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Chesters Museum and John Clayton’s House, Chesters Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

The land on which Chesters Fort was uncovered belonged to a man called John Clayton. His house is right beside the site of the fort:-

House by Chesters Fort, Hadrian's Wall

House at  Chesters Fort, Hadrian's Wall

There’s some elegant topiary, not to mention a lovely tree, in its grounds:-

Topiary and Tree near Chesters Fort, Hadrian's Wal

Just beyond the English Heritage entrance to Chesters Fort, past the path leading to the ruins is the Chesters Museum where many of the artefacts uncovered by the excavations are displayed.

Hadrian’s Wall Milestones:-

Hadrian's Wall Milestones, Chesters Museum, Chesters Fort

More Milestones, Chesters Fort, Hadrian's Wall, Clayton Museum

Statue of Juno Regina, Juno Regina was a popular deity among the Roman soldiery:-

Statue of Juno Regina, Clayton Museum, Hadrian's Wall

There was a piece of soldier’s graffiti carved in the shape of a man’s genitals on one of the displayed pieces which I was going to go back to photograph. Unfortunately this was just after last year’s lockdown was lifted and a man with no mask started to cough loudly in the museum room’s enclosed space so I thought I had better make myself scarce and hence missed my opportunity.

Commandant’s House, Chesters Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

Previous posts on Chesters Fort are here, here, here and here.

Commandant’s house from distance:-

Commandant's house from distance

Closer view. Stacked bricks are likely part of the hypocaust (heating) system:-

Commandant's House , Chesters fort, Cilurnum, Northumberland, Roman ruin

Side nearest River North Tyne:-

By Commandant's House, Chesters fort, Northumberland

Remains of the floor:-

Commandant's House, Roman floor, Northumberland

These niches are part of the bath complex. I forgot to include them in the psot about the baths at Chesters:-

Niches, Chesters Fort, Hadrian's Wall

Headquarters Building, Chesters Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

The information board shows how this would have looked in the fort’s heyday:-

HQ Building info board, Chesters Roman fort

It’s a little less imposing now:-

HQ building, Chesters Roman fort, ruins

HQ Building Chesters Roman fort, Northumberland

Chesters Fort, Headquarters Building

More of Chesters Fort

See previous posts on Chetsers Fort here and here.

Main east gate. This is nearest the River North Tyne:-

Main East Gate, Chesters Fort, Hadrian's Wall

Main East Gate information board:-

Main East Gate Board, Chesters Roman fort, Northumberland

West gate:-

West Gate, Chesters Fort

Chesters Fort, West Gate

Posts; foundations for something or other:-

Posts, Chesters Fort

Vicinus houses lay outside the fort; local civilians or retired soldiers providing services to the fort would have set up houses/shops etc close by:-

Chesters Fort Vicinus Houses 1

Vicinus Houses, Chesters Fort

River North Tyne at Chesters Fort

The main body of Chesters Fort lies on a hill just above the river River North Tyne.

River from Chesters Fort:-

River North Tyne from Chesters Fort

This shows the spot where a Roman bridge crossed the river:-

River North Tyne at Chesters Fort

Eastern part of Hadrian’s Wall and bridge abutment:-

Bridge Abutment , North Tyne River, Cumbria

Closer view:-

Bridge Abutment, River North Tyne, Chesters Fort

Bridge information board showing how it looked:-

Chester's fort Bridge Info board stitch

Between the bridge and the fort proper you can still see a part of Hadrian’s wall:-

Part of  Hadrian's wall, Chesters Roman Fort, Cumbria

Also down by the river are the baths the soldiers used:-

Roman Baths at Chesters Fort, Hadrian's Wall

Lower part of baths complex:-

Part of Baths Complex, Chesters Fort, Hadrian's Wall

Chesters Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

Chesters Fort was one of the Roman forts stationed along Hadrian’s Wall. It lies a few miles north of Hexham, on a position commanding a crossing point on the river North Tyne.

It was a posting for a troop of cavalry originally raised in what is now Spain.

Main Information Board, Chesters Fort

As a result the remains of the stables take up a fair bit of the site towards the entrance:

Part of Stables, Chesters Fort

Stables , Chester's Roman Fort, Cumbria

Chesters Fort Stables

Remains of Stables, Chesters Fort

This one was taken from further up the hill, stables to left, Commandant’s House to right.

Stables and Commandant's House ,Chesters Fort

An interval tower:-

Interval Tower , Chester's Roman Fort, Cumbria

Tower at South-East Angle of fort:-

Remains of Tower at South-East Angle of Chesters Forte

Lassodie War Memorial

Lassodie is a village that no longer exists. When the pits which were its main employment – and reason for being – closed, the land was cleared of housing. A condition of the original granting of mineral rights, apparently.

Nevertheless it has a War Memorial, which lies beside the B912 between the villages of Kingseat and Kelty in Fife, near Loch Fitty.

Lassodie War Memorial 2

Dedication. “Erected in grateful remembrance of the men of this village who fell in the Great War 1914-1918,” with below the “grow not old” lines from Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen.

Lassodie War Memorial Dedication and Names

The Second World War dedication is inscribed on the southern side of the memorial. “To the glory of god and in memory of the men of Lassodie who fell in the 1939-1945 War.”

Lassodie War Memorial, World War 2 Dedication

Situation. In fenced off square by B912 between Kingseat and Kelty:-

Location, Lassodie War Memorial 4


On the way back up from Peterborough we stopped off at the village of Aldborough in Yorkshire.

There are Roman remains there but the English Heritage site was shut due to Covid restrictions so we couldn’t access them. Maybe another time.

Aldborough is one of those English villages centred round a village green. It’s slightly unusual in that the green still has a maypole.

Aldborough Maypole

Maypole, Aldborough, Yorkshire

The other part of the green has a lovely oak tree on it:-

Oak Tree, village green, Aldborough, Yorkshire

There was the obligatory church (St Andrew’s):-

Aldborough Church, Yorkshire

St Andrew's Church, Aldborough, Yorkshire

Another historical hangover is the presence of stocks:-

Aldborough Stocks, Yorkshire

The memorial you can see beyond the stocks in the photo above was erected on the 50th anniversary of an air crash where due to the skill of the pilot the aeroplane narrowly avoided Aldborough. All seven crew were killed.

Air Crash Memorial, Aldborough

This stone is just along from the memorial. It records where MPs for Aldborough and Boroughbridge were elected in the days before the Great Reform Act of 1832. Was Aldborough a rotten borough?

Aldborough Election Site

Tombs in Peterborough Cathedral

There are memorials to two Queens in Peterborough Cathedral, Katherine of Aragon and Mary, Queen of Scots.

The cathedral actually contains the tomb of the first of those. She died in Kimbolton Castle and Peterborough was presumably the nearest viable option given Henry VIII would have wanted the whoel thing over with quickly:-

Katharine's Tomb

Tomb inscription. “Here lies the body of Katherine of Aragon, Queen of England, wife of Henry VIII, who died at Kimbolton Castle on the (obscured) day of January 1535/6 aged 49 years.” Note the two pomegranates on the tomb. The pomegranate was Katherine’s personal symbol:-

Katharine of Aragon's Tomb

Plaque on pillar to the side. “A Queen cherished by the English people for her piety, courage and compassion.”

Plaque Above Katharine of Aragon's Tomb, Peterborough Cathedral

Mary’s body was moved from Peterborough by order of her son King James VI (and I) so a stone inscription now lies on a pillar near where its location was

Above Mary's Former Tomb

Mary's Former Tomb

Memorials at Bletchley Park

The codebreakers at Bletchley Park were indebted to the Polish secret service for helping break the Enigma code and for smuggling an Enigma machine to them just as war broke out.

At the entrance to the courtyard of houses seen in yesterday’s post lies a memorial to three of these Polish contributors. In Polish and English it commemorates, “the work of Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, mathematicians of the Polish intelligence service, in first breaking the Enigma code. Their work greatly assisted the Bletchley Park code breakers and contributed to the Allied victory in World War II.”

Polish Memorial, Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park, Polish Memorial

Nearer the main museum building is this memorial to those who worked at Bletchley Park. The letters read, “WE ALSO SERVED.”

Memorial, Bletchley Park

Reverse of memorial:-

Bletchley Park Memorial

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