Hadrian’s Wall to stand strong with £1.3million cash injection

Hadrian's Wall was originally built to protect the Roman Empire from barbarians Credit: University of Newcastle
Newcastle University experts are set to begin an ambitious project to ensure the future of Hadrian’s Wall thanks to £1.3million from The National Lottery.

Built to protect the Roman Empire from barbarians, Hadrian’s Wall is now facing a different but equally perilous threat as parts of it become damaged by severe weather and erosion caused by tourists and animals.  

Local community involvement

Newcastle University’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology will identify a number of locations which need attention at the World Heritage Site. This includes cemeteries and the enigmatic earthwork known as the Vallum. To encourage local involvement a volunteer army will be recruited to work along the length of the Roman monument.

“This project will give different people interested in the Wall and its landscape the chance to work together.”Professor Sam Turner, University of Newcastle

Professor Sam Turner, Project Lead and Head of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, said: “This project will give different people interested in the Wall and its landscape the chance to work together. We are very excited to have the opportunity - thanks in part to National Lottery players - to take practical steps that will help conserve the Wall and better understand our shared heritage.”

Preventing site deterioration

The university team will train volunteers to help assess and prevent sites deteriorating beyond repair. This will include 3D surveying with terrestrial laser scanning of the ancient monument, conservation work, archaeological excavations and geological work to analyse and map the kinds of stone used in the Wall.

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “What stands out about these proposals is the University of Newcastle’s belief that local communities should be central to the management of the area.  We know that people look after places they love and with this crucial support from the National Lottery we hope that there will be a much greater understanding of Hadrian’s Wall and the ancient stories and surprises that it continues to throw up.”

Next steps

Community events and open days will be held throughout the three-year project which gets underway in 2018.  The project will officially end in 2021 but the team of trained wall volunteers will continue to be involved with the site. 

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