Forts of Hadrian’s Wall: Chesters

The last in the series on the Roman forts of Hadrian’s Wall is all about Chesters Roman Fort which incorporates the Clayton Museum.

The forts of Hadrian’s Wall

Chesters was one of the large permanent cavalry forts on Hadrian’s Wall (known to the Romans as Cilurnum) and is situated along the North Tyne river, near to the village of Chollerford.

Quite a number of military units were based here during the Roman occupation of Britain, including the 6th Legion and a Cohort of Auxiliary infantry soldiers from Dalmatia (modern day Romania).

The First Cohort of Dalmatia ….was here.

The Clayton Museum is rather small but excellent and jam-packed with loads of artefacts and finds from the site.

Things to have a look at on the Fort site include:

  • The info board debating the real purpose for Hadrian’s Wall
  • The barracks and stable block
  • The commander’s house
  • The baths (the lockers are so cute!)

Have a look at the English Heritage site for more information about the fort and booking times.

There was once a Roman bridge crossing the river, however today you can only see the remains of this in the river itself (if you look carefully)

On the other side of the river is the Chesters Bridge Abutment or remains of the bridge support. To get there, is probably advisable to go on foot as there is no parking. It’s not far (about 1 km) and you can take a slow stroll out of Chesters (turn right) and just follow the road to the traffic lights. (The Riverside Kitchen is on the corner, opposite the George Hotel). Turn right and follow the English Heritage signs.

A little further up the road from the Abutment is Brunton Turret which illustrates how the Romans adapted the engineering of the Wall slightly by reducing its thickness.

Brunton Turret

The Riverside Kitchen is a great stop for light meals or just a coffee 😊 on the way back to the car park at Chesters.

Excellent hot chocolate 🙂

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All images used are personal photographs taken during a visit to Northumberland in October 2021.

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