Archaeology project aims to uncover the legacy of Hadrian’s Wall

Organised by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWM), the project will take place over three years and will involve more than 500 people from the North East taking part in excavations and events, and helping to carry out research into the Eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall, from its starting point in Wallsend and heading as far West as Hexham and Corbridge.

Paul Bidwell, Senior Manager at TWM Archaeology explains: “It’s well known that the Wall begins at Wallsend and stretches for 73 miles to the West. But how many people know that there are the remains of a Roman fort in Benwell, or that Newcastle’s Westgate Road follows the route which Hadrian’s Wall once took through the city? Through this new project, we want to get people from the region involved in finding out more about the history of Hadrian’s Wall in the North East, and how it shaped the region as we know it today.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “We at the Heritage Lottery Fund are pleased to support Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and bring their vision for Hadrians Wall a step-closer to reality. There is still work to be done in developing the project but we will be offering our full support in taking their application further.”

The project aims to uncover details about the lesser-known sections of Hadrian’s Wall, including large sections which are hidden under modern roads and buildings.

Some of the region’s museums including Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum in South Shields, Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum in Wallsend and the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle will play host to a range of talks and events. Arbeia and Segedunum are both Roman forts which were built at the same time as the Wall and the Great North Museum: Hancock is home to the largest collection of Roman finds relating to the Wall.

Paul Bidwell adds: "This will be the biggest community archaeology project which has ever taken place in the region. We hope that people will be able to develop new skills, take part in excavations and research, and ultimately find out more about one of our region’s most important historic sites.”

Martin Williams, Principal Trading and Development Manager at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, said: “We’re all delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to support this exciting project and award £10,000 to help us develop our ideas further. Over the next six months we will be consulting with local communities to find out how they can become more actively engaged in the heritage of the Wall. We will also be approaching other funders in the region and farther afield to ensure the project can go ahead as planned in autumn 2012.”

Notes to editors

*A first-round pass/initial support means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award. On occasion, an applicant with a first-round pass will also be awarded development funding towards the development of their scheme.

More details on the project are available at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums  

Further information

Emma Pybus, Corporate Communications Officer, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums on 0191 277 2309 or emma.pybus@twmuseums.org.uk

Laura Bates, Media Officer, Heritage Lottery Fund on 020 7591 6027 or lbates@hlf.org.uk

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