Hadrian's Wall

Art Installation at Housesteads

The Future Belongs to What Was As Much As What Is

You may have noticed something different at Housesteads Roman Fort in 2022. An art installation on the site of the original gatehouse was created as part of Hadrian’s Wall 1900th anniversary celebrations. The artwork was open for the public to enjoy from July to November 2022.

Visitors were able to go inside the artwork and climb the stairs to the first floor to experience a view that hasn’t been seen since the Roman garrison kept watch here 1600 years ago.

The Artwork

The artwork at Housesteads Roman Fort was produced by internationally renowned British artist and designer Morag Myerscough and in collaboration with the local community and poet Ellen Moran. It was the first artwork to be commissioned as part of our new Creative Programme.

The gate may initially seem at odds with the grey stone of the fort, however, the Roman world was a riot of colour, pattern and symbols. The Roman Empire and its people showed off their presence and power on the landscape and communities through vibrant buildings, pottery, clothes and inscriptions. 

Members of the local community participated in workshops with English Heritage Historians, Curators and the artists where they discussed the history of the wall and what Hadrian’s Wall is and means to them now. This inspired their own contribution to the artwork in the form of the colour, patterns, words and symbols painted on the panels that made up the face of the gate house installation.

After the installation was dismantled in November 2022, the painted panels were given to those community members who had helped create the art work.