History and Research: Chesters Roman Fort

Photograph of the remains of the strongroom at Chesters Roman Fort

The history of Chesters begins with the building of Hadrian’s Wall and a bridge across the North Tyne in AD 122. A cavalry fort, known to the Romans as Cilurnum, was added in about AD 124 and occupied until the Romans left Britain three centuries later. From the 18th century onwards, travellers have left descriptions of the ruins, and pioneering excavations between the 1840s and 1890s exposed the structures visible today. Much of the fort, however, and the whole of its attached civilian settlement, remain unexcavated.

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These pages are part of Portico, an online resource which explores the history and significance of the sites in our care and provides a gateway to further sources of information about them.

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About the Author 

Nick Hodgson is Principal Keeper of Archaeology for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. He is the author of the English Heritage guidebook to Chesters.

Buy the Guidebook 

A more detailed history and comprehensive tour of Chesters Roman Fort can be found in the guidebook, one of the critically acclaimed series of Red Guides to English Heritage sites.

Chesters Roman Fort guidebook