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GREAT CHESTERS ROMAN FORT

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  AESICA
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The earthwork remains of Great Chesters (Aesica) Roman fort. It occupies an area of 3.36 acres (1.36 ha) and was one of the final Wall forts (with Carrawburgh) to be built in circa AD 128-38, it was simply attached to the rear of the Wall. The buildings of Great Chesters Farm impose on its north side and it is cut by a farm track on its east. The north extreme of the fort is defined by Hadrian's Wall and the line of the Military Way is presumed to enter and leave through the east and west gateways. The excavations which revealed various internal buildings have now been backfilled though there are various earthworks indicating the sites of buildings. Of the angle-towers only the SW and NW examples are now visible; some stretches of the fort wall still survive. Excavations uncovered late Roman 'chalets'. The outer defences appear to consist of two ditches on the east and south with four ditches on the west side as revealed by excavation. The west gate still shows the later blocking of the portal, on other fort sites this tended to be removed by the excavators. A hoard of late 2nd century jewellery was recovered from the western guard-chamber of the south gate.

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