Looking South East, and some 10 yards in front of the line of trees, you can visualise the walls of the first fort in 100AD, twenty years on and still made of turf, 13 metres thick and 8 metres high. With timber gate-towers and parapets at the main entry, from the West, it is the forward army HQ for North Britain, with 1000 men of the Ninth Legion. (Remember the 'Eagle of the Ninth'?) The bath-house, stone-built with tile and lime-concrete curved roofs for insulation, is the social centre, outside the fort in case of fire. Plenty of water; plenty of scattered cinders. The half-timbered mansio is probably the civil admin HQ for the area, where the locals pay their 'Council tax'. It may also cater for official visitors.
Erected in 1928; cleaned and red-lettered in 1997; the Trimontium Stone is an exaggerated version of an altar set up by a centurion of Legio XX, Gaius Arrius Domitianus in the 2nd century. It has a focus (basin) on top for receiving poured 'libations' of wine etc. Its emphasis on warfare would be diluted today by a recognition of the necessary co-working of Romans and natives. The fort lies mainly to the left of the curving line of trees, but the remains of the high earth rampart, fronted by a red sandstone wall in the second century, extend across the field on the right, towards the far field gate, and curve left, back round the fort.
The Trimontium Walk: Previous Page Next Page