Newcastle University has been awarded a fund of £1.17 million to put towards the conservation of one of the North’s most prestigious landmarks, Hadrian’s wall.
Hailing from the rule of Emperor Hadrian in AD 122, Hadrian’s Wall ran from the River Tyne itself, across the country, to the Irish sea. The wall remains the largest Roman artefact in the world, stretching 135 kilometres, but with threats from weather, tourism and invasive plant species, there are worries for Hadrian’s Wall’s future.
The grant will go towards the Community Archaeology Project’s scheme which is set to take a group of volunteers across the whole stretch of wall to be trained in skills including digital surveying, such as terrestrial laser scanning, as well as conservation and geological work. The goal? To keep the British landmark standing for as long as possible.
The Community Archaeology Project has recently conducted surveys and research including the Where is our Wall? scheme. This project looks into the disappearance of rocks from the wall, which have been taken to build up the areas surrounding the wall over the past decade.
Although Hadrian’s Wall was declared a World Heritage Site all the way back in 1987, it remains unguarded. The ever-fragile landscape, which is under stress from keen walkers’ desires to take on the trail, is also damaged by explorers endeavouring to scale the height.
Dr Rob Collins is the project manner at the Community Archaeology Project and a Lecturer in Archaeology here at the University. He spoke to Newcastle University about the cultural importance of Hadrian’s Wall and what he hopes his project will achieve.
“Hadrian’s Wall has been a vital part of our landscape for the past 1900 years.”
“Thanks to funding from The National Lottery, we will be able to better understand the position of the Wall in the current working landscape, and ensure that the monument will be enjoyed by future generations of local communities and visitors.”
Ross Kerslake, the Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, also weighed in on the initiative:
“The legacy of the initiatives announced today will be that these internationally-important ancient monuments, and the fascinating history they tell, will be better understood and cared for by their communities well into the future.
If you want to get involved with the project, it is not too late. Registration to the Community Archaeology Project is open at wallcap.ncl.ac.uk.