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Hadrian's Wall NMP

Hadrian’s Wall NMP project covers all of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and the Cumbrian Coastal defencesHadrian's Wall is the most well known surviving frontier of the Roman Empire and is the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. The Hadrian's Wall NMP project, mapped the whole of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and its setting zone. The data provides a comprehensive archaeological record, which will aid the management and conservation of the World Heritage Site and the landscape around it.

The results of the project have been incorporated into the recently published archaeological map of Hadrian's Wall.

Housesteads Roman fort, Northumberland (NMR 20534/27). © English Heritage. NMR.

Housesteads Roman fort, Northumberland photographed on 31-MAR-2006; the fort is built on the edge of the Whin Sill crags and commands a strategic position overlooking Ridley Common (NMR 20534/27). © English Heritage. NMR.

Background to the project

The 2002-2007 Management Plan for Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site highlighted 'the need for adequate and improved information and understanding of the history, development and present use of the World Heritage Site (WHS) and its setting'. The NMP mapping enhances the understanding of the Wall in its wider landscape context and will aid future management and conservation of the WHS.

The project area extends from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Bowness-on-Solway and along the Cumbrian coastal defences as far south as Maryport. It includes the Wall structures and archaeology of all periods within a broad band, up to 15km wide. The project area of 1693km2 spans the counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

As well as the Wall itself and associated military structures, such as the vallum, forts, milecastles and turrets, the mapping has also recorded the extensive non-Roman remains. These range in date from the Neolithic to the twentieth century.

The project examined over 27,000 aerial photographs, ranging in date from 1930 to 2006. Historic photography dating from the 1930s and mid-1940s proved valuable, often revealing earthworks that have since been levelled or severely denuded.

Hadrian’s Wall at Limestone Corner (NMR 17686/20). © English Heritage.NMR.

On this photograph taken on 13-MAR-2002 at Limestone Corner, the vallum can be seen running parallel to the modern road, whilst the wall ditch angles round the edge of the scarp. Hadrian’s Wall itself and the remains of Milecastle 30 can be seen as earthworks closely followed by a modern wall (NMR7686/20). © English Heritage.NMR.

The images used on this page are copyright English Heritage unless specified otherwise. For further details of any photographs or other images and for copies of these, or the plans and reports related to the project please contact the English Heritage Archive.

For further information on a project or any other aspect of the work of the Aerial Survey team please contact us via email using the link above.

This project has now been completed and the detailed web pages below will be altered shortly to reflect the results.


Aerial Investigation and Mapping - York
Heritage Protection Department


Research Reports

See the summary report for the Hadrian's Wall NMP project.

Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site, National Mapping Programme Project - Summary Report

Alternatively, there is a detailed report for the central section between Brampton and Birdoswald.

Hadrian's Wall NMP Project - Brampton to Birdoswald. Report Cover