Remains of Roman road found in Northumberland

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Archaeologists working on a site near Ingoe in Northumberland have found the remains of an elusive Roman road. Local company AAG Archaeology was searching for a road known as the Devil’s Causeway.

Remains of Roman road found in Northumberland
A drone shot looks down at the Devil’s Causeway, in Northumberland [Credit: AAG Archaeology]

The road can be traced from Portgate on Hadrian’s Wall, near the Errington Arms, to the mouth of the River Tweed, but parts of it have remained uncovered.

A long feature crossing the site north of Matfen divided the opinion of experts, with some believing it to be the remains of the Devil’s Causeway and others suggesting it was merely an old dry stone wall.

In an attempt to put the question to bed, AAG Archaeologists cut several trenches to view a cross section of the remains, and found a defining characteristic of the Roman road.

The team discovered a stone spine, seen at excavations of the Devil’s Causeway near Netherwitton in 2001 and Shellbraes in 1937.

Team leader Jon Welsh said: “When we looked at all the available evidence and alternative theories, it always kept coming back to the Devil’s Causeway being the only viable explanation. The layer of possible metalling doesn’t seem to be the core of a wall, it seems too small to be anything other than the metalling of the Devil’s Causeway.”

Remains of Roman road found in Northumberland
Archaeologists at the Devil’s Causeway, in Northumberland [Credit: AAG Archaeology]

Jon also found the rusted remains of a Roman knife and belt buckle, giving further credit to their claims.

The team were aided in their work through the use of drones, which gave them a bird’s eye view of the site.

Jon’s assistant, Cleo McQuarrie, said: “One of the problems we had was that the site was so big we couldn’t see all of it at once.

“But every time we sent a drone up, it started to look more and more like a Roman road.

“The technology is amazing; it’s like having your own satellite images in real time on demand.”

Source: Hexham Courant [February 14, 2018]

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