Hadrian’s Wall – Turret 33b – Coesike

Hadrian's Wall Turret

This was a short-lived turret, with broad-gauge footings cut away by the narrow-gauge wall. Coesike Turret #33b turret was completely excavated in 1970 and was found to have have gone out of use by the end of the 2nd century, when the doorway was blocked-up and the pottery sequence ends. At a later date the entire turret was demolished and the wall-recess filled in; an inscription of the Sixth Legion Victrix was used in the blocking (RIB 3320 below).

RIB 3320 - Building stone of the Sixth Legion

The Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis (built this).


The medial points are as read by Wright, but with the surface pitted as it is, only the point after LEG is certain. Wright also read a bar above VI, but this is only the edge of the panel. Turret 33b has been attributed by type to the Twentieth Legion, and was abandoned before the end of the second century and subsequently demolished. This inscription was re-used when the recess in the Wall was blocked up. It should therefore belong to rebuilding-work in the second century, perhaps in 158 when the Sixth Legion was active elsewhere on the Wall (RIB 1389), or shortly afterwards when Hadrian’s Wall was recommissioned after the Antonine Wall had been abandoned.

Why was Turret 33b – Coesike Abandoned?

The Roman army left Hadrian’s Wall in the 140s in favour of a new, shorter, turf wall – the Antonine Wall, between the Forth and Clyde. The use of the Antonine Wall did not last and they returned south to Hadrian’s Wall in the 160s and recommissioned the older wall. A few features, such as some of the turrets, were thought surplus to requirements and discarded.

The defences of Camp-1 are much more substantial than those of Camp-2 and overlie the smaller camp’s western defences; it is therefore certain that Camp-1 was built after Camp-2. The relative date of Camp-3 is unknown. Another marching camp lies close by to the west at Grindon School, and another lies about 1½ miles (c.2.4km) to the east at Brown Dikes.

RIB 3321 - Centurial stone

The century of … (built this).


The centurion’s name is difficult. The first two letters could be read as OR (ligatured), CR (most easily), or GR (by assuming damage). Despite the surface cutting or damage (drawn in outline), it is difficult to read the N from which Wright deduced the rare cognomen Granianus found in CIL viii 2340 = ILS 9259a and b (Timgad). There is no evidence of a cross-bar for the T of Grati, but the cognomen Gratus is so common that this may be what the stone-cutter intended.

Map References for Coesike

NGRef: NY821705 OSMap: Hadrian’s Wall, OL43, LR87.

Roman Roads near Coesike

Military Way: W (2.75) to Vercovicivm (Housesteads, Northumberland) Military Way: E (2.25) to Brocolitia

Sites near Hadrian’s Wall – Turret 33b – Coesike