earthwork on its way to Benwell fort. The Vallum crossing comprised revetted vertical sides of masonry covered by a heavily metalled road. On the axis of the ditch the causeway was crowned by a monumental, non-defensive gateway, which, even after the ditch was obliterated in about AD 200, was maintained for the remainder of the Roman period. The Vallum causeway contained six periods of road metalling. The first has been assigned to Hadrian and the third from bottom to Severus. The remaining upper levels are of uncertain date. Pivot-stones of the gates appear in the first (Hadrianic) and fifth levels; the latter may have represented an attempt to fortify the vicus which had grown up after the Vallum had been filled.

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