The east abutment at Chesters was part of a large road bridge which was built in about AD 160 to carry the Military Way (the road accompanying Hadrian’s Wall) over the River North Tyne. The abutment, from which the easternmost arch sprang, incorporates the pier of an earlier and much smaller bridge which was part of the original construction of Hadrian’s Wall. The later bridge continued in use until the end of the Roman period and was demolished in the AD 670s to provide building materials for St Wilfrid’s church at Hexham.
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Paul Bidwell is Head of TWM Archaeology, a section of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. He has published extensively on Hadrian’s Wall, Roman south-west England, Roman architecture and Roman ceramics.
More information about the bridge can be found in the guidebook to Chesters Roman Fort, one of the critically acclaimed series of Red Guides to English Heritage sites.
Chesters Roman Fort guidebook