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MILECASTLE 48

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  POLTROSS BURN, POLTROSS BURN MILECASTLE
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Milecastle 48 (Poltross Burn) on Hadrian's Wall. It is situated on the crest of the west bank of a steep gorge, through which the Poltross Burn, tributary of the River Irthing, flows. The milecastle survives as consolidated masonry remains and measures internally 21.5 metres north-south by 18.7 metres across. The walls were built to the broad gauge, initially envisaged for the whole of Hadrian's Wall before a change of plan and narrowing of the width, and the wing walls extend 4 metres either side of the milecastle. The milecastle was excavated in 1886 by R. S. Ferguson and between 1909 and 1911 by F. G. Simpson and J. P. Gibson. These excavations uncovered a range of features including the gateways of the milecastle. The lower courses of a flight of steps were found in the north east corner, suggesting that the rampart walk stood 3.7 metres above ground with the battlements adding further height. An oven was located in the north west angle. Flanking the central space of the milecastle stood long barrack blocks, which are believed to have had more than one phase of construction. Further excavations were undertaken at the milecastle by D. Charlesworth between 1965 and 1966.

The excavated milecastle foundations are visible as ruined structures and buildings on air photographs and were mapped to sub-metre accuracy by Historic England as part of the English Heritage Trust's 'Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Sector Survey'.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.