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Hadrians Wall Challenge

Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most significant historical monuments in the country, demonstrated by its designation as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Living in the Tyne and Wear area provides a great opportunity to visit this monument as much of its remains sit on the region’s doorstep. The wall would have run through Newcastle. Many archaeological excavations have discovered remains of the monument below the modern day city. Sites such as Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend provide a great insight into life on the wall and its location.

However, archaeologists do not know everything! There are areas within Newcastle where archaeologists know Hadrian’s Wall should be there, but it isn’t.

The Lower Ouseburn Valley is one such area. However this does present an interesting opportunity.

The ‘Hadrian’s Wall Challenge’ provides an opportunity for pupils to examine the landscape through archaeological records, topographical maps and visiting the area. A combination of these resources will allow pupils to analyse where they think Hadrian’s Wall may have passed through the Lower Ouseburn Valley. See National Curriculum Connections.
There is no right or wrong answer, but students will need to consider important aspects of which most would have been vital to the Romans building this section of the wall.

  • Defensive Considerations: Which route for the wall will provide the strongest defence against attack?
  • Crossing the Ouseburn: Your troops will need to move about behind the wall.
  • The flow of the Ouseburn: What methods would you use to let water flow through/under the wall?
  • Also pupils will need to consider a landscape that has changed considerably in terms of industrial development over the past 200 years.

The downloadable material includes: