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stones incorporated in Hexham Abbey came from this city, as Mr. C. C. Hodges holds, or from a Roman town at Hexham, of the existence of which there is no other evidence.
Speaking generally-and it is yet too early to speak otherwiseCorstopitum seems to have been, at least for the greater part of its history, rather a civil town than a military station. Horsley mentions a square enclosure, called the Cor Bow, within the city, and this may have been the original fortress. It is hoped that the Cor Bow may be discovered at some future time; but it appears likely, that after the construction of the Great Wall, Corstopitum was partly a commissariat distributing-centre, partly a mansio on the road from Eboracum to the frontier, and partly a town to which the men of the neigbouring Wall garrisons resorted when on leave.
Not the least interesting or least important feature is the bridge which carried the great road, now commonly called Watling Street, but known as the Deor or Dere Street in early times, across the Tyne to Corstopitum. A great part of the foundations may still be seen in the bed of the river, and a survey of these remains has been conducted by Mr. T. E. Forster, one of our Associates, with the important result that the line laid down in the Parish Ordnance Map has been proved incorrect. The true line crosses the present river obliquely (probably there has been a considerable change in the course of the stream since Roman times), but less obliquely than was supposed ; and the direction renders it probable that on reaching the northern bank the road skirted the western side of the city, and did not pass through it. The foundation of the south abutment is almost wholly in the present river, but cuts the bank at the south-east corner, where three courses are still in place. It forms a parallelogram, with a river-face of over 36 ft., composed of large stones of unknown thickness, firmly set in the almost stone-like gravel of the river bed. Traces of five water-piers have been found, and probably a sixth remains in the river, covered with stones and shingle. The piers, so far as can be ascertained, are about 29 ft. long (including the pointed end), and 15 ft. 4 in, broad on the foundation course.
Some years ago Mr. Coulson, the discoverer of the east abutment of the North Tyne Roman bridge at Cilurnum, excavated what he took to be the core of the north abutment here. Remains of this core are still to be seen in a hedge-bank, about 60 yards north of the present
Symeon (Hist. Dunelm. Eccl. II, xiii) mentions a grant by Guthred in a.d. 883 of all the land between Tyne and Wear “ a Deorestrete usque mare orientale.” In the Black Book of Hexham (A.D. 1479), “ le Dere-strete” is five times mentioned as a boundary of property held by the Convent a few miles north of Corl-ridge.
north bank of the river, and the survey has determined that these remains are exactly on the line given by the south abutment and such of the water-piers as are still discernible. This gives us a bridge of approximately 7 chains or 154 yards-much more than the present breadth of the river at this point; but probably in Roman times something like half the distance would be occupied by a bed of gravel, covered only in time of flood. The present bridge (built in 1674), about half a mile to the east, is about 8 chains or 176 yards long, and such a gravel bed exists there on the south side.
Measurements obtained at the south end of the Roman bridge show a waterway of 22 ft. 4 in., and a pier of 15 ft. 4 in.; but these figures are for the foundation course. The next course was set back something like 6 in., thus increasing the waterway and diminishing the pier by a foot, and possibly the next two or three courses were set back also. These measurements indicate that the bridge consisted of north and south abutments, with eleven waterways and ten piers. Of the latter, four must have stood on ground now covered by the north bank ; and as this bank is now some 7 ft. or 8 ft. above the level of the stream, it is quite possible that their remains may be unearthed. A quantity of stones from the piers remain in the river, but no trace of arch-stones has been seen, and probably the superstructure and roadway were of timber, the piers being of sufficient size to carry a roadway 20 ft. wide.
We are glad to be able to report that there is every prospect of the work being continued in the future until the whole site has been explored ; and we heartily commend the project to those of our members who are interested in Roman antiquities. The site is of the utmost importance, as being the only Roman city in the North of England available for complete excavation—the Silchester of the North, may we call it ?—and its most promising sections have not yet been touched. The results cannot fail to add largely to our knowledge of Roman life in a particularly interesting district. We understand that a representative Committee will be constituted to take charge of the work, and it is hoped that their appeal for funds will meet with a generous response.
ROMAN REMAINS AT GLASFRYN, TREMADOC, CARNARVONSHIRE. We are indebted to Mr. Charles Breese, of Portmadoc, for the following note and the accompanying illustration :
Having occasion to pass the site where, some years ago (in 1873-4), a discovery was made of what was then declared to be a 'cist of