Day 1 – Operation Jericho: The wall starts to fall… new finds

The day started with an ominous sign. The Northumberland/Cumbrian hills were wearing clouds as the day started…

The clouds frame the valley

The clouds frame the valley

Rain was most definitely on the way. Before the volunteers and Archeology students started to break up the wall we had one or two final preparations – marking the features that were obvious so that the removal team could see them at a glance…

Last wall check and marking

Last wall check and marking

as the clouds swirled overhead and the drizzle started…

The walls had been visually inspected and then again with a metal detector – the crosses mark metal readings. The markings relate to defined and specific positions on the wall. Each face has a letter and then divided into 5 meter sections so that finds can be precisely located and reconstructed. Each section of the wall weighs about 16 tons.


As the demolition team gets to work the rain starts in earnest

The rain from the crew tent!

Demolition starts as the rain falls

That penetrating rain that only the North of England can produce.

But the wall falls…

And the finds start..

Roman Fort Column Base

Quern Stone

1900’s bottle

Found in two pieces in the wall

Building detail

Quern stones


Plinth stone

And then came the last find of the day…

What is believed to be an Amphora neck shard…

We didn’t expect to make much progress today but a large portion of the wall fell and some brilliant finds were made.

I am now drying some of the teams boots (I live close by) over the stove…

Boots drying


whilst the kitchen does its stuff and feeds the workers

An amazing, if a tad damp, first day…

At the end of this day as the clouds (and the rain) head away over the hills a job well done…

Good night…

In this series:


Overview of the project:

Many individuals and organisations are involved with the management of Epiacum. We would particularly like to thank the following: Heritage Lottery Fund, North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, Historic England, and Natural England

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