CARRAWBURGH HOUSESTEADS and CHESTERHOLM
Carrawburgh from the air, with the 1968 excavations of the Headquarters building in progress in the centre. The modern road along the top runs along the line of the Wall, and forms the northern side of the fort. The Mithraeum is clearly visible outside the fort towards the bottom left, while Coventina's Well can just be seen in the centre left, abutting to the left of the diagonal trackway.
Photo: Norman CcCord
I T is always dangerous to write about excavations while they are still in progress yet an account of work on the Wall would scarcely be complete without reference to some of the more important sites where work is still being carried on this year. The three most important such sites are from east to west Carraw burgh, Housesteads, and Chester holm.
Carrawburgh (pronounced Car¬ rabruff) is situated towards the Eastern end of the central 'Highland Zone,' between the well known forts of Chesters and Housesteads. It was not one of the original forts on the Wall, for in 1934 Professor Birley showed that the vallum, the rearward facing boundary that skirts round the back of the other forts, continues straight underneath Carrawburgh and had been carefully filled up before the fort was built. But although it was therefore an afterthought, structural evidence suggests that the fort was completed in Hadrian's reign, so it must have been a fairly rapid afterthought.
Today, Carrawburgh is unusual in that the civil settlement outside the fort is rather better known than the fort itself. Two major religious sites are known there, Coventina's Well, which was a major sanctuary of Celtic Religion, and the Mithraeum excavated by Sir Ian Richmond and J. P. Gillam in 1950. In the past Carrawburgh has been somewhat difficult to visit due to the
The Headquarters Building at Carrawburgh, 1968. The five principal rooms run along the top, with the cellar that formed the regimental strongroom in the centre. The starshaped hypocausts that were inserted into the two flanking rooms can just be seen.