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South Shields - Arbeia
Eight miles east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Not actually on the wall, but just across the Tyne from its eastern end, the Roman fort at South Shields was a supply base controlling the main port of entry into the wall region. There is an excellent museum in the entry building with tombstones showing the fort's cosmopolitan population. A large area of the fort has been excavated and there are foundations of barrack blocks and the military HQ to see. Most dramatic of all, however, is the full-scale reconstruction of the fort's West Gate. Painstakingly rebuilt to fit the specifications suggested by the detailed evidence available, this building towers above the visitor to really show the magnificence of Roman military architecture, even in remote Britain. You can go inside and walk along the ramparts. It's great. They're even working on the commander's building now to compliment it.
The site is run by Tyne & Wear Museums & entry is absolutely free.
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