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MILECASTLE 19

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The site of Roman milecastle 19 (Matfen Piers), part of the defences on Hadrian's Wall. The North of England Excavation Committee excavated Milecastle 19 during work on the Carlisle to Newcastle road in 1932 and found little left of the walls and the north and south gateways. Only foundation stones on either side of the north gate-passage remained and a hearth in the gate-passage itself. Simpson et al determined that the gateway of Milecastle 19 was of Type III. The milecastle is visible as a low platform, 0.15 metres high, in an arable field, and measures 27.8 metres east-west by 17 metres north-south. The milecastle was investigated as part of the Milecastles Project in 1999. Most of the milecastle lies in the field to the south of the hedge, and is regularly cultivated for cereal crops. Two trenches were excavated, one across the east wall, and one on the eastern side of the interior. The results of the excavations confirmed it as a Narrow Wall milecastle, although the site had been heavily robbed and badly plough damaged. New detail on the interior layout was recovered: a cobbled surface occupied the west side, while on the east side one wall of a stone building with associated floor surfaces was recorded.

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