Washing Wells Fort
The Washing Wells Roman Fort at Whickham is a trapezoid fort measuring about 490 by 410 feet (c.150 x 125 m) and covering an area of about 4½ acres (c.1.8 ha) was discovered from the air in 1970, lying in farmland on Dunston Hill overlooking the River Tyne, 3 miles south-west of Newcastle and about ½ mile (c.1km) south-east of Whickham. At least two, possibly three, occupation periods are visible on A.P.’s, but as yet (source 1987) the fort remains unexcavated. The Period I fort is thought to predate Hadrian’s Wall, possibly being founded during the Trajanic withdrawal from Scotland as an eastward extension of the Stanegate system, while the later (smaller?) Period II enclosure may be indicative of an early-Hadrianic alteration to the fort’s garrison. The Washing Wells fort was very likely abandoned when the fort at Segedunum (Wallsend) was built on Hadrian’s wall c.125AD?, indeed, it is possible – though not proven – that the same garrison unit was simply relocated between the former and the latter camps on either side of the Tyne.
Map References for Washing Wells
NGRef: NZ219602 OSMap: LR88