Newcastle – Segedunum

October 16, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Posted in General, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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A brief 20 minute metro tip from Newcastle’s city center is Wallsend. Funnily enough this is where Hadrian’s Wall ended and at this terminus there is the ruined Roman Fort Segedunum, which has been progressively excavated. Of course when I say ruined I actually mean a rough outline of where the buildings used to be with the odd surviving mortar and stone dotted around the site.

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Entry is £3.90 but you could probably enter unnoticed via the excavation pits but why would you do that when the price is so cheap? The information centre looks like an airport terminal with its viewing platform overlooking the site.

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The museum while child focussed has enough material to keep an adult’s attention. If not you can always play the games!

The site is located near a shipyard and the area’s modern industrial past explains why so little of its Roman heritage remains.

Across the road is another smaller excavation site that features part of Hadrian’s Wall.

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No that big wall isn’t it. The barely visible strip on the right are the wall’s remains. Uninspiring. The staff helpfully apologise and explain that the former coal mine destroyed the wall. The reconstruction on the left does help a little. If you want to see the real wall from Newcastle you’ll need to take a day trip.

The other part of the site is a reconstruction of the Roman Fort’s Bath House. It’s opened on the hour for 20 minutes so you’ll need to plan your visit accordingly. I assumed that if it was only open for a short period it must be at least partially operational but this wasn’t the case – except for a little bit of water. Still it was good to get an idea of the bath’s layout and operation. Still I think a trip to Bath might be a better option.

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Segedunum, which sounds a bit mantric the more times and faster you say it, is fine and interesting for those with a limited knowledge of the Romans but it does help to provide some contrast to the rest of the city.

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