Corbridge Roman Town - History and Facts | History Hit

Corbridge Roman Town

Corbridge, England, United Kingdom

Corbridge Roman Town was a thriving Ancient Roman settlement near Hadrian’s Wall, and is now a well-preserved site operated by English Heritage.

Lily Johnson

12 Apr 2021

About Corbridge Roman Town

Corbridge Roman Town was a thriving ancient Roman settlement near Hadrian’s Wall that served as a military garrison, supply centre, and hub of civilian life. Today its well-preserved ruins may be explored, affording guests an insight into the world of Roman Britain.

Corbridge Roman Town history

Before Emperor Hadrian built his famous 73-mile wall, a succession of forts occupied the site of Corbridge from around 85 AD. These forts were built at a crossing of the River Tyne, and sat along one of the main routes northwards at the junction of Dere Street and the Stanegate – two of the most important Roman thoroughfares.

In 128 AD, Corbridge was modified to provide support for Hadrian’s Wall, built just 2.5 miles north, and became a key site for soldiers passing through on their way there. In the early 160s AD, Corbridge also became a base for legionaries, hosting the Twentieth Legion and Sixth Legion. Its original name, Coria, means ‘hosting place’ in Celtic, symbolising its role as a meeting place at the northwestern frontier of the Empire.

Following its occupation by the legionaries, a vast rebuilding program began at Corbridge. Its granaries were rebuilt, alongside a huge warehouse and market complex consisting of a number of rooms around a central courtyard, indicating its use as an important supply centre.

By the 3rd century, Corbridge had grown a thriving civilian centre around its military garrison and supply centre, and was the capital of the local administrative division. After the Romans’ departure from Britain in the 5th century however, it was rapidly abandoned and fell to ruin.

Corbridge Roman Town today

Today, Corbridge Roman Town is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public. Visitors can explore the roads and remains of the town, which include its well-preserved granaries, houses, workshops and markets. Most of the remains date from the 3rd and 4th centuries, with a small amount of wall from the original 1st century fort visible within the courtyard building.

The site’s accompanying museum offers one of the best collections of Roman artefacts in the country, and includes a fascinating array of items from the ancient town. Highlights include the Corbridge Lion, a magnificent stone statue once featured atop a Roman fountain, a gaming board complete with counters, die, and shaker, and the ‘hunt cup’, an ornate pottery vessel depicting a hunting scene.

Also within the museum is the Corbridge Hoard, found inside a chest buried over 1,900 years ago by a Roman soldier. Inside, a number of artefacts were unearthed including a suit of Roman armour used in the first reconstruction of its kind.

Getting to Corbridge Roman Town

Corbridge Roman Town is located half a mile north-west of the village of Corbridge, on a minor road off the A69. Free parking is available at the site, with additional parking in Corbridge by the river. Corbridge train station is a 25-minute walk to the site, while the 686 bus service runs to the Roman Town entrance stop directly outside. A number of other bus services run into the centre of Corbridge, from which it is 15-minute walk to the site.