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MILECASTLE 39

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The site of Roman milecastle 39, part of the defences on Hadrian's Wall. The north gate, north wall and wing foundations were built first together with the foundations of the east wall and the butt end of the west wall, these foundations were later reduced and set in steps cut into the hillslope because of the steep slope. In earlier phases a long barrack stood on the west side with a row of small buildings on the east. Excavations in 1986 showed that the road that ran through the milecastle was restricted to 2 metres across by post holes on one side and barracks on the other. In the south-east corner was a stone oven and the south-west corner a rectangular building with a sunken floor associated with Roman finds. The south gate was found to be clay bonded whinstone boulders rather than the sandstobne blocks of the north gate which suggests that the south gate had no tower. The latest Roman buildings lay on the west side with doorways facing the east, these were then given curving porches that overlay the road. The north gateway was narrowed in Phase V; the milecastle appears to have been occupied until the late 4th century. In the 18th century a possible milking house was built in the west corner. The milecastle is now consolidated and the walls are up to 1.75 metres high.

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